Two  Boys Take on Church – December 26, 2021

Scripture:  1 Samuel 2: 18-20, 26; Luke 2:  41-52

Because the Old Testament and New Testament readings for this Sunday tell the story of a boy in “church,” we thought we’d start there — with boys in church.

Christmas Eve Message in Sight and Sound 7:30 pm December 24, 2021

Christmas Eve Message in Sight and Sound

When Baby Jesus Goes Missing – Christmas Eve 9:30 December 24, 2021

When Baby Jesus Goes Missing – Christmas Eve 9:30 December 24, 2021

Scripture: Luke 2: 1-20  

Many people wait until Christmas Eve to put the baby Jesus in  their  Nativity  Scenes. A  Chinese woodcarver said that many people simply lose baby Jesus. He’s so easy to lose, after all, when you wait  to add him to the rest of the scene.  There’s nothing malicious about it. People don’t intend to lose Jesus, he said. In fact, they probably made a commitment to keep Jesus, and put Jesus front and center where he belongs.  But he got lost. Somehow, we weren’t paying attention. Perhaps he was set aside to make room for other elements of the scene, and the intention was to return him to his rightful place in our lives

What? Another Birthday? – December 19, 2021

Scripture: Luke 1; 39-45

Birthdays are usually happy occasions. But they do bring some pressure: parties, presents and more. Christmas is no different. Ironically, we often become distracted and distraught while planning to celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. So why is this birthday often such a burden?

Joy Has Dawned – December 12, 2021

The theme of joy punctuates our lives in unique ways during the Advent season. It punctuates most everything we do and most of our Advent traditions. This is the joy we tend expect from each other around Christmas time.

But what happens when we or the people with whom we share those moments are not filled with joy? How do we handle the Advent season that comes in the middle of one of life’s crushing blows?

The Psalmist said it this way: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” We invite you this morning to grab hold of this truth. The darkest moments remind us that true joy is not found in the day to day circumstances of our lives, but is founded on the Creator of life.

A Work in Progress – December 5, 2021

Scripture:  Philippians 1: 3-11 

Our epistle reading today refers to us as projects on the way to completion. Will we ever be “complete”? Will we ever be perfect?

Symbols, Icons, and Emojis – November 28, 2021 

Symbols, Icons, and Emojis – November 28, 2021 

Scripture: Jeremiah 33: 14-16   “The days are surely coming,” says the Lord through the prophet, “when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David” (vv. 14-15).

Emojis and emoticons are popular ways to express thoughts and feelings. They are so ubiquitous that they are beginning to be the targets of lawsuits. The practice of using emojis to convey thoughts recalls an image mentioned in Scripture. God uses an emoji, we could say, to share the good news that peace and justice are coming to the world.

The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us! – November 21, 2021

The Lord Has Done Great Things For Us! – November 21, 2021

Scripture:   Psalm 126  Yes, the Lord has done great things for us,  and we are overjoyed. (126:3)

Today we celebrate Christ the King Sunday, where we recognize the power of Christ in our lives, the things we have learned3 and done over the past year, the way we have been lifted out of the pandemic and into new life.

Dr. Green’s Final Prescription – November 14, 2021

Scripture: Proverbs 11:24-25 ; Acts 20:35 (CEB)  Generous persons will prosper;  those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. (Prov. 11:25)

The title for this sermon comes from the popular TV show “ER,” which ended a fifteen year run in 2009. In this television series, Dr. Mark Green, one of the main characters, was about to die from a brain tumor. Before his death, he shared his final words of advice to his daughter, his “final prescription” so to speak. He said to her, “Be generous.  Be generous with your time. Be generous with your love. Be generous with your life. Be generous.”

Cultivate a Life of Contentment – November 7, 2021

Scripture:  Philippians 4:10-20  Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content with whatever I have.  I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. (4: 11-12)

What brings true contentment? There is  important research from an excellent book, The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.  According to the author, social scientists have discovered that once a person’s basic needs have been met, additional money and possessions have virtually no impact on their contentment levels. So if money and things don’t lead to contentment, what does? Although numerous factors contribute to our overall happiness, none is more important than gratitude. How can we enhance gratitude in our lives?