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Showing posts from May, 2005

Sermon for May 22

The Authority to Make Disciples
Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24:36-40


I recently stumbled upon some remarkable correspondence in the church files:
Dear Christians,
This is my commission to you -- in fact, you might even call it a great commission. You are to go to all people everywhere and call them to become my disciples. You are to baptize them and teach them to obey all that I have commanded you.Don’t forget. I will be with you always to help you, even to the end of the world. I will never leave you nor forsake you, because I love you. Please don’t forsake me.With all my love, Jesus Christ
Another letter was clipped to the back of it.
Dear Jesus Christ:
We acknowledge the receipt of your recent communication. Your proposal is both interesting and challenging; however, due to a shortage of personnel, as well as several other financial and personal considerations, we do not feel that we can give proper emphasis to your challenge at this time. A committee has been appointed to study the feasibilit…

Sermon for Pentecost, May 15, 2005

What If You Caught On Fire?
Acts 2:1-21


It is April 21, 1898. A fleet of Spanish ships anchor of the coast of Cuba, and Congress has just declared war with Spain in response to the sinking of the Maine. President McKinley is given $50,000,000 to win the war. The war will last only 3 months and cost the U.S. about 400 killed or wounded. By December, the US will gain the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam, and emerge as a power to be reckoned with on the world stage. For Spain it will be a humiliating defeat. Both her Atlantic and Pacific fleets will be sent to the bottom of the sea and with them went Spain's prestige as a world power.

On April 21, 1898, closer to home, life seems to go on as normal. In Trumbull, CT it is a windless night, darkened by the new moon. A church social, sponsored by Helping Hand Mission is held in the basement of the congregational church. The sexton locks up the building at 10:00 and goes home. But soon after, without warning, fire breaks out in the church …

May 8 Sermon -- A Letter from Home

Luke 11:33-36

Well, I thought I’d do something a little different and share with you a letter from my family in Jericho Springs, MO. You might enjoy hearing about some of the happenings at the Jericho Springs Progressive Church of the Ozarks. I don’t think I’ve ever told you about them before. My Great Aunt Georgia is a long-time member there. In fact, my family has been attending there for generations. Anyway, it’s a place like most other home churches–muddling through the same old issues and made up of the same old wonderful people, with a few colorful characters and one or two certifiable nut cases thrown in–my family excluded, of course. Anyway, here’s the letter.

Dear Matt,
Hello to you and Christy, Zoe And Elias. Well, we just got back from a quick trip to Branson. Your second cousin Elton bought me tickets for an early mother’s day gift. I went with Miss Adelaide to see the legends of accordion at the Lawrence Welk resort. I’m not much of a fan, but that Jo Ann Castle can make an …

Sermon for May 1, 2005

The Problem With Private Faith
Luke 24:36-40

Last year, Marybeth Hicks wrote a great piece in the Washington Post. She wrote:

The mashed potatoes sit in stiff, icy peaks on the plates, thin moats of beef gravy surrounding their starchy edges. A while ago, the combination of boiled potatoes, butter, sour cream and milk spun on the whirring whisks of the electric mixer, promising the tasty comfort of carbohydrates. But now, the steam long dissipated, dinner mostly consumed, there remain two lumpy mounds of glop -- as appetizing as papier-mache, or perhaps wet lint from the dryer.After 15 years of parenting, the dinnertime battle rages on. Besides the mashed potatoes, tonight’s menu is pot roast and a medley of frozen peas and carrots -- a reliable meal, nothing fancy. Earlier, the lingering scent from the crockpot had everybody salivating like Pavlov’s dog, subliminally suggesting a tasty dinner -- except that two of my children won’t eat mashed potatoes. This is simply ridiculous. Who doe…