February 28, 2021 “Fierce Faith”

“Fierce Faith” Mark 8:27-38   You know, as I was reading through this well-known passage from Mark, I had a thought: “What would we do without Peter?” Now, I’m serious here: of all the disciples, no one stumbled and bumbled worse than this fisherman named Cephas. We don’t have to dig very deep to be reminded of the numerous times that Peter misunderstood or mis-stepped or just missed the boat when it came to the vision Jesus had for the Kingdom of God here on this...

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February 21, 2021 “That’s Our God Making It Real”

“That’s Our God Making It Real” Isaiah 58:1-12 Mark 1:9-15 Now I need to be very careful how I say this, but my question is: “Have you ever came home with a piece of news but then found that when you shared this news, you were woefully lacking in information?” I’ll give you a made up example, and gentlemen, this is for you. Let’s say that you arrive at home and announce to your wife that you ran into her best friend at the grocery store. This might be the end of the story,...

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February 14, 2021 “Trying to Tell Us Something Important”

“Trying to Tell Us Something Important” 2 Kings 2:1-14 Mark 9:2-10 Rumors is a Christian e-magazine that I quote from time to time. It was headed up by two Canadians named Ralph Milton and Jim Tayler. I was first attracted to their publication when I read the description, “Ralph Milton’s E-zine for people of faith with a sense of humor.” At the top of every week’s publication is the quote from Proverbs 17:22 which reads, “A merry heart doeth good, like a medicine, but a...

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February 7, 2021 “That’s Why I’ve Come”

“That’s Why I’ve Come” Mark 1:29-39 “What are you doing here? What are you doing here? What are you doing here?” No matter how we say it, this is not the sort of greeting that any of us likes to get when we walk into a house, or a restaurant, or just about anywhere, for that matter. “What are you doing here?” We can say it 100 different ways to mean 100 different things, but one thing is for certain: a greeting like this means that we’re not expected, we’re not welcome,...

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January 31, 2021 “What Do You Want With Us, Jesus of Nazareth?”

“What Do You Want With Us, Jesus of Nazareth?” Mark 1:21-28 It was Will Rogers that first coined the phrase, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” and this has proved to be true over and over again. I can’t help but think of the young doctor who was just setting up his first office when his secretary told him there was a man to see him. The doctor wanted to make a good first impression by having the man think he was successful and very busy. He told...

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January 24, 2021 “No Such Thing as Ready”

“No Such Thing As Ready” Jonah 3:1-5, 10 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20 Hugh Laurie is a British actor who is best known for his depiction of a gifted but somewhat cranky doctor in the television series, “House.” He is also a fair musician, I might add, but that’s beside the point. Anyhow, as I was reading through our scripture selections for this week, I couldn’t help but pick up on a certain sense of urgency. Jonah proclaimed a deadline of 40 days to the folks in...

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January 17, 2021 “Jesus Knew”

“Jesus Knew” John 1:43-51 When I was a kid, we lived in a series of houses all built about the same time in the middle of some of Ohio’s finest hardwood forests and farmland. At the time, such a housing developments was called an “allotment”, and for the life of me I have no idea where that comes from. But for a kid, it was ideal. Because of all the houses close by, there were plenty of kids to play with. But if you wanted to explore, all it took was a short hike across a...

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January 10, 2021 “Remember Your Baptism”

“Remember Your Baptism” Acts 19:1-7 Mark 1:4-11   A man who had obviously had too much to drink found himself stumbling along the river when he chanced upon a Pentecostal baptism service. He proceeded to walk down into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister asked the drunk, “Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?” The drunk said, “Yeah, sure. Yes, I am.” The minister then immersed the man under the water and pulled him right back up. The preacher asked,...

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December 20, 2020 “Veni, Veni, Emmanuel”

“Veni, Veni, Emmanuel” Let’s talk about music for Advent. Truth is, there isn’t a lot to choose from. When you consider the volumes of Christmas carols and songs and cantatas and even oratorios, the poor little season of Advent somehow just gets left behind. But here’s the thing: despite all the Christmas movies and Dolly Parton specials and Blue Christmas’s with Elvis, there is one song that has been with us for over 1200 years that is all about this period – this season –...

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December 13, 2020 “The Nature of Life As the People of God”

“The Nature of Life as the People of God”   “To celebrate the future as a memory, and to praise God for having already done what lies before us to do, is the nature of life as the people of God.”  Fred Craddock Welcome to this, the 3rd Sunday in the season of Advent, December 13, 2020. I’m not sure why, exactly, but for some reason I felt it important to put a time stamp on this particular day in this particular time. It happens every year, and this year is no...

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