SERMON ARCHIVES


June 2022
It Is To Your Advantage
June 12
Our reading from the Gospel of John provides the foundation for the Doctrine of the Trinity. Over these past several weeks, as we traveled with the first followers of Jesus from the day of his resurrection to the day of his ascension back to the Father, Jesus’ imminent departure seemed catastrophic. Earlier, Peter said to the Lord, “To whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life?” (John 6:68). And last week as we celebrated Pentecost, the promise of the Holy Spirit fulfilled, we are to realize that we are not alone we have “the Word of eternal life” with us always and everywhere. Why then, is this Doctrine of the Trinity so important for the world—for all of creation?
A Promise Made, A Promise Kept
June 5
Throughout the time of the Old Testament, the spirit of God spoke to key leaders and prophets about the will of God, the promises of God, and the ways of life with God. Today is Pentecost, the day we celebrate the birth of the Church. Today, God’s story revealed in scripture is the revelation of a promise made that is a promise kept! The question for us is a hard one to live into and that is, “How do we respond to the news that we have received the Holy Spirit?”

May 2022
Why Are You Afraid?
May 29
This is Ascension Sunday — the day the Christian church celebrates the return of the resurrected Christ to be with God, the Father. Pastor Mike is away this weekend and Ben Hutto offers a message on the fear that once gripped these first followers of Jesus but now, has no power over them.
A Lighthouse To Safe Harbor
May 22
The resurrected Christ has appeared to his followers several times and in different places. His disciples did not understand what Jesus was saying before he died on the cross. Last week we heard Jesus speaking of a “New Commandment” – a commandment of Christ-like love. He mentioned love as being the basis of obedience and today we hear him stress that saying: “Those who love me will keep my word” (v. 23). What do we hear Jesus saying today? What does he mean? How are we to respond? His words of love, obedience, and his promise of the Holy Spirit are meant to comfort and to encourage. They are meant to be our lighthouse to safe harbor!
New Life, New Outlook, New Hope
May 15
“Photo mosaic” refers to the way small pictures are arranged in such a way that they form a larger image. Each tiny square is a complete image in itself but combined with hundreds of others, a whole “new image” emerges. Intrigue, curiosity, whatever… we can’t help but drift from the larger image to the hundreds of smaller images and back again wondering, “how did they do that?” There is an image that Jesus left here on earth when he returned to be with the Father. That image is the church and it is made up of millions of tiny “whole images” – the followers of Jesus Christ and the larger image that is to captivate and guide us is – LOVE!
Who Is That Guy?
May 8
The passage today from the Gospel of John is taken from the middle of what is known as the “Good Shepherd” discourse. The conversation between Jesus and the religious leaders of the temple may have taken place over two thousand years ago but the tension that is the choice to believe or not to believe is one that is lived out each day of our lives. We have an insatiable thirst for truth and that has never been more clearly expressed than in the question the world asks of Jesus of Nazareth: “Who Is That Guy?”
Come Have Breakfast
May 1
The resurrected Christ appears to many people over a period of several weeks as recorded in the Gospels, and the Book of Acts. In this account, John provides vivid details of Jesus’ appearance to seven disciples as they have returned to their fishing in the aftermath of all that has happened in Jerusalem. They don’t know it is Jesus—at least not right away. They are tired and have nothing to show for all their efforts. Jesus calls out to them to try casting their nets just one more time on the other side. The question for us gathered here as we listen to God’s Holy Word is this: “Do we hear the resurrected Christ calling out to us?”

April 2022
April 24
Pastor Mike was away for some much deserved rest. Our Choir Director, Ben Hutto, offered a sermon on the mysteries of faith. It doesn’t seem fair that Thomas has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” when in actuality, he was “Honest Thomas!”
Last Word To First Word
April 17
If Jesus’ final words were “It is finished.” (John 19:30)… “Into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46) and the Gospels ended there with his death, then our story and the story of Jesus’ life would truly be a tragic one. But, we are here this Easter morning because the story didn’t end – it was just beginning.
Knowing What Is Finished
April 10
This sixth and final Sunday of Lent completes our survey of the first words spoken by Jesus captured in the Beatitudes as seen and heard through the lens of the cross. This Sunday is a pre-cursor of the events that will take place in the course of Holy Week and Easter resurrection. We cannot make the transition to Holy Week without first hearing and reflecting on the final lessons of Jesus as he dies on the cross. We certainly can see the lesson in the Beatitude of mourning, but “peacemaker?” And what exactly happened on the cross of Jesus that is finished? Great questions leading into Holy Week.
I Thirst
April 3
“I thirst” (John 19:28, NKJV). This simple statement that Jesus made before he died almost seems out of place among the other more dramatic statements he made from the cross. What is the lesson for our lives as we revisit the beatitude “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6)—as we visit the first words spoken by Jesus through the lens of the cross and his final words. What is it’s meaning for us and our personal relationship with God?

