This is my sixth Sunday leading worship while seated on my couch. I haven’t been updating this site, but figure I should go ahead and share some of the sermons I’ve preached while sitting up straight in my living room.
Yesterday, I went to the church and practiced in the pulpit. I need to do that a little more often, because it felt weird and I do hope, one day, to be back at the church for worship.
This morning, I’m preaching on the Walk to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32).
Last Sunday, April 19, I preached from John 20:19-31.
And here is my Palm Sunday Sermon, preached on April 5, based on Matthew 21:1-11
On Easter, we did something different and I had some friends help me out. Being online allows for some long-distance participation!
There are challenges to this new way of doing and being church, but I believe it will make us all better pastors, leaders, and worshipers!
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.Â 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.Â 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.Â 4Then Peter said to Jesus, â€œLord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.â€Â 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, â€œThis is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!â€Â 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.Â 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, â€œGet up and do not be afraid.â€Â 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.Â 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, â€œTell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.â€Â
To read the eulogy I wrote for our friend Scott, click here.
Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, â€œIn a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, â€˜Grant me justice against my opponent.â€™ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, â€˜Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.â€™â€ And the Lord said, â€œListen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?â€
25Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26â€œWhoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30saying, â€˜This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.â€™ 31Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace.33So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. 34â€œSalt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!â€
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely.
When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. â€œWhen you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, â€˜Give this person your place,â€™ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, â€˜Friend, move up higherâ€™; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.â€ He said also to the one who had invited him, â€œWhen you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.â€
They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.Â When they had come opposite Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;Â so, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, â€œCome over to Macedonia and help us.â€When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.Â We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis,Â and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days.Â On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there.Â A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul.Â When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, â€œIf you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.â€ And she prevailed upon us.
And verse 16:40
After leaving the prison they went to Lydiaâ€™s home; and when they had seen and encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.
We had our VBS Celebration during worship this morning! So that explains the chancel covered in camping and rafting supplies, I hope. My sermon was intentionally short and hopefully a little more kid-friendly (even if just because of the length).
I forgot to record Terrance and Amari reading the scripture, for which I am truly sorry because they did a great job.
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through town. 2 A man there named Zacchaeus, a ruler among tax collectors, was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but, being a short man, he couldnâ€™t because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to that spot, he looked up and said, â€œZacchaeus, come down at once. I must stay in your home today.â€ 6 So Zacchaeus came down at once, happy to welcome Jesus.
7 Everyone who saw this grumbled, saying, â€œHe has gone to be the guest of a sinner.â€
8 Zacchaeus stopped and said to the Lord, â€œLook, Lord, I give half of my possessions to the poor. And if I have cheated anyone, I repay them four times as much.â€
9 Jesus said to him, â€œToday, salvation has come to this household because he too is a son of Abraham. 10 The Human One came to seek and save the lost.â€
On the first day of the week, when we met to break bread, Paul was holding a discussion with them; since he intended to leave the next day, he continued speaking until midnight. There were many lamps in the room upstairs where we were meeting. A young man named Eutychus, who was sitting in the window, began to sink off into a deep sleep while Paul talked still longer. Overcome by sleep, he fell to the ground three floors below and was picked up dead. But Paul went down, and bending over him took him in his arms, and said, â€˜Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.â€™ Then Paul went upstairs, and after he had broken bread and eaten, he continued to converse with them until dawn; then he left.Meanwhile they had taken the boy away alive and were not a little comforted.
Imagine you are in the room, listening to Paul preach. Howdo you react to the events that unfold? What are you feeling as you witness Eutychus fall?
Imagine you are Eutychus. How do you experience the events that unfold? How do these events color your relationship with the Church?
What are some reasons people fall away from the Church? What actions or inactions by Christians can drive people away from church?
Before God, name someone who is falling way from the Church, from community, or from a place of belonging. Commit to praying for that person and look forways to encourage them or bring them back to the table.