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Showing posts from March, 2008

Sermon for March 30, 2008

The Best We Have to Offer
March 30, 2008
Philippians 4:6-8

You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator, and you are creating the creation of You on this planet. The earth turns on its orbit for You. The oceans ebb and flow for You. The birds sing for You. The sun rises and it sets for You. The stars come out for You. Every beautiful thing you see, every wondrous thing you experience, is all there for You. Take a look around. None of it can exist, without You. No matter who you thought you were, now you know the Truth of Who You Really Are. You are the perfection of Life. And now you know The Secret. At least that’s what author Rhoda Byre would want you to believe. Her bestselling book called The Secret finally reveals the hidden knowledge of the universe that we need in order …

Sermon for Easter Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Have Seen the Lord
John 20:1-18

The First Story: It’s a starless night in 1944. A cattle train loaded with scared Hungarian Jews pulls into a depot. They are loaded off the trains by German guards who send women to the right and men to the left. The place is called Auschwitz. Flames, smoke, and guns greet the disoriented Jews as they are prodded to the registration area. The smell of death is in the air. A boy named Elie Wiesel is separated from his mother forever, as he follows his father and the other men. Talk of uprising is whispered among the men, as well as the advice of elders who say, “You must never lose faith, even when the sword hangs over your head. That’s the teaching of our sages.” After he survived the horror of the holocaust, Wiesel came to a different conclusion. In his book entitled Night, he writes, “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in the camp which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forg…

Sermon for Sunday, March 16, 2008 -- Palm Sunday

Conversion: From Death to Life
Matthew 21:1-11 / Romans 12

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Lion in Winter. Peter O’Toole plays King Henry II who has locked his powerful wife in a remote castle prison -- the backstabbing Eleanor of Aquitaine played by Catherine Hepburn. Henry releases Eleanor so that she can visit the royal family for Christmas. Her visit begins the unraveling of this viciously devouring family. It’s a movie that exposes our own jealousies and the lengths we will go to preserve the facades of our own reputations. Historically, Henry II’s lust for power played out between him and his friend Thomas à Beckett. In the year 1162, Henry got into a quarrel with the bishops of his realm, and in a brazen attempt to gain control of the church, Henry decided to elevate his good buddy Thomas to archbishop. Once Thomas becomes the archbishop, however, he undergoes a sudden transformation. Instead of being the king’s crony with a miter, Thomas à Beckett becomes God’s man …

Sermon for Sunday, March 9, 2008

Mourning Jerusalem

Luke 13:31-35
At that time some Pharisees said to him, “Get away from here if you want to live! Herod Antipas wants to kill you!” Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and healing people today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn’t do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem! “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned. And you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the LORD!’”

Let me tell you about two people I have met in my life. I met one in a tropical paradise, the other at a blistering Boston shop. The first on a warm, sunny Christmas Eve. The second on a rainy…

Sermon for Sunday, March 2, 2008

Who Is the Greatest
Matthew 18:1-4; Matthew 20:17-28

In Jesus’ day, a child had no status at. The child was regarded as a second-class citizen. So, you might imagine the shock when Jesus says, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever is humble like a child is the greatest in the Kingdom” This must have been a stunning statement to the disciples. Jesus says, “Anyone who wants to be first must be last, like these children. The one who wants to be great must be willing to accept him or herself as being of little account–to be regarded as unimportant. Anyone who welcomes one of these despised little children welcomes me, and therefore also welcome God.”

Jesus’ words I got me thinking about our own children. What can our children teach us about faith? A Sunday School teacher named Mrs. Imogene Frost’s once asked her 10-year-old students to answer this question: “What’s wrong with grownups?” they came up with these complaints:
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