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Showing posts from February, 2008

Sermon for February 24, 2007

Life in the Spirit
Ephesians 4:21-5:2

Most of this sermon comes from "Work in Progress", a sermon preached on August 13, 2006 by The Rev. John MacIver Gage, pastor of the United Church on the Green, UCC: New Haven, CT. He said what I wanted to, so I offer some of his thoughts and my stories to you with the prayer that God would make them holy for us.

Who among us has not been cornered by a more evangelically minded friend or associate or even a complete stranger and asked, point blank: “Friend, have you been saved?” It could come from a friend or a family member – even from a total stranger. I confess, I used to be one of those people – the stranger who approaches you at the mall and tries to save your soul in the name of Jesus. “Have you been saved?” Those words send shivers down my spine. “Have I been saved? You mean, is there a single moment I can point to and say, ‘Yeah, that’s it, August 13, 2006, 10:53 a.m., that’s the when it happened, that’s the when I gave myself to Je…

Sermon for February 17, 2008

Life in the Word
Luke 24:44-53

We’ve all seen them – Email forwards of funny things kids mistakenly say in Sunday School. Here are some of my favorites:
· Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark.
· The fifth commandment is humor thy father and mother.
· Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, and a ball of fire at night.
· When Mary heard she was to be the mother of Jesus, she went off and sang the Magna Carta.
· Holy acrimony is another name for marriage.
· The Pope lives in a vacuum.
· The patron saint of travelers is St. Francis of the sea sick.
· A republican is a sinner mentioned in the Bible.
· The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.
· It is sometimes difficult to hear what is being said in church because the agnostics are so terrible.
· The natives of Macedonia did not believe, so Paul got stoned.

These illustrations are funny, but at the same time, it portrays a painful truth of our culture. Many of us don’t live lives immersed in God’s Wor…

Sermon for Sunday, February 10

The Life of Justice
Micah 6:6-8

Requirements? What are requirements? Requirements are absolute necessities. There is no way around them. You might as well get used to them because requirements are part of everyday life. For example, one of the most important rituals of American life is getting your driver’s license. Do you remember when you got your driver’s license for the first time? Or when you taught your children so they could get their first license? That was a great day in my life – Freedom . . .Movement . . . A sign of finally growing up. There are requirements to get that first driver’s license here in the State of CT. You must be 16 years old. You must have a learner’s permit for a minimum of 120 days. You need to pass the vision exam, and the written exam, and the road test. Those are the rules of the game. No arguments. No discussion. No wiggle room. These are the requirements if you want to get a driver’s license in the state of CT.

If you want to travel internationally to …

Sermon for February 3, 2008

The Life of Prayer
1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying.”

It seems that that the powers of darkness are more visible than ever, and that the children of God are being tested more severely than ever. Have you ever wondered what it’s going to take to survive our times? What is required of those of us who want to bring light into the darkness? What is required of those of us who feel called to enter fully into the agony of our times to speak a word of hope? It’s not too difficult to see that this is a fearful and painful time of history. And in response many become tired, bitter, resentful, or simply bored. Where are we supposed to find nurture and strength?

Today we continue to investigate Christian traditions that can help us grow in our faith. Our job this morning is to look at the life of prayer, otherwise known as the contemplative tradition. I want to introduce you to some Christian contemplatives called the Desert Fathers and Mothers–hermits who lived in the d…