March 2022
A Prayer Of Dereliction Is A Prayer Of Hope
March 27
At this point, Jesus has been hanging on the cross for sometime, perhaps five hours or so. The end is approaching very quickly. The fourth time Jesus speaks from the cross, what we know as “the cry of dereliction” is actually Jesus praying. Captured in his prayer is the darkness of the horrific experience Jesus has endured so far, as well as the darkness within those who now surround the cross. Even as Jesus is approaching his final breath, he is modeling the hope that comes from prayer. Do we have that kind of faith?”
We Are Family
March 20
This message series is intended to help you make a holy journey through the season of Lent understanding that what you practice over these forty days, teaches you to live preparing for Jesus’ final return. We are looking at the teachings of Jesus as captured in the Sermon on the Mount through the lens of his final words spoken from the cross. The third time Jesus speaks from the cross he speaks to his mother and to his closest disciple John in a scene that is both moving and filled with import for the Christian life. What is this scene saying to us? The answer rest in the idea that “we are family!”
Rebellion, Repentance, Redemption
March 13
This message series is a survey of the teachings of Jesus using the Sermon on the Mount paired with his final words spoken from the cross that serve to inform, teach, and guide “those who listen” on living a life preparing for Jesus’ final coming. Last week we dealt with the basics of “What are beatitudes?” “What does “blessed” mean?” and “What did Jesus mean when he said, “Blessed are the Meek…?” The lesson for our lives could be summed up in one word—RESTRAINT! This week, as we continue to listen to the teachings of Jesus from the Gospel of Matthew through the lens of his encounter with two criminals one on his left, and one on his right. Our lesson is contained in the message of the three crosses.
Meek & Forgiven
March 6
Final words spoken are impactful and revealing. In the case of someone being crucified, to say anything at all, would require tremendous effort and would cause excruciating pain. Is it a surprise that Jesus’ first word spoken from the cross would be a prayer? The question to be answered not only for today, but for this series “First Word to Last Word: Living for the Return of Jesus,” is, “What do we see when we gaze upon the crucified Christ hanging in agony on the cross?” This first week of Lent, we attempt to answer that question in the spirit of “Meek and Forgiven.”

February 2022
Are You An Act 1 Or An Act 2 Christian?
February 27
The stories leading up to the transfiguration of Jesus are meant to introduce him to the world. After his transfiguration, Jesus turns to Jerusalem and toward the passion of Holy Week. The transfiguration occurs as a transition from the wonder of Advent and bright hope of Epiphany into the sober journey that is the season of Lent. It is an intermission between two themes-two acts of the Gospel. The question to answer in listening to the story of the transfiguration of Jesus is: “are you a ‘first act’ or a ‘second act’ Christian?
How Do We Do That?
February 20
Last week, began Part I of Luke’s version of the Beatitudes in his telling of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Plains.” As we continue in Part II, a reasonable question to ask is: “Is Jesus asking the impossible?” Is Jesus setting up his followers for failure and disappointment making such a demand? I mean, who can “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6:27-28)? The real question isn’t can we do that but HOW DO WE DO THAT?
What Are We Waiting For?
February 13
Jesus died penniless, hungry, hated, and weeping on the cross. He knew something of such blessedness. Some read Luke’s version of the Beatitudes as the Christian ideal for living never fully recognizing them as identifying character traits that mark followers of Jesus. What if they actually are the keys to Christian liberty? Christian liberty – what does that mean? And, what is it that we are set free from? These are the questions answered in Luke’s version of the Beatitudes.
If You Say So…
February 6
Whatever Jesus wants to do in the world, Jesus chooses from the get-go not to do his work alone. He enlists others to work with him. On what basis does Jesus call people? We can focus on the miracle of the fish, but the lesson for us today is to see, to hear, to respond to God’s voice as he calls us to be in ministry. When we respond obediently to Jesus, we open the door to God’s wonders.

