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Showing posts from January, 2007

Sermon for January 21, 2007

The Lord’s Prayer: Give Us Our Daily Bread
Matthew 14:13-21

Imagine the bread aisle at your grocery store. When you think about it, there’s a lot of bread there. In a major grocery store, the aisle is probably 45 feet long with 6 or 7 shelves. Think of the variety of starches in that bread aisle: light and flaky croissants; solid and sturdy bagels, thin a baguettes, wide flatbread, twisted or braided, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. You will see hot dog and hamburger buns in many shapes and sizes. And rolls. There are hard rolls, French rolls, sour dough rolls, dinner rolls, and crescent rolls. Then there are the actual loaves of bread. We have twelve-grain breads, nine-grain breads, eight-grain breads, and the numbers of grains slowly decline until we get to the Wonder Bread – that miracle of modern refinement in its whitest of wrappings. Wonder Bread itself comes in three varieties: Big, Small, and Thin slices. Make sure you notice all the other varieties of bread; Rye – with our with…

Sermon for January 14, 2007

Thy Kingdom Come
Matthew 7:12-27

Have you ever prayed to get something that you thought you wanted more than anything else? Maybe you’ve pondered how much happier your life would be if you could have a certain item, or maybe be in a relationship with a certain person. Maybe you’ve stayed awake at night thinking how fulfilled you’d feel if you had the object of your heart’s desire. Now picture a time when you actually got what you wanted. Have you ever been sorry that you got what you asked for? I remember when I was a little boy. All my friends seemed to have exotic animals like snakes and iguanas. I decided that I needed a turtle. For days, I asked my parents if I could have a pet turtle. Well, one day my dad came home with a cardboard box, and inside was a little painted turtle. Now you’d think I would have picked it up and taken it for a walk, or played with it, or fed it, or something. The moment I laid eyes on that creepy-looking, hard shelled menace, I started screaming in fear. T…

Sermon for January 7, 2007

The Lord’s Prayer: Hallowed Be Thy Name
Matthew 6:5-9

Have you ever noticed that the biggest impact is often made with the fewest words. For example, the Lord’s Prayer has 66 words, and it is the model for all Christian prayer. The Gettysburg address has 286 words and it’s considered one of the most eloquent documents of American history. The Declaration of Independence has only 1322 words. The United States Government Regulations on the Sale of Cabbage as 26,911 words. Think about it.

When it comes to prayer, Jesus says do not babble, thinking that if we say just the right words, and a lot of them, then God will answer our prayers. Sometimes the biggest impact is made with the fewest words. However, for many of us the problem is not our long prayers. I think the problem is that we don’t pray much at all. In the hurry of our lives, it is hard to quiet down and spend time in silent reflection and adoration of God. Sometimes we become restless and agitated. The duty of prayer loses its im…

Sermon for December 31, 2007

To all five of my faithful readers: Have a wonderful New Year!

Here is a transcription of my latest "Letter from Home" from my Aunt Georgia:

Dear Matt,

It was nice of you to finally write back to me. You know, most people return letters after a few weeks. It’s called good manners. When you write back it shows that you care enough to think of someone else beside yourself, bless your heart. Even though you can’t manage to write a proper note, I hope you and your family had a good Christmas. I bet your kids was excited to unwrap presents. And if history repeats itself, I bet you took a long nap on Christmas day.

I spent Christmas with Willa Broadfoot and her family. I really shouldn’t call them her family. They aren’t blood family. After she left her husband Roddy a few years back, it came out that Roddy had a first wife that he never told Willa about. And didn’t that just crack her yaller! Her name is Nadine. I guess Roddy met her in his old wild-oat-sowin’ days when he worked …

Sermon for Christmas Eve

I stole the idea for this sermon from John Shea, "Have A Defiant Christmas, preached at http://www.csec.org/index.htm.

Some Christmas I am going to send out a Christmas card that will look like this. On the cover there will be three images. The first image will be a star brightly shining but it will be surrounded by darkness. The second image will be an evergreen but it will be surrounded by trees without leaves. The third image will be the traditional one, it will be a child wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, but the child will be surrounded by a ramshackle stable. When you open the card, it will say in big bold print, “Have a Defiant Christmas!”

I assume my friends and family will call me up and say, “Matt, what is this about?” That will give me a chance to explain my insanity.

The first image is a light shining, but shining in the darkness. I love to drive around and look at Christmas lights. When I lived in Western NY, my favorite display was right across the str…