Something to Live For

Sermon for September 24, 2023

If you just take today’s scripture reading at face value, it may seem like Paul is either being too philosophic, or maybe even way too dramatic. He is debating life versus death, and openly asking which is better for him. Should he live or should he die? It’s all the same to him, he seems to say, but for the sake of the Philippians he’s writing to, he thinks he just might go on living.

This Is How

Sermon for September 17, 2023

When I was little, I was taught to identify one constellation in particular—the Big Dipper—and how to find the North Star by following the handle of the Big Dipper. There’s so much light pollution these days, it seems like the stars aren’t as visible as they used to be. You have to go way out in the country to really see them. So I wonder if kids (at least kids in cities and towns) still learn this basic little fact about the stars.

Debt to Pay

Sermon for September 10, 2023

1. What Love Is

Sometimes Jesus needed to shift the focus. He did it to remind people of what God was really all about. That’s because it seemed to be easiest to fall back on the rules, to talk theology, to think of religion as something that divided people instead of bringing them together. And when Jesus did this—when he shifted the focus—he put the spotlight on love.

On Using the Name of God

Sermon for September 3, 2023

World Communion Sunday’s coming up in a month, so I’ve recently been planning that service. The elders and I have some big plans for that day, so I hope you’re looking forward to it. The theme is going to be Peace. You all don’t know a whole lot of songs about peace, and one that we probably won’t be singing is number 711. It’s called O Day of Peace That Dimly Shines, and it’s one of the prettiest songs in our hymnal…

Transformed by Grace

Sermon for 27 August 2023

Most of us have heard of karma. We even have a basic idea of what it is. I don’t know much about Hinduism or Buddhism, but my understanding is that karma is like the weight of your actions—not just in this life, but in previous lives you lived—and how it determines not just your current existence, but also your future lives. If you’ve lived an incredibly good life, then your karma might be light as a feather, and you will be re√Įncarnated as a highly spiritual person.

A Beautiful Day

Sermon for August 20, 2023

Up into my late 30’s, my left eye prescription was -7.5 and my right eye was -8.5. That’s extremely nearsighted. But in 1998 I was living in Bogot√°, Colombia, and one of the pioneers of the kind of laser surgery that fixed myopia had his practice there. So I had my eyesight fixed, for a good decade after that, I didn’t need glasses at all.

This was almost always a good thing.