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Showing posts from April, 2006

Sermon for April 24, 2006

I Need a Sign
John 20:19-31

I guess Easter is over for another year. The lilies are fading, attendance is down from last week, and the candy has long since been devoured. And in churches all across America today, substitute preachers fill the pulpits. Pastors often take the week after Easter off. There are two main reasons we are advised to do this. First, the week before Easter is usually a very busy week in the life of the church and the preacher. There are additional worship services to prepare, all of which require extra time and energy. And then comes the main event: the Easter Sunday worship service. Do you know what the Easter service is for the preacher? It’s like the Super Bowl for preachers. It’s like the seventh game of the World Series, or the NCAA Championship! If you’ve got a good sermon in you, you’d better trot it out for Easter! I try to have a good sermon prepared every Sunday – sometimes I succeed, sometimes I fail - but Easter is special. Not only is Easter the holi…

Sermon for Easter Sunday, April 16, 2006

An Awkward Ending
Mark 16:1-8

Prayer of Illumination
O God, light of the minds that know you, life of the souls that love you, strength of the thoughts that seek you: Help us to know you that we may truly love you. Help us to love you that we may fully serve you, whose service is perfect freedom. Amen.

What are you afraid of? My son, Nate, asked me this the other day. Rallying all my bravado, I confidently said, “I’m not afraid of anything.” I want to project the image that I have nerves of steel, because nothing seems to freak me out. I barely blink an eye at many of the things that scare the pants off others. If I were a character in a horror movie, I’d be the person walking calmly into a haunted house despite the slamming doors and demonic voices. OK, I may be afraid of a few things: I’m afraid of Shirley Maclaine. I’m afraid of a government-runt website called CIA for Kids. I’m afraid of emotionally scarring toys, like the Dean Martin hand puppet I saw the other day. Seriously, I hav…

Sermon for April 9, 2006

Passion or Palms?[i]
Mark 11:1-11

With vacation season right around the corner, I came up with my own itinerary of CT attractions that I might drag my family to see. We will load up the camper and do a weekend tour of unique state attractions. Here’s what I think: We begin in Stratford at the Garbage Museum to learn about recycling and visit the dinosaur 24-foot long dinosaur sculpture created out of household garbage. While in Stratford we will stop in Boothe Park. In the early 1900’s the wacky Boothe brothers decided to put together a park of attractions. Buildings from all over the world were re-constructed and appear haphazardly around the park. The Boothe boys would appear in parades dressed as Uncle Sams and other interesting characters. The park also holds three log toll booths disassembled from the old Milford tollbooth, replicas of presidential birthplaces, a windmill, and a funky clock tower building.

From there we go to Waterbury to visit Holy Land, USA. For two decades, Holy …

Sermon for April 2, 2006

An Extravagant OfferingJohn 12:1-11I’m a dead man. Yeah, you heard me right. I’m a dead man. At least I was. Certified, and mummified -- buried in the family tomb. I wish I could explain to you what it feels like to be dead. I just don’t have colorful enough words in my vocabulary to paint it for you. I can tell you this: There was nothing romantic or beautiful about it. Death is an offense to beauty. No matter how hard you try, a corpse is never attractive. No embalmer’s art can change that. So, maybe your wondering how a dead man gets to stand up here and speak to you. Let me tell you what happened. This is going to blow your mind. There I lay - lifeless in a dark crypt for four days (Not that I had any concept of time passing). It was just dark...until I heard that voice–familiar, anguished, and inviting. It was like I heard a whisper in the back of my head saying, “Lazarus, come out,” and I just couldn’t help it. I got up and walked out of the crypt right to Jesus. And let me tell…