S8E56: One Flock, One Shepherd (Eastertide 2018)

Sermon #278

What is it that connects us as Christians?  Though we may be separated by doctrinal differences into different denominations, we are ultimately one flock, one church, because we have one shepherd, Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church invisible.  As we look at what it means to be a part of the flock of Christ, we discover some things about ourselves.  First, as Jesus is the Good Shepherd, we are his sheep, and so he cares for us enough to lay down his life for us.  Second, as our shepherd, he is intimately connected to us, just as he is connected to the Father.  Jesus, our Good Shepherd, protects us, cares for us, and joins us who follow him as one flock with one shepherd.

John 10:11-18

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 22, 2018 (Previously unpublished)



S8E55: The Good Shepherd (Eastertide 2015)

Sermon #111

We are looking at the "I Am" statements of Christ in the gospel of John, and we begin with Jesus' statement "I am the good shepherd."  In Jesus, we see an example of church leadership, and especially in the example of being a shepherd.  Whereas many of us tend to lead people from behind, a shepherd goes before the sheep to lead them.  More than that, a shepherd is willing to lay down his life for his sheep, and this is a very comforting thought for those of us who are in the flock of Christ.  We also look at the 23rd Psalm, a song written by King David who spent much of his life as a shepherd and knew intimately what it means that the Lord is our shepherd.

John 10:11-18

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 26, 2015 (Previously unpublished)



S8E54: Resurrection Hope (Living the Resurrection pt. 4)

Sermon #441

What is hope?  The worldly definition is that hope is a desire for something as yet unfulfilled.  The Christian definition of hope is inextricably tied to the promises of God, that he has fulfilled those promises in the past and will fulfill them again in the future.  That is our hope, and it was the hope of the early disciples who continued to proclaim the resurrection of Jesus because they had seen it with their own eyes.  Their hope was in the past fulfillment of Jesus' words, that he must be betrayed, killed, and raised to life again on the third day.  When that promise was fulfilled, their faith was solidified in the hope that his promise to prepare a place for us would likewise be realized.

1 John 3:1-7

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 18, 2021

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S5E36: Being a Witness (Easter 2018)

Sermon #277

What does it mean to be a witness?  Jesus called upon His disciples to be witnesses, and He calls upon us to be witnesses as well.  But what does that look like in the life of a Christian?  Is it enough to simply model a particular life, or do we actually have to articulate, with words, just what we have experienced in a loving relationship with God through Jesus Christ?  

Luke 24:36-48

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 15, 2018 (Originally published May 2, 2018)




S8E53: Resurrection Power (Living the Resurrection pt. 3)

Sermon #440

The disciples of Jesus had a major advantage when it came to witnessing to the power of the risen Christ.  They had seen him with their own eyes, touched him with their own hands, and heard his voice as he told them to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel.  They were not telling what others had told them, they were proclaiming what they were eyewitnesses to.  And so we see the first century church responding with the agape (selfless and sacrificial) love that they have been shown.  The response to the resurrection is powerful, and we can still find its power in proclamation today.

Acts 4:32-37/1 John 1:1-2:2

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 11, 2021

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S5E35: Doubt and Belief (Eastertide 2018)

Sermon #276

The Apostle Thomas gets such a bad rap.  His name has become a byword among us to mean one who is skeptical or cynical (who among us doesn't know a Doubting Thomas?).  Yet what we find in the story of Thomas is the generous grace of God, who, as James says, "gives to all liberally and not grudgingly."  When we have doubts, God answers them with just what we need, and puts aside our fears with his gentle proof.  

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 8, 2018 (Originally published April 11, 2018)



S8E52: The Son Has Risen (Easter 2015)

Sermon #109

Because of the resurrection of Jesus, we have assurance that all the promises of God through Jesus Christ are true, and we can rely upon the faith of God in order to grow our own faith in Him.  Because of the resurrection we are offered new life, not just in the life to come but in this life.  When we die to self, we are born again and raised in the resurrection of Christ, and that is how the transformation happens, that takes someone who was opposed to God and turns them into a faithful proclaimer of the good news.  And just as Jesus left the empty tomb, we who are born again in Christ leave behind those things that lead to death.

Mark 16:1-8

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 5, 2015 (Previously unpublished)



S8E51: Turn Weeping to Joy (Living the Resurrection pt. 2)

Sermon #439

As Christians we have a temptation to say that we ought not to mourn in times of sadness.  Yet there is much biblical evidence that mourning is a proper response to sad events, such as the death of a loved one.  The disciples, who heard Jesus' teaching about his own death and resurrection, still mourned when he was killed on the cross.  But their mourning was turned to joy when they encountered the risen Christ.  What we see in today's teaching from Easter Sunday 2021 is that Christ turns our mourning to joy when he speaks our name.

John 20:1-18

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on April 4, 2021

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S5E34: Victory! (Easter 2018)

Sermon #275

It's easy for us to forget that the disciples and the women were not expecting an encounter with the risen Christ that first Easter Sunday.  After all, we know the rest of the story.  We know how it ends.  But for the women on the first day of the week who went to anoint the body of Jesus for burial, it was not a time of celebration but a time of mourning, and their mourning soon turned to fear.

Mark 16:1-8

Recorded at Hudson UMC on April 1, 2018. (Originally published April 7, 2018)



S8E50: Raised on the Third Day (Living the Resurrection pt. 1)

Sermon #438

Easter Sunday is the day when we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so it seems fitting to focus on the resurrection of Jesus throughout the Easter Season.  The resurrection is what gives our faith validity.  Without the resurrection, Jesus was merely a good teacher (although how good could he be, since he claimed to be the Son of God?).  The resurrection is the receipt for the debt that Jesus paid for us on the cross.  It puts the final stamp of approval on his ministry, and proves to the world who he is - the second person of the Trinity and seated at the right hand of God the Father.  Jesus' death and resurrection is the good news, and as Paul tells us in his letter to the church in Corinth, we can believe in the resurrection because there were so many eyewitnesses.  Ours is indeed a faith based in evidence.

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Recorded at Hudson UMC Cemetery on April 4, 2021

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