January 2022
What’s Love Got To Do With It?
January 30
We’ve been talking about being children of God, claimed by God at our baptism, gifted by God with the gifts of the Holy Spirit that we should fulfill the will of God in the work of the church. And last week, we reflected on being many members, diverse as we are, but part of one body—the Body of Christ. Today, we look at the one essential gift offered by God to humanity—LOVE. The question for followers of Jesus, indeed the question we must strive to answer is simply, “Do we understand this gift of love and are we willing to submit to the power of love?”
One For All, All For One
January 23
God creates each of us with an incredible machine called the body. The parts work together to do some of the simplest and some of the most incredible things imaginable. To a child, holding a fork or a spoon seems quite impossible, but as they grow and practice, this becomes routine and the difficulty is quickly forgotten. As individuals in the body of Christ, it seems difficult, at first, to trust Jesus in all we do, but with practice and spiritual discipline it may even become commonplace.
Living “”In Service”
January 16
The early church was already beginning to show signs of strife and pride especially when it came to deciding who were more faithful as followers. And, this was not more evident than in their understanding of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Our lesson rising from from Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth is simply this– while there are many gifts, there is only one Spirit of God who gives them; and, God provides those gifts with one purpose in mind, “for the common good!”
Clean, Claimed, & Committed
January 9
We have heard from prophets of the Old Testament of God’s promise to send a Messiah. We heard the declaration of angels as they appeared to shepherds watching over their flocks that indeed, a Savior was born in the town of Bethlehem. But today, it is neither prophet nor angel but God who declares “this is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” This is not only God’s declaration of Jesus’ identity. It is God’s claim on all of his creation – his claim on our lives that we are his sons and daughters.

December 2021
An Amazing Journey
December 19
Advent is a season of preparation that reminds us to always look forward to the final coming of Christ. This advent, we are striving to relive the moments and to visit the places where Divinity entered humanity in the birth of a baby named Jesus, Son of God and Savior for the world. This is our fourth week of Advent. Out of the greed of an emperor for more taxes comes a compelling story of unbridled love—the story of Christmas. Today it is the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem that offers us a great lesson for living and preparing for Christ’ return.
Visiting Family
December 12
Advent is a season of preparation as we are striving to relive the Christmas story through the eyes of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the people of Nazareth and Bethlehem. This third week of advent has Mary visiting her relative Elizabeth in Ein Karem, a village near Jerusalem and very close to Bethlehem, home of Joseph her husband. The fact that Mary was willing to make the nine-day journey over several mountain ranges to see her relative speaks volumes of how she was feeling. She needed to speak to someone who might believe what was happening to her.
Joseph, An Ordinary Man
December 5
Advent is a season of preparation as we remember that moment Divinity entered humanity in the birth of a baby named Jesus, Son of God and Savior for the world. We are attempting to do more than remember. We are striving to relive the Christmas story through the eyes of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the people of Nazareth and Bethlehem. Last week we met Mary, a peasant girl from Nazareth. This week, we meet her husband, an ordinary man named Joseph as he discovers her condition. What is the right thing to do? What would you do?

November 2021
Mary, A Simple Girl
November 28
Advent offers Christians a time of preparation and anticipation from two very different perspectives. First, we prepare for the birth of Christ, the promised Messiah, not remembering but reliving the story of God entering creation where Divinity and humanity came together in the womb of a young peasant girl named Mary. And the second perspective, is that living in the light of the resurrected Christ, this season of Advent reminds us to live every day preparing for his final return.
When Truth Speaks
November 21
Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you a king?” Jesus’ answer leaves Pilate asking, “What is truth?” Personal experience doesn’t create truth, nor does opinion, or culture, or religion, or anything else. Truth is truth whether we believe or not, whether we experience it or not, or whether we accept or reject it… Truth is absolute. And the prevailing truth from these few verses as Jesus stands before Pilate are these: 1) God Formed Us; 2) Sin Deformed Us; and 3) Jesus Transforms Us!
Where Do You Fit In The Picture?
November 14
Jesus contrasted the self-service of people like the scribes with the selfless service of people like the widow. If Jesus were to offer the same critique of the church today, would Jesus’ view be the same? Would the church be the ones being criticized by Jesus for being more focused on taking care of itself rather than taking care of the poor or would the church be honored as the widow was for trusting in God’s provisions? The question is, where do we fit in the picture?

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When He Called My Name
November 7
All Saints Day is partly to remember those who have gone on to eternal life before us but also to be reminded that as Jesus was raised from the dead, so too are we raised to new life in Christ. The question for each of us to answer as we listen to this Good News of John is simply this, “Do we hear Jesus when he calls us from the dead, ‘Come out!’?” Do we trust God’s promise of eternal life and live our lives in that promise?

