February 2020

“And Now the God-Side”/Matthew 17:1-9; II Peter 1:16-19/Rev. Rodger Allen/2.23.2020  

By |February 27th, 2020|Sermons|

Easter, I’m sure most of you know, moves around a bit on the calendar. It’s not the same date every year, like Christmas is December 25th, or the fourth of July is, well, the fourth of July – except in Paris, Illinois where it isn’t any more. Easter is determined by a kind of complicated formula, having to do with the first day of Spring and the first full moon after that. […]

“Do Christians Like Parties?”/I Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:5-9/Matthew 4: 23-25/Rev. Rodger Allen/2-9-2020

By |February 11th, 2020|Sermons|

First Church . . . was a thriving church; a model church; the church that other churches pointed to saying, “they must be doing something right.” For First Church had had a boom in membership the past few years. It was in an area with lots of new homes being built and lots of people moving in; it attracted all the community and corporate leaders, the so-called “winners” of the area; people were all dressed perfectly, looked good, and smiled at each other all the time. It was the place to be on Sunday morning if you wanted to be regarded as classy and conscientious and cool. First Church had programs appealing to every age group and interest; it had talented and entertaining leaders for all its activities. Everyone was happy with First Church. First Church was doing so well, in fact, that it was outgrowing its building: it was hard to get a seat on Sunday morning, even with two services, and parking was a major headache. Finally the inevitable question had to be faced: is it time to build a bigger church building? […]

December 2019

“People of Advent: Joseph”/Matthew 1:18-25; Isaiah 7:10-14/Rev. Rodger Allen/12-22-19

By |December 26th, 2019|Sermons|

“Hello . . . Joseph? It’s Mary. “Say, I’ve got some great news. Remember how we said we wanted to start a family sooner rather than later? Well, we’ve got our start – I’m pregnant! “Joseph? Joseph? Yes, of course I know you can’t be the father. Mother and I had ‘the talk’ a long [...]

“People of Advent: Mary”/Luke 1:26-38, 46-55 (Isaiah 35: 1-10)/Rev. Rodger Allen/12-15-19

By |December 17th, 2019|Advent-Christmas, Sermons|

            This season of Advent, we have been pointing out, is a season of preparation for Christians. And not just preparing in the sense of decorating the house, and baking the cookies, and shopping for the presents for Christmas; but also the preparing of our selves, a look inside, a time for reflection and any needed repentance. How do we do that kind of preparation? Where do we look to find out how to prepare? Well, perhaps some guidance is available from some of the people who prepared themselves for the first coming of Jesus, so long ago. Perhaps they can in some ways serve as a model or example for us, as we seek to do our preparation now. […]

“People of Advent: John the Baptist”/Matthew 3:1-12; Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11, 31 (and within: Matthew 11:7-11a)/Rodger Allen 12-8-19

By |December 12th, 2019|Sermons|

So, who invited this John the Baptist guy to our Christmas celebrations anyway? Why does he have to be part of our holiday preparations? Here we are, having a grand old time with our decorating, shopping, baking, and singing “Deck the Halls/Silver Bells/Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” . . . and along comes a guy—an ascetic [...]