Sermon May 19, 2019 "The Wide Embrace of God's Love"

Psalm 48, John 13:31-35, Acts 1:11-18, Revelation 21:1-6 In our Gospel Reading for today, Jesus gives us a new commandment: “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Henri Nouwen, the Roman Catholic contemplative and writer of soulful books, tells us that the opposite of love is not hate but fear. He says we live in two houses, the house of love and the house of fear, and we move back and forth between them as we go through our days. Living in the house of fear, can bring hate into our hearts, he says. Our nation today is much in the house of fear: fear of refugees, fear of people who are different, fear of one religious group or another, fear of all kinds of things, and it er

Sermon, May 12, 2019 "Three Mothers"

Mothers Day brings to mind my devout Methodist grandmother. She lived to be 98 and spent her last years in Winslow, Arizona, with her daughter, my Aunt Zada. Aunt Zada was also a lifelong Methodist and often preached at the Winslow Methodist Church when the minister was away. She was a marvelous speaker, and more people showed up for Aunt Zada’s sermons than for the minister’s. On Mother's Day when Grandma was 95 or so, Aunt Zada told her it was time to get ready for church. Grandma said she didn’t want to go to church, which was way out of character for her. “Aren’t you feeling well?” Zada asked. “I’m feeling just fine,” Grandma said. “Well come on then, let’s get dressed for church, i

Sermon May 5, 2019 " Feeding the Sheep"

Feeding the Sheep Sermon on May 5, 2019, Third Sunday of Easter Knox Presbyterian Church Text: John 21:15-19 In our Lectionary Bible study on Friday, we soon had to admit that none of us had ever fed a real live sheep, but we quickly realized Jesus was not talking about sheep anyway, but about people. Then we asked, So who are these sheep that Jesus tells Peter to feed? We thought it sounded like the sheep are the flock of Jesus’ followers, the church in other words, and we also thought that since Jesus doesn’t put anyone outside of God’s love, the sheep could be anyone around us. We recalled how worship began here at Knox for many years: “Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you a

Sermon April 28, 2019 "We Brought the Spirit's Love to You!

Scripture Passage: John 20:19-31 We Brought the Spirit’s Love to You! Good morning! I know this is only the second Sunday of Easter and it’s not nearly Pentecost, yet, but I’m focusing the worship and my sermon on the Holy Spirit. This is because the first part of today’s scripture is about what I call a ‘Mini Pentecost’. I say Mini Pentecost, because it is Jesus breathing the Holy Spirit upon only his disciples. After Jesus conducts his Mini Pentecost and the Spirit has descended upon the disciples, Jesus commissions them to go out into the world and share the gospel. The disciples are given lots of authority, as Jesus says that if they forgive a person’s sin, the sin will be forgiven; if t

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