October 2021
Can I Help You?
October 31
There are only two people named in the Gospel of Mark who benefited from a miracle of Jesus. The first was Jairus, a temple leader whom Jesus helped by restoring life to his young daughter. And the other we encounter today in reading of Jesus healing a blind beggar named Bartimaeus. Jesus responds to his call for help asking, “What do you want me to do for you?” What would you ask for? What is the lesson Mark wants the readers of his Gospel to see and learn from?
Guarding The Essence Of Prayer
October 24
Pastor Mike and his wife Julie are away this week. Filling in to offer the message is Charles Germany, a member of Rayville United Methodist Church. His sermon is from Matthew 21:18-22 and from Revelation 3:20.
Guarding The Good Treasure
October 17
The letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, are focused on recognizing God’s call and responding, trusting in the guidance of God. In general, the point is that we are all called to “rekindle the gift of God that is within us.” We are reminded that the gift given to each person is the gift of the Holy Spirit – a gift of power, love, and self- discipline. The celebration of the Laity today serves as both a recognition of the important role of the laity and as reminder that “God calls who he calls” whether you think or feel worthy.
Passengers
October 10
There is great wisdom in this Twenty-second Psalm especially when you consider it was this psalm that Jesus prays from the cross when he cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” We can give into and collapse under the weight of our circumstance, or we can look past ourselves- look past our situation, trusting in the God who loves us and wants us to be in God’s company forever and that gives us hope and a future.
The Intention Of God
October 3
Our reading is not an easy one to listen to. It is dealing with the condition of one’s heart. One’s heart can be hardened by selfishness and self-gratification or softened by humbling oneself with the innocence of a child. What is Mark revealing about the intentions of God in capturing Jesus’ teaching on marriage, divorce, and the heart? A good hint comes from the celebration of World Communion Sunday. A celebration that serves to remind the church that we are to be the light of Christ in a hurting world standing in the need of grace and divine love.

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September 2021
Taking Up Your Ministry
September 26
Until now, Jesus’ ministry was characterized by wonderous miracles and admiring crowds. Once Peter, speaking for the other disciples and himself, declares Jesus’ identity as the Son of God, Jesus begins preparing them for what awaits him in Jerusalem. From this point until they arrive in Jerusalem, Jesus’ chief emphases is preparing these disciples to understand discipleship as humble service rather than position and power. And everyone who does a mighty work in Jesus’ name, is engaged in ministry to the glory of God.
The Measure Of Greatness
September 19
We are continuing in our theme of “practical Christian living” with an understanding of this major theme for James: “faith without works is dead.” We’ve looked at practical Christian living that is “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger;” that understands “neighbor” is anyone we are in a position to help, near or far away; that involves humbling ourselves, taking up our cross to follow in the ways of Jesus. This week, as we listen to the counsel of James, we are to understand two kinds of wisdom. “Wisdom from above” leads people of faith to do “good works” in gentleness and kindness without any expectation of repayment. We also see the destructive force of “earthly wisdom” that leads to conflict and chaos.
Picking Up Your Cross
September 12
Even though Peter answers correctly when Jesus asked, “Who do you say that I am?” it becomes very evident he provided an answer that neither he nor the rest of the disciples completely understands. As we continue reflecting on the idea of practical Christian living, we come to realize picking up our cross is to live not die for Christ and that is a difficult challenge.
Who Is My Neighbor?
September 5
The lesson from Mark’s Gospel is greater than a physical healing. These two stories mark the beginning of Jesus tearing down the walls that separate the children of God, in this case, Jews and Gentiles. All are to have access to God through the Son, Jesus Christ. The lesson for us is that it is our faith that opens our eyes to such a relationship. It is faith that compels us to be bold and take risks getting out of our comfort zone asking who is my neighbor?

August 2021
Walking With God
August 29
The Book of James was written to a decidedly Jewish community now following Jesus’ teachings. They were of modest means at best and were easily taken advantage of by their richer counterparts who would blaspheme the name of Jesus, withhold their wages, and regularly dragged them before the courts to humiliate them. In verses 2 and 3, James addresses their difficulties writing, “whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” Follower, perseverance, endurance, testing, these are behaviors and characteristics of those who confess to be followers of Jesus. And James reminds us of the difference between being casual “hearers” and involved “doers” of the Word of truth.
Ready Or Not
August 15
Make no mistake about it, the “Bread of Life” discourse recorded here in the Gospel of John is rough and tough. In fact, many of Jesus’ followers lamented, “This teaching is difficult, who can accept it?” (v. 61), and they left. Beyond the harshness of what we hear, the lesson for us today is that knowing about Jesus is not enough. We are to absorb Jesus in such a way that we can no longer tell where we end and Jesus begins in our attitudes, actions, and in our witness to the world.
Feasting On Jesus
August 1
Our lay-leader, Mark Brown offers the message while my wife and are with family . Thank you Mark for your service and witness in the life of our church.

