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Showing posts from February, 2011

Sermon for February 20, 2011

“Travelin’ Through”
A Farewell Sermon

Have you ever noticed that sacred and scared are practically the same word. Just switch the c and the a and the one turns into the other. Sacred … Scared. I’m scared this morning. I’m scared because this is the last Sunday here for my family and me. I’m scared because I want to offer something truly sacred today. I want to honor this moment. I want to treasure being with you all. And, honestly, I’ve struggled with this sermon all week. I don’t know what to say that I haven’t said already.

Can I allow the “scared” to become sacred? In this sanctuary I have wrestled and wept and laughed. I have preached and listened. I have danced and lain down and found comfort and have felt my heart break a hundred times. I have been filled with joy. I have felt scared and stretched and ill at ease. I have been welcomed. I have been blessed. I have met God here, so many times and in so many ways.

Sometimes the room has looked like it does now. Sometimes I’ve come to …

Sermon for February 13, 2011

A Letter From Home

Here's the latest from Aunt Georgia. She is not good at typing -- I did not correct her typos. Enjoy. --mbb

Dear Matt,

Had an ice storm here on the hill last night. The trees are all covered up with frozen water droplets, shimmerin’ in the sunlight. Branches sway and crack in the soft breeze, makin’ a lovely high-pitched chime. HA! Sound like a poet, don’t I? Just call me the Emily Dickinson of the Ozarks.

Actually, I’ve been feelin’ my age lately, and that just will not do. I’m carryin’ more poundage than I should. Think large stuffed Christmas goose. And the lunchtime Skoal habit’s not exactly contributin’ to my general well bein’. I bit the bullet and made an appointment with my doctor, better known as the Angel of Death. My appointment was for 2:10 p.m. I showed up at two o’clock on the dot. Docs got a receptionist that looks like Bernadette Peters in The Longest Yard, right down to the beehive hair-do. I’ve had the same doctor for over a decade and yet she can …

Sermon for January 30, 2011

Sorry for the hiatus -- you, my faithful reader. Here is the latest. --mbb

The Patience of a Great God

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength to do his work. He considered me trustworthy and appointed me to serve him, even though I used to blaspheme the name of Christ. In my insolence, I persecuted his people. But God had mercy on me because I did it in ignorance and unbelief. Oh, how generous and gracious our Lord was! He filled me with the faith and love that come from Christ Jesus. This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all. But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen. Timothy, m…