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Showing posts from April, 2005

"Did You Really Mean Anything" Sermon for April 24

Text: John 14:1-14

Once there was a little old lady, who would step onto her front porch every morning, raise her arms to the sky and shout, “Praise the Lord!” One day an atheist moved into the house next door. He n became irritated at the little old lady, so every morning, he started stepping onto his front porch after her and yelled “There is no Lord!” Time passed with the two of them carrying on this like this every day. Then one morning, in the middle of the winter, the little old lady stepped onto her front porch and shouted, “Praise the Lord! Please Lord, I have no food and I am starving, provide for me, oh Lord!” The next morning she stepped onto her porch and there were two huge bags of groceries sitting there. “Praise the Lord!” she cried out. “God has provided groceries for me!” As she prayed, the neighbor jumped out of the hedges and shouted, “Ha, there is no Lord, I bought these groceries!” The little old lady threw her arms into the air and shouted, “Praise the Lord! God …

April 24 Sermon Feedback

After I preached this sermon, I received some feedback from a parishioner. I'll share part of the Email:

I think you mentioned that God answers our prayers when we pray in a way that reflects God's will for us, and that we are able to pray in this way only after we become "spiritually mature". The thought that struck me was that this "spiritual maturity" is certainly a worthwhile goal, but it may be seen as an insurmountable hurdle for many people. Questions that a person may ask may be: How would I know if I had achieved this maturity? How do I get there? Can I really get there, or is it just for the people who study and worship for years and do everything right, sort of like achieving nirvana? If I don't get there, does that mean that God will not answer my prayers? If God doesn't answer my prayers, does that mean that I have not achieved spiritual maturity? Do I need special training to learn to pray the right way? The notion of spiritual maturity…

April 10 Sermon, "I Need A Sign"

John 20:19-31

I can relate to the Rev. Jill LaRoche Wilson from Paoli, Pennsylvania when she says, "Alleluia! Christ is Risen! A couple of Sundays ago, there was a lot more oomph to the alleluias. The past weeks has been a difficult one in the life of our world, and I just don’t think we’re in as much of an alleluia sort of mood anymore. We suffered with Terri Schiavo as she died, and we can only imagine the hurt, pain, and loss felt by her family and friends. The politics and rhetoric surrounding her lead many of us to relive the death of loved ones --relive times when we had to make a similar decision about the life and death of someone we loved." Even this weekend, news came out that a Cornwall, CT man was given probation after helping a friend with terminal cancer commit suicide. The Hartford Courant staff writers claim the entire town of Cornwall supports the assisted suicide as an act of caring. All to say, many of us are reflecting on life and what it means to live a…

Low Sunday Sermon (April 3)

Alpha and Omega
Revelation 1:4-8

Welcome to Low Sunday. That’s the name given to this day in some liturgical traditions– Low Sunday. It wasn’t like this last week. Everybody goes to church on Easter. It’s a reasonable, market driven choice. The show is good. The music is glorious, the flowers are gorgeous. And the preacher . . .well, the preacher senses that he has a one-time shot at a lot of folk who aren’t ordinarily sitting out there. There isn’t a one of us pastors who doesn’t fantasize that he will be so compelling, so brilliant, that all those Easter worshippers will come back next week.

The Sunday after Easter is usually the week of lowest church attendance. In fact, even the clergy are low. A lot of pastors take vacation after the frantic pace of Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Low Sunday. Can you think of anything more depressing? Who would want to come to church on Low Sunday? Can you imagine getting up and saying to your family, “Hey everyone, it’s Low Sunday. Let’s all go to chu…