July 2021
Signs, Signs, Everywhere A Sign
July 25
My wife and I were away due to a death in the family. I again called on Ben Hutto, our Choir Director who stepped in to offer a summary of the sermon I intended to share. I am thankful and blessed for Ben’s generosity in helping under these circumstance.
Life Is The Battle; Death Is Our Victory
July 18
I had to be away this weekend for a personal matter. Surprised by the need to change my plans, I invited Ben, who is our Choir Director and leads the singing in our services, if he would be interested in offering a message. Most people would have shied away but Ben submitted to the Holy Spirit and it shows in his message. Thank you Ben for being such a servant of God.
Our Choices & The Consequences
July 11
Last week, we reflected on three concepts of faith. As we read Mark’s telling of the death of John the Baptist, we see the effects or maybe a better way of saying it, the consequences of having a faith that is blind and the result of knowing about something without believing. The choices Herod makes are the same as choices most people make when not first considering Christ.
The Power Of Faith
July 4
We are dealing with two separate stories and each story is dealing with an entirely different issue. Jesus’ visit to Nazareth is dealing with belief and unbelief while the commissioning of the disciples is dealing with the calling of the disciples and proclamation of the Gospel. Both stories have one thing in common—acceptance or rejection of the Messiah or his representatives.

June 2021
In Times Of Desperation
June 27
In our times of desperation, when our own resources or actions are inadequate to get us out of the fix we are in, it’s then that we rely on the faith that Jesus Christ is not only the Son of God but also the one who rescues, saves, and heals the desperate. In our reading today, we find Jesus reaching out not because of desperation of others, but because of who he is. Isn’t it comforting to know he is always nearby and as we are reaching out to him, Jesus is reaching out to us. Thus, faith is born and sustained.
A Promise Is A Promise
June 20
The story of Jesus calming the storm has been the favorite story of many over the years. For most, we see in this story the hope of protection against any calamity that might come our way. To be certain, there is a promise that Jesus makes here, a promise worth believing; a promise that can be trusted. The question for us as we hear this passage read is this: “Are we willing to accept the promise offered?” There is a peace that comes with the promise that transcends the storms of our lives. After all, a promise is a promise!
Living In The Mystery Of Life
June 15
We tend to think of ourselves as the farmer who must tend to the fields weeding and watering the crop. We must be busy in order to be productive! But Jesus totally glosses over the farmer’s work. He knows our tendency and how we would naturally see this so he takes us on a very different direction emphasizing the mystery of the seed that grows into a plant or tree necessary to sustain life. We are to see ourselves as the seed. The mystery of our growth is the sustaining work of the Holy Spirit and that is a truth we can depend on.
Belonging To The Family Of God
June 6
Our Gospel reading from Mark has two stories happening at the same time. Jesus’s family is concerned for him, and therefore are seeking him out. As that story is unfolding, Jesus’s authority has been challenged by the religious leaders. As Jesus is explaining the importance of understanding that authority does not come from position but rather from God above, we return to the “outer story” of Jesus’ family searching for him. Jesus response may seem harsh at first but like his teaching on authority, his revelation of family brings a whole new meaning of family as a follower of Christ. Listen as both lessons in our reading are meant to build up and encourage our faith.

May 2021
The Mystery Of The Holy Spirit
May 30
One God in three Persons—a mystery that is far easier to declare and to believe than it is to explain. Our suggested Bible readings for this week speak of God in mysterious and ultimate terms. In our passage today from the third chapter of John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks of God the Father who sent God the Son. Jesus is annoyed with Nicodemus but never gives up on him teaching him that God’s Holy Spirit comes and goes like the wind but is present with us. If someone asked you, “Are you saved?” how would you answer their question? Understanding the doctrine of the Trinity is the beginning of finding assurance of your salvation, is the core of our faith, and is central to the identity of being a Christian.
He Is Here Now
May 23
Throughout the time of the Old Testament, the spirit of God spoke to key leaders and prophets about the will of God, the promises of God, and the ways of life with God. Today is Pentecost, the day we celebrate the birth of the Church. Today, God’s story revealed in scripture is the revelation of a promise made that is a promise kept! The question for us is a hard one to live into and that is, “How do we respond to the news that we have received the Holy Spirit?”
He Is Here Now
May 16
Some claim that Jesus was a prophet and a great moral teacher without ever recognizing that his greatest work was neither of those things. Today we witness the resurrected Christ returning to the Father. As we continue in our series “Real Answers 2 the BIG Questions,” our question this week is “Are we ready to worship as these first disciples did? Are we filled with ‘great’ joy?”
BFF: Best Friend Forever
May 9
We are continuing in our series “Real Answers 2 the BIG Questions and the question for this final week of Easter is “What is a friend?” What is/are the characteristic(s) that makes one call another “my friend?” Is it trust? Is it companionship? To understand this is to understand “Best Friends Forever!”
What Is The Church Connected To?
May 2
Last week the big question for our Easter series “Real Answers 2 the BIG Questions” was one of relationship, “Do you trust God?” This week the question we are seeking to answer is directed to the church—in general and specifically in the local setting: “Where is the church in this Gospel passage?” Or, as the title for the message today suggest, “What is the church connected to?”

