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First Congregational

United Church of Christ

... exploring the frontiers of faith in Jesus

Recent sermons

(Click on any sermon title to view a .pdf file of the sermon)

Sermons 2016 | Sermons 2015 | Sermons 2014 | Sermons 2013 | Sermons 2012 | Sermons 2011 | Sermons 2010 | Sermons 2009 | Sermons 2008 | Sermons 2007 | Sermons 2006 | Sermons 2005

Seeing Jesus -- John 14:15-21 (5/21/2017)

And I do mean that quite literally. Jesus is present, Jesus may be seen, in us, as his Spirit, his way, his presence, transform and reshape us and make us to be more and more like him.

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Life in all its fullness -- John 10:1-10 (5/7/2017)

It is God who fills us up. It is God who gives us life in all its fullness. Our lives are full when they are full of God. Our lives are full when they are full of God. Our lives are full of God anyway, whether we are aware of it or not, but it sure makes for a happy life to know it, doesn't it?

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Breaking bread with a stranger -- Luke 24:13-35 (4/30/2017)

It was when they offered bread to a stranger, a simple act of love, that they recognized him ...

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That you may have life -- John 20:30-31 (4/23/2017)

Love, hope, and ... This last ingredient of the kind of life Jesus gives is a little harder to put into words. It is a life free of boundaries, a life free of walls, a life where walls are torn down and boundary lines are crossed. Which is to say that a life lived in a safe enclave surrounded by people pretty much just like me is not a life worth having, not the life God intends for us, not eternal life.

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and reconciling the world to yourself -- Matthew 28:16-20 (4/16/2017)

We did everything humanly possible, everything worldly possible, to deny God's overtures, to reject God's love, to cut God entirely out of our lives and out of life itself. And God took it. God took it all. God accepted the terms of divorce and swallowed the bitter poison of our hatred to the last drop ... and lives, lives not to exact revenge, but to reconcile.

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and shared our common lot -- Matthew 25:31-46 (4/2/2017)

Shared our common lot! One of us! Not merely like us, but one of us. Not disguised as one of us, but one of us. Not temporarily talking on our form and likeness, but one of us.

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you have come to us -- Matthew 21:33-43 (3/26/2017)

In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us ... and shared our common lot. Beautiful and terrifying! Awesome and astonishing! You have come to us.

And what do we do to you?

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our crucified and risen Savior -- Matthew 16:21-26 (3/19/2017)

Why is the gospel all about turning the world upside down? Or maybe it's the world that is upside down, and maybe it's the world and all of us that need to be turned upside down in order to be right side up!

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the man of Nazareth -- Matthew 15:21-28 (3/12/2017)

A mother's love for her child helped Jesus see a Father's love for his children, for all his children ...

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in Jesus Christ -- Matthew 11:25-30 (3/5/2017)

It's not hard. It's not complicated. It's not more than you are capable of. You can do it. You can do it! You can come to Jesus. You can lay down your heavy loads. You can find rest.

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Love is eternal -- 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 (2/19/2017)

Love is eternal. You don't need money. You don't need power. You don't need a break. You don't need opportunity. You don't need success. You don't need to leave a legacy. All you need in life is this one moment. All you need is love in this one moment, and your life, both now and forever, will mean something, and your life will matter, and you will know God, because God is love.

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Love never gives up -- Matthew 9:32-38 (2/12/2017)

Love is not about itself. Love is about that "one:" caring about that "one," investing in that "one," sacrificing for that "one," laser-focussed on the happiness and well-being of that "one." If love gave up, it would be giving up that "one," caring no more about that "one," invested no more in the happiness of that "one," and love would cease to exist, because love doesn't exist without its object. So if love is, love never gives up.

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Love is happy with the truth -- Matthew 7:13-14 (2/5/2017)

Which means that if we have lots of company, if we are easily moving along with the flow, if we find ourselves comfortably and happily going where pretty much everybody else is going, we are well on our way ... to hell! Seriously!

Followers of Jesus are like Jesus: out of step, non-conforming, countercultural, different ...

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Love does not keep a record of wrongs -- Matthew 5:43-48 (1/29/2017)

We do enough, sadly, we who call ourselves Christians, to sully God's good name and diminish God's reputation, but won't the world stand in awe of a God whose children love their enemies? Who even try?

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Love is not irritable -- Matthew 5:21-24 (1/22/2017)

Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable ... but sometimes love gets angry. Love is not about being nice. It's not about being pleasant and agreeable. It's not about being sweet. Love is not about being loving ...

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Love is not proud -- Matthew 5:1-10 (1/15/2017)

You get what you want. When you are proud, when you have to put yourself first, when you value yourself above everything else, that's what you get: your self, and nothing more. Have fun with that!

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Love is patient -- Matthew 4:12-17 (1/8/2017)

A child may be happy, but not yet know joy. A child may act unselfishly, but not yet be humble. A child may be affectionate and loyal, the true seeds of love, but not yet be capable of love itself. Love is an attribute of wisdom, of maturity, of being grown up, of becoming like God, because God is love. And we see love, we know love, when we look at Jesus, love's pure light.

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Does anybody really know what time it is? -- Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 (1/1/2017)

And so we stand in awe before God, in awe before the God who was there at the beginning and will be there at the end, not just watching time, but making it, giving time as a gift to all that is and to each of us, one moment at a time. One moment at a time ...

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