Sermon Archives

The Federated Church
June 2, 2019

Joel: Choose Hope

Joel: Choose Hope

As we will see in the coming weeks, the story of God’s people will have further turns-for-the-worse. In part, that’s because Joel is offering a “someday” promise and not the immediate and incomplete blessing of a prosperity gospel. The key to Joel’s text is that hope is an option. It’s always an option because of […]

May 26, 2019

Hosea: The Darwin Awards

Hosea: The Darwin Awards

Hosea’s story is a cautionary tale for those who seek to do their own things and go their own way. Hosea’s story is also a persuasive case for the grace and mercy of God toward God’s people. Jesus’ death and resurrection made it possible for us to leave our sins behind and to return to […]

May 12, 2019

What the Sheep See

What do our “sheep” see when they look at us? We’re called to hear the shepherd’s voice and then, as leaders of the flock, to lead them in following Jesus. We do that by reflecting his care: ensuring that people are well-fed spiritually and physically; creating an environment of peace where people feel valued, cared […]

May 5, 2019

Hefted Shepherds

English shepherds use the word “hefting” to describe the way in which a flock of sheep becomes accustomed and acclimated to a patch of land. Shepherds can also be “hefted” in this way, their lives and fortunes tied to a place and a flock that they love. Jesus is looking for good shepherds who will […]

April 28, 2019

Eyewitness Talk

We believe the Gospels are recorded by reliable witnesses who saw and spoke and spent time with Jesus after the crucifixion. They were eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ. We have very little hard proof that these things took place as the Bible described them; what we do have is the eyewitness talk of faithful people, […]

April 21, 2019

Flash Nonfiction

The resurrection is a sort of threshold between this life and the next, and discussing it is a matter of our all-too-human minds racing ahead, endeavoring to touch the thing we can never fully know in this life. The apostle Paul gives us a possible flash-fiction story here. It’s flash because it’s quick and short. […]

April 14, 2019

Talking Stones

The Palm Sunday story is a reminder to stand tall in the face of adversity, to cry out against injustice, and to shout “Hosanna!” for Christ is come, God’s reign begun, and the Spirit is among us transforming the world. Unlike the disciples, we really do know how this story ends: Jesus died to take […]

March 31, 2019

The Joy of Forgiveness

(Please note the title change from the morning bulletin) We know that with God there is always forgiveness for those who repent and seek God’s grace. In Jesus Christ we have a Savior who came to show us a better way to live, and who died to make that new life possible, free of sin. […]

March 24, 2019

Why So Cast Down? Hope In God!

 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God” (42:5, 11; 43:5). The psalmist is not naïve or overly optimistic when he says this. He knows, from experience, and truly believes that God is faithful. […]

March 17, 2019

Patrick’s Legacy

Let me offer some ways to honor Patrick’s legacy: Offer some holy conversation to a person who needs to know the love of Jesus; Engage that person at work who may be difficult for you; Help a neighbor without being asked; Respect those with whom you disagree; Drop a note to someone who could use […]

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