April 2021
My Friend, My Comfort, My Strength
April 25
In case you haven’t noticed as we are in this six-week period of Easter, the sermons are part of an Easter series Easter: Real Answers 2 the Big Questions. This week the big question is one of relationship—namely our relationship with God. It’s personal. It’s real. It’s about trust in God.
Enough To Have Enough
April 18
We are now later in the day, the first day of the week, the first day of the resurrection. We are listening to Luke’s account of what happened when Jesus appeared in the upper room. It isn’t just Thomas that Jesus invites to touch him. The question for our reflection on Luke’s account is “When to know Enough to Have Enough” to be witnesses to the resurrected Christ.
Faith, Forgiveness, & Sent
April 11
For us, a whole week has passed by. But for these disciples in the Gospel of John, it is later but still the first day of the week. John begins by telling us the disciples and some of their companions were locked in the room of the house where they celebrated the Passover meal Thursday evening. It is late in the day, but the disciples have not seen and have not heard everything.
Who Are You Looking For?
April 4
If Jesus’ final words were “It is finished” (John 19:30) … “Into your hands I commit my Spirit” (Luke 23:46) and the Gospels ended there with his death, then our story and the story of Jesus’ life would truly be a tragic one. But, we are here this Easter morning because the story didn’t end – it was just beginning.

March 2021
Carrying Jesus To Another Place
March 28
The Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. When we are given details in this Gospel, you can rest assured there is an important reason. Until our reading today, Jesus has walked everywhere he went. There is a great lesson for us in understanding the significance of the donkey or to put it another way, the giving of the donkey for Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. How can a donkey be so important for our everyday lives?
Lost & Found
March 21
Divine paradox is at the heart of our Gospel reading. And when it comes to divine paradox, we finite beings tend to have trouble understanding. The disciples clearly did not understand Jesus, at least not until the resurrection. What are we to hear that we should understand? What are we to do that we should be intentional about living into our faith? What is the role of the church here and now?
Choose Your Rut Carefully. You May Be There A Long Time
March 14
The heart of our reading today is a message that can be summarized in two words: “Jesus Saves!” How does that happen? As we’ll see, it is something that is offered to everyone but not everyone wants to be saved. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Choosing your rut carefully is choosing how you travel through time this side of heaven and that’s called life.
Making All Things New
March 7
The religious leaders ask Jesus for a sign that gives him the authority to cleanse the temple. As it happens, they do not get the answer they expected and consequently reject the truth they receive. There is but one question that requires your direct and personal answer in order to understand the lesson for your lives in today’s Gospel reading: “What does making Jesus Christ, ‘Lord of your life’ mean?”

February 2021
What’s The Plan?
February 28
Jesus is in a difficult spot. One minute Peter confesses Jesus as Messiah and the next he is refusing to accept God’s divine plan of salvation has something to do with Jesus and the cross. Getting the disciples, getting you and I to be part of the mission is not going to be easy for Jesus.
Making Room For God
February 21
In the tradition of the church, Lent is a time of revival and re-commitment of submission and sacrifice responding to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we listen for the voice of God to speak to us. As we explore this passage from the Gospel of Mark, we discover that Jesus who was without sin, was tempted by Satan. We discover that we are tempted in the same ways as Jesus was tempted. We discover the wisdom of the season of Lent is to teach us to walk in the ways of Jesus—to respond to temptation in the same way Jesus did—by making room for God.
First Act Or Second Act Christians: Which Are You?
February 14
The stories leading up to the transfiguration of Jesus are meant to introduce him to the world. After the transfiguration, Jesus turns to Jerusalem and toward the passion of what Christians around the world recognize as Holy Week. The transfiguration occurs as a transition from the wonder of Advent and the hope of the Epiphany to the journey that is the season of Lent. It is an “intermission” if you will, between two themes—two acts of the Gospel. The question for us as we explore Mark’s account of the transfiguration of Jesus is: “Are you a ‘first-act’ or a ‘second act’ Christian?”
Healing Hands
February 7
Mark’s Gospel moves at a torrent pace and the passage for the message this week illustrates the whole of Mark’s Gospel. Sometimes, the most import lessons are best learned by watching the basic habits of Jesus. He begins teaching in the synagogue before wanting to move out to the broader regions of Galilee. He will heal many but he begins with family in Simon’s home. And he begins each day in prayer. The most important lessons sometimes are the most basic things.

