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Ministry Peace Presbyterian Sermons

Sermons in a time of Covid-19

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!

May God bless and keep you today!

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Ministry

Sermon for Lent 1A (Matthew 4:1-11)

Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” 7Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”8Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; 9and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” 11Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Like Jesus, we are tempted…

….to seek _______________________

….to seek _______________________

….to seek _______________________

In Jesus, we have the ability to resist temptation by trusting in God’s provision and plan.

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Ministry Peace Presbyterian Sermons

Sermon: It’s Transfiguration Sunday (year A)!

Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, 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.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.” 

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Ministry

Sermon: Blessedness

Matthew 5:1-12

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

4“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 

5“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 

6“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 

7“Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. 

8“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 

9“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 

10“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

11“Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

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Ministry

Sermon: “When Jesus Calls”

Matthew 4:18-23

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.

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Ministry

Sermon: The ‘e’ Word

John 1:29-42

29The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” 35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Categories
Ministry

Sermon: Baptism of our Lord (A)

(Audio only for this sermon since my camera cord needs to be replaced and the camera died right before the service began. I had to use some out of practice tech skills to figure out how to get a useable audio file from the voice memo I recorded yesterday.)

(Also, fun fact: Matthew chapter 3 has no verse 18. It’s Matthew 3:13-17. Not a single soul corrected me, bless them all.)

Matthew 3:13-17

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ 15But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’ Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’

Isaiah 42:1-9
Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
   my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
   he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry or lift up his voice,
   or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
   and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
   he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be crushed
   until he has established justice in the earth;
   and the coastlands wait for his teaching.


5 Thus says God, the Lord,
   who created the heavens and stretched them out,
   who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
   and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
   I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
   a light to the nations,
7   to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
   from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord, that is my name;
   my glory I give to no other,
   nor my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have come to pass,
   and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
   I tell you of them.

Categories
Ministry

child

Today’s Word: Isaiah 9:2-7

(Our nephew, Noah, who is 9 months old.)

I think about God coming to us as a child, and I marvel at the mysteries contained in that. Babies are vulnerable. They require constant care. They cannot feed, cover, change, or burp themselves. They have that soft spot on the top of their heads and a desire to put things they could accidentally swallow in their mouths.

Mighty God came to us, One vulnerable and in need.

Mighty God came to us, ones vulnerable and in need.

We live lives that are messy. We are often unfaithful and selfish. We wander and get lost. We have soft spots and hard hearts. We sometimes spit up bitter words all over others. We need someone to hold us, cover us, and change us.

God entered into the fray, born as a baby, growing up in a family and community, ministering in the margins, meeting people at the places of their deepest needs, dying alongside criminals, turning hearts and lives back to God.

Wonderful Counselor among those without direction.

Mighty God among the powerless.

Everlasting Father for those who are so mortal.

Prince of Peace for those who yearn for reconciliation.

Emmanuel. God with us.

Merry Christmas! May the light and love of Christ fill your homes and hearts.

Categories
Ministry

word

Today’s Word: John 1:1-18

(I changed the scripture for today. When I saw that “word” was next, I was sure we had made it to John 1:1-18.

I’m as grateful as one can be for Jeremiah’s word, but I can’t journey with him today.)

This nativity was a gift from the elders at Peace.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. –John 1:1-5

Categories
Advent Family Ministry My Life

love

Today’s Word: Isaiah 7:10-16

This post will serve as my photo post of the day and also an update on our cat, Simon (female, despite her name, but she doesn’t care if you get it wrong).

Simon became visibly sick last weekend, but she has likely been sick for awhile before that. She’s had quite a week of vet visits, needles, x-rays, pills, syringe feeding, and fighting to stay alive. It’s been hard to navigate this week, but we have a wonderful vet who has made this easier.

We’ve tried to show Simon lots of love this week, whether she understands it as love or not. She’s never been easy to medicate before, and she still is not, but we have learned how to give her the pill she needs each morning.

When she was refusing to eat, Jason sat her on his lap several times a day and fed her with a syringe.

You might think we’re living on the set of the movie “Signs,” because we have left containers of water all over the apartment for her so she doesn’t have far to go to have a drink. (Remember when the terrifying aliens in that movie could be defeated with water? I wanted to love that movie, but the ending was so dumb.)

To entice her to eat on her own, we’ve bought several types of food in hopes that she would want one of them. She’s mostly eating the Fancy Feast with gravy, but we still think she’s not eating enough.

Jason turned on the heat (finally!) because she seemed cold. She has lost half of her body weight, so that’s probably true.

Simon is very sick, and we know that. We know that sometimes the most loving thing we can do for our pets is help them cross the rainbow bridge. She’s had some good days this week, but we know there are some big things going on in her too tiny body.

For now, however, she’s splashing water from one of her many dishes all over the living room floor as she slaps at the water with her paw before putting her face down for a drink.

Tomorrow morning, we’ll head back to the vet for a pre-Christmas break check-up. The plan, at this point, is to leave her with their wonderful staff for the week (where she will get some specialized care while we head to Kentucky and our families).

We appreciate the love coming from our friends and family during this time. A lot of you have been there. Our pets become our family. Simon has been with us for almost 16 years, most of which have been very healthy and fun.

Thanks for reading this unconventional Advent reflection/update, and for your prayers.

Today, at many churches, we light the Love candle on the Advent wreath. Christmas is almost here.