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Showing posts from February, 2009

Sermon for Feb. 22, 2009 -- Transfiguration Day

A Crisis of FearMark 9:2-9Some of you may have heard the name Clarence Jordan. He was a prophet for racial integration in the South. In 1942, after receiving his doctorate in Greek from Southern Baptist Seminary, he returned to his native Georgia and established a place called Koinonia farm. It was an experiment in Christian interracial community living, a concept that was not widely accepted in the 40’s by the general public. Koinonia Farm eventually became the inspiration for Habitat for Humanity. However, at the time, Jordon was often persecuted for his vision of what the church should be. It’s told that at one time, when Jordon was being harassed, he asked his lawyer brother for legal help. His brother had political aspirations. He realized that helping such a radical cause would jeopardize his future career. And so, he refused to help. Clarence challenged his brother to go back to the rural church where they had both walked down the aisle to accept Christ and explain something to…

Sermon for February 15, 2009

Be Clean!
Mark 1:40-45
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.When I was growing up, in the high school cafeteria the kids you sat down with to eat your lunch were always the same peo…

Sermon for February 8, 2009

The Demands of Discipleship
Mark 1:29-39
February 8, 2008

After Jesus left the synagogue with James and John, they went to Simon and Andrew’s home. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. They told Jesus about her right away. So he went to her bedside, took her by the hand, and helped her sit up. Then the fever left her, and she prepared a meal for them. That evening after sunset, many sick and demon-possessed people were brought to Jesus. The whole town gathered at the door to watch. So Jesus healed many people who were sick with various diseases, and he cast out many demons. But because the demons knew who he was, he did not allow them to speak. Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. Later Simon and the others went out to find him. When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” So he travel…

Sermon for February 1, 2009

Touching Evil
Mark 1:21-28

I admit it – when it comes to the remote control usage in our house, I claim final authority. I sit in my favorite chair and scroll through the channels with the futile hope that if I flip through them fast enough and often enough, something interesting will automatically appear on my TV screen. It drives the family nuts. There are three shows that always stop my eager channel-flipping thumb. They captivate me. It’s kind of embarrassing to admit, but I get some strange pleasure from them. The first is professional wrestling. What can I say? The second show that always stops me is fundraising on PBS. Not the endless showings of that Peter, Paul and Mary documentary or the insipid doo wop reunion shows. I’m talking about the actual pleas from smiling station mangers asking to support public television. I’m watch and root for them to make their fundraising goal, although I never call to make the pledge.

The third programs that stop me are the TV Preachers. They …