January 2021
I Know Who You Are
January 31
To believe is to be convinced of the truth—to know that something is true and can be trusted, can be counted on in every situation. However, there also is the human factor that must be taken into account when it comes to beliefs. At the center of our reading from Mark’s gospel for today, is the authority of Jesus—the authority of God, but for some, truth has nothing to do with it. And that is the lesson for our lives as we explore Mark’s telling of the man with an unclean spirit. There is the human response to truth.
Doing What You Are Meant To Do
January 24
Knowing a bit about how Jesus became familiar with these first disciples before he called them, gives us some insight as to who they are, where they lived, and what they were doing before they met Jesus. And that is a great lesson for anyone hearing the story that is the calling of the first disciples. You see, they were busy in life “doing life” until they met Jesus. After meeting Jesus, they were doing what they were meant to do!
I Can’t Get Them To Look
January 17
It is believed that Jesus is thirty years old when he was baptized. Coming out of the wilderness, John sees Jesus and says to two of his disciples, “Look, here is the Lamb of God” (1:36). The call of Jesus’ disciples begins with the testimony of John the Baptist. Who are these people being called? What attracted them to Jesus that he called them in the first place?
Clean, Safe, & Saved
January 10
Our sermon text for today is the baptism of Jesus as recounted in the Gospel of Mark. We have heard from prophets of the Old Testament and from angels appearing to shepherds that indeed, the Messiah was born in Bethlehem. But today, it is neither prophet nor angel but God who declares “this is my Son, the Beloved, in whom I am well pleased.” This is not only God’s declaration of Jesus’ identity. It is God’s claim on our lives that we are His sons and daughters.
The Things We Do
January 3
The New Year offers the promise of making better choices, of stopping bad habits in favor of introducing better ones. For believers, we see in Jesus a life lived in humility, who lived with a sense of urgency, and who lived never looking back. Jesus is our model as we consider our hopes and dreams for the New Year. We see in the Apostle Paul, a joy that exists when Christ is the center of our lives.

December 2020
Things Are Not What They Seem
December 20
This fourth Sunday of Advent is symbolized by love—God’s divine love. However, even for God, somethings require others to help, to cooperate, in order to complete the task. In this case, God selects a young girl, probably about the age of sixteen, to carry out his plan. There is one small, tiny detail to be considered, she has already been “given” or committed to marriage to a tradesman—a carpenter in the village of Bethlehem. We certainly can understand Mary’s exuberance but…, but things are not what they seem.
Road Contruction Ahead
December 6
This is the second week of our Advent series “Celebrating the Birth of Christ, Living for His Return.” Last week we heard Jesus declare, “Be alert at all times” (Luke 21:36). Celebrating the birth of Christ reminds us that we are witnesses to God’s plan of salvation for the world. Last week we reflected on looking forward to his return through acts of worship, Holy Communion, and service. Today, we are reflecting on how we respond to God’s construction crew repairing the potholes of our hearts and the rough spots of our lives.

November 2020
Looking Forward: Living In Hope
November 29
Advent by its very meaning is a time of preparation—of looking forward. In the life of the church and as Christians living in the resurrection of Jesus, this is a time of preparing to celebrate his birth and a time to be reminded of looking forward to his return. While that is the very essence of Advent, the question that remains for each person to answer is, “What are you preparing for?
Random Acts Of Kindness
November 22
This is Christ the King Sunday on the church Lectionary calendar. It is also the season of Thanksgiving and this Thursday, in the midst of a pandemic, we will take time to reflect and give thanks for all that God has blessed us with—something we should do every day. Our Gospel reading today points to Jesus’ vision of a real and future event—his second coming. It also is a not so subtle picture of the many ways we can and should respond to God’s love. And all of this serves to remind us of the personal relationship we have with God.
Living A Resurrection Life
November 1
This passage of Revelation takes notice of who the saints are, how they are dressed, and what they have experienced. To get at the heart of the lesson for our lives though, we must answer the question, “Are we living a resurrection life?”

