WHO ARE “ALL”?

Matthew 25:37-40, Acts 2:42-47 Faith Westdorp In today’s reading we see the beginnings of the first church. Matt Skinner writes that this passage “describes a community of faith that operates in the power of God’s Spirit. The virtues of justice, worship, and mutuality are not accomplishments of extraordinary folk; they are signs of the Spirit…

CIRCLES OF LIGHT

John 9:1-41, Ephesians 5:8-14 Jeff Davidson When I started working on this sermon I ran across this reflection from Dr. Rachael Keefe on her blog “Write Out of Left Field.” (https://rachaelkeefe.wordpress.com/) She’s writing in part about our gospel reading from John, and she says, “As for myself, I have been the recipient of social judgments….

O BETHLEHEM

Zephaniah 3:14-20, Isaiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18 Nathan Hosler Advent is a time of light and darkness, hope and exile and welcome. A baby will be welcomed that brings hope but under the occupation of the Roman Empire and soon the holy family will flee into exile. There is much talk about refugees these…

THE WORD OF GOD COMES TO…

Luke 3:1-6 Jeff Davidson There’s something that we all have to watch out for every time we drive. Lately for me I’ve had to watch out for it whenever I head to the interstate on Sudley Road. Other times I am careful to watch out for it when I am actually on the interstate. It…

REFLECTIONS ON PARIS

Matthew 23:23-36 Jesse Winter When I was asked to preach today, Nate wanted me to talk about mass incarceration. Criminal justice reform is a major focus of my work in the Office of Public Witness, and over the past few months I have learned how complex that issue is. It involves everything from politics, money,…

JESUS, YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!

Mark 10:17-31, Hebrews 4:12-16 Micah Bales I don’t know about you, but for me, this is a part of the Bible that strikes home in an almost visceral way. When I read this, I know that God has found me out. He has uncovered a place of weakness and resistance in me. He has found a…

SEEDS, TREES, AND THE UNEXPECTED

1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; 2 Corinthians 5:6-17; Mark 4:26-34 Jennifer Hosler As most of you know, this congregation has been going through a visioning process. Why did we start a visioning process? We recognized that the church had gone through transition and that it was moving away from uncertainty toward wholeness, healthy relationships, and vitality. During…

With Glad and Generous Hearts

  With Glad and Generous Hearts – Jennifer Hosler Acts 2:42-47; Colossians 3:12-17 Our news media has the unfortunate tendency of focusing on things that go wrong. Violence, crime, oppression—these things sell papers or bring hits to websites. While these problems exist, focusing on them in the news media means that other stories do not…

Root-Bound

Root-Bound (Joel 2:23-32; Luke 18:9-14) Jennifer Hosler             Very rarely do we hear news stories about genuine repentance.  We often hear PR statements, statements regretting the fallout of actions, words that express regret for the pain caused – but often not apology and claim to wrong action. We might hear “I’m sorry that my words…