August 1, 2021
After feeding the 5,000, once everyone’s bellies are full, Jesus wants to get down to business. Those barley loaves were great…and we all need to eat, but Jesus wants to talk about a bread that will never go stale. Jesus wants to talk about a non-perishable good: the Bread of Life. As we search for meaning and purpose, dealing with our own fragile, perishable lives, Jesus wants to show us how to live for something more.
Scripture: John 6:24-35
July 25, 2021
We begin our new Summer Worship Series "Bread of Life" today, and we hear how Jesus performs a miracle as he feeds the hungry crowd of 5,000 with just a few barley loaves. We come in need of a miracle today, too, but the miracle must take place in our hearts, transforming us from a fear of scarcity to a faith in God's abundance.
Scripture: John 6:1-14
July 20, 2021
First Church was blessed by our guest preacher Danielle Helm this Sunday, who reminded us of our calling to find a unity in Christ that doesn't erase our differences, but affirms them. In this unity, we can experience a deep and abiding peace.
Scripture: Ephesians 2:11-22
July 11, 2021
As the Titanic sank, a small band of musicians played beloved hymns. In Jerusalem, King David danced and sang for joy even though his life was often characterized by grief and conflict. The songs of our church go on, too, even when pandemics or violence strikes our community. So how do we sing a song of joy in the midst of challenges? Maybe God's given us a gift that the world can't take away...
Scripture: 2 Samuel 6
July 4, 2021
No one wants to be called a people-pleaser, but sometimes we all feel that urge to go along with the crowd. Despite this tendency, Jesus calls each of us to speak uncomfortable truths and stand up for love, justice, and liberation in his name.
June 27, 2021
In Mark's Gospel we hear of two people who take two very different paths to find healing in Jesus. Today, we too find all kinds of different routes to Jesus, and sometimes we even get some bad directions along the way. But no matter how far we travel, Jesus wants us to know that there is always hope, and we can always find our way home.
June 20, 2021
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” All too often it seems our prayers go unanswered when we echo the disciples' cry on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus may have calmed that storm, but the storms in our lives seem remain. The boat feels empty, as empty as a picture frame where a beautiful painting used to hang, but maybe emptiness can be a good thing. After all, we believe in a God who brings Good News through an empty tomb…
Scripture: Mark 4:35-41
June 13, 2021
How can we survive in times of trouble? Can God bring new life in the midst of war and injustice? Today we hear Scriptural metaphors of trees and shrubs that manage to grow and even thrive despite real challenges. So, maybe the same God who made the mighty cedar tree, the resilient mustard shrub, and even that stubborn plant growing on the church roof, is also working in us to grow and thrive, for the good of all creation...
Ezekiel 17:22-24, Psalm 92, Mark 4:26-34
June 6, 2021
Preaching about politics can be tricky. In our Scripture reading today Samuel preaches one such political sermon after the Israelite people demand a king. Over the years, all kinds of faithful people have similarly been inspired by God to seek a more just and peaceful world, connecting their religion and their political beliefs. The Bible might not provide a clear political path to that world of justice, but maybe the Gospel of Jesus Christ can point us in the right direction...
1 Samuel 8
May 30, 2021
Over the years we Christians have spent countless hours trying to explain the Holy Trinity, our Three-in-One God. Despite our best efforts, each of these metaphors, images, and even mathematical formulas will ultimately fail. So what if instead of trying to explain the Trinity, we experienced the Trinity? Maybe that experience could point us to the core of God's being: a loving relationship...
Scripture: John 3:1-17