October 2020
Are You Doing Your Best To Do The Right Thing?
October 25
Asking the right question, that is the path to truth. Jesus answers the Pharisee’s question but sets an expectation they had not considered. He then asked them a question and it was so difficult for them they decided not to ask him any more questions. What is the lesson for us? What is Jesus expecting from us as his followers.
Committed To Christ: Giving / Knowing When, Knowing Why
October 18
We are seeking to make these essential practices the habits that transform our lives and deepens our relationship with God. And so, it may seem a strange topic to be discussing money, specifically giving, as an essential spiritual practice. Jesus knew that “our relationship with money can either sabotage our spiritual life or deepen and support it.”
Committed To Christ: A Disciple As Witness For Christ
October 11
How does a church “make disciples” much less make disciples in such a way as to change the world? As we continue in our Committed to Christ series, we attempt answering such important questions reflecting on the practice of a disciple as witness for Christ.
Committed To Christ: Serve To Know Your Gifts
October 4
The Committed to Christ discipleship series has been focused on three essential practices John Wesley called “acts of piety:” prayer, study, and worship. For the remainder of the series we shift to those essential practices John Wesley called “acts of mercy:” serve, witness, and generosity. Today, we are exploring the essential practice of serving.

September 2020
Committed To Christ: Worship – A Living Hallelujah
September 27
A praying disciple informed by Scripture celebrates the joys of life and displays courage and strength in the face of adversity. But even for these faithful followers, without encouragement and nurturing, the fire of the Holy Spirit can dim to a warm ember or even a cool piece of charcoal. Worship is the place to be as one body in community—to praise God. Being in attendance isn’t enough. We must be active participants to experience his presence!
Committed To Christ: Study – Being An Informed Disciple
September 20
We are now in our third week of our Committed to Christ message series reflecting on six practices of a disciple of Jesus Christ striving to grow deeper in our relationship with God. Last week, we reflected on prayer as the foundation to a faith-filled life as followers of Jesus. This week, we are reflecting on the practice of study and we are being reminded of the importance and impact of reading the Word of God. An informed disciple leads to a dynamic church.
Committed To Christ: A Life Lived As A Praying Disciple
September 13
We are continuing in our Series “Committed to Christ: Essential Practices of a Disciple.” Our focus for this week is on the essential practice of prayer. Why is this an essential practice? What is the impact on your life? The answers to these questions are at the heart of this lesson.
Committed To Christ: Fan Or Follower
September 6
Paul is in the court of King Agrippa on trial for the accusations brought against him. While making his defense, Paul offers his testimony of who he was as a Pharisee before his encounter with Christ compared to who he is now as a follower of Christ. His was not only a testimony but also an invitation to join him in following Christ.
August 2020
The Choices We Make
August 30
Answering questions such as “What is your highest priority?” or “Who do you say the Son of Man is?” gives you pause to reflect on your relationship with God. What does the choices we make say about our faith journey? Perhaps the deeper question is what can we do to make better choices?
Making Godly Choices
August 23
For six weeks now, we’ve been talking about doing the work of disciples and living out our faith. Our reading provides an opportunity to reflect on making Godly choices. So, naturally we must answer the question “How do we do that? How do we make Godly choices?”
A Matter Of The Heart
August 16
Our Gospel reading is a story of fear and of faith. There were twelve disciples in the boat. We usually don’t give much attention to Peter getting out of the boat—in the middle of a storm no-less. What is the lesson for us today? Have you walked on water lately?
Have You Walked On Water Lately?
August 9
Our Gospel reading is a story of fear and of faith. There were twelve disciples in the boat. We usually don’t give much attention to Peter getting out of the boat—in the middle of a storm no-less. What is the lesson for us today? Have you walked on water lately?
You Feed Them!
August 2
Jesus tells the disciples that there isn’t any reason to send the crowd away and then instructs the disciples to feed the people. There is not anything wrong in their assessment—they indeed have five loaves and two fish. The problem lies in their inventory.
JULY 2020
Both/And Not Either/Or
July 26
Our reading today is a series of parables Jesus offered explaining what the kingdom of heaven is like and ends with Jesus inferring that disciples train to bring out both the old and the new that is the treasure of heaven. What did that mean for these first followers of Jesus? What does it mean for the followers of Jesus today?
Wheat & Weeds; Specks & Logs
July 19
Conventional wisdom says if something is broken, fix it or get someone who can. The parable of the wheat and weeds turns conventional wisdom on its head.
The Sower, The Seed, & Responsible Grace
July 12
God sows the seed of his grace generously and indiscriminately. To be the seed that falls on good soil we must choose to follow Jesus.
The Great Commission
July 5
These are Jesus’ final words on earth to his followers. They are an expression of invitation, purpose, and expectation.