31Oct

Lectionary Readings for Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 26), Year B

October 31, 2021 (Reformation Sunday)

Old Testament: Ruth 1:1-18

Psalter: Psalm 146

Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 9:11-14

Gospel Lesson: Mark 12:28-34

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

28Oct

S7E57: GC Talk - On Stewardship

The mere mention of stewardship in a church environment causes one to clutch at his or her own wallet.  But as we will see in today's talk with Pastor Zach Taylor, stewardship is about so much more than the finances of the church and how we are to give.  It is an all-encompasing lifestyle of being a faithful manager of the resources that God gives to us.  While that does include financial resources, it also incorporates our resources of time and ability as it pertains to the needs of the local church.  Are we compelled to give?  What is the biblical standard of giving?  And what is our attitude when giving?  All these questions and more are addressed in today's GC Talk.

Recorded via Zoom Meetings on May 8, 2020 (Originally published May 9, 2020)

S.D.G.

27Oct

S9E12: Real Healing (Ordinary Time 2015)

Sermon #137

As we look at the healing of blind Bartimaeus on the road to Jericho, we are forced to ask the question of ourselves:  When have I last asked God for real healing?  Not for a cold or a hurt finger but real, deep, life-changing healing.  What Bartimaeus shows us in asking to have his sight restored is that he not only believed that Jesus could heal him, but that he would heal him.  
In this sermon I tell a very personal story of an event that happened just the week before (October 18, 2015).  I do not take lightly what happened to my son, the many people who were praying for him, or the radical and real healing that took place in the half hour trip to the emergency room.  God truly did answer prayer and healed my son, and to God belongs all glory, honor, and praise.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 25, 2015 (Previously unpublished)

S.D.G.

25Oct

S9E11: God‘s Mercy (God‘s Riches pt. 1)

Sermon #305

(This series was originally recorded in 2018)

We are beginning a new series called "God's Riches," in which we are examining the attributes of God as they are on display in Jesus Christ.  We begin, however, recognizing Reformation Sunday and remembering the mighty acts of the Holy Spirit performed in the early reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and, yes, John Wesley.
God's mercy is on display in the healing of blind Bartimaeus, who sat begging on the roadside outside of Jericho.  Bartimaeus did not ask to be healed, but cried out "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"  Why would he ask for mercy instead of healing?  Perhaps he recognized that he, like all of us, is a sinner in need of forgiveness.  Jesus offers him this and more - he restores his sight.  And the blind man's response is to leave everything behind and follow after Jesus.  Let this be our response to God's mercy as well.

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 28, 2018 (Previously unpublished)

S.D.G.

25Oct

S9E10: Building a House (Prophets & Kings pt. 7)

Sermon #454

Often in scripture, David is referred to as a man after God's own heart.  We see that in today's reading as David expresses a desire to build a temple for God in Jerusalem.  His desire is to put down roots for the nation of Israel, to establish the spiritual center of the family of Abraham.  Yet God, in a play on words, says through the prophet Nathan that David will not build a house (temple) for God, but God will make David a house (dynasty).  Here once more we see our covenant God initiating the blessings by giving His promise to a mere human agent, flaws and all.  And it's because of His eternal promises that he never breaks that we can rely upon His promises for us today.

2 Samuel 7:1-14a

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on July 18, 2021

View on YouTube

S.D.G.

24Oct

Lectionary Readings for Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 25), Year B

October 24, 2021

Old Testament: Job 42:1-6,10-17

Psalter: Psalm 34:1-8,19-22

Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 7:23-28

Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:46-52

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

20Oct

S3E19: Servants Everywhere and Always (Ordinary Time 2015)

Sermon #136

Ambition is a human quality and at times it can be an admirable trait.  After all, if someone does not strive to better themselves they become stagnant or slide back into oblivion.  But when it comes to the Kingdom of God, ambition, Jesus tells us, is not a characteristic to be desired.  In today's reading we meet James and John, two brothers who were fishermen, who took their ambition to great heights whey they aksed to sit at Jesus' right and left hand when he comes into his kingdom.  But in the upside-down structure of God's kingdom, the person who humbles himself is the greatest.  For when we seek to make ourselves more important, what we are really doing is diminishing God in our lives.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Mark chapter 10, and prepare your heart and mind as we see what it means to be servants, everywhere and always.  

Mark 10:35-45

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 18, 2015 (Originally published November 24, 2015)

S.D.G.

18Oct

S6E24: Where Was God? (Laity Sunday 2018)

Sermon #304

Laity Sunday is a day when we celebrate the work of laypersons in the church of God.  On this Laity Sunday we at Hudson UMC asked our Lay Leader Wayne Niebauer to describe a time when he felt abandoned by God, and how he could point to where God was at work in that moment.  We often feel like in our hard times we are all alone, and yet when we look back at those times we can often see how God was at work, and it is in the retrospective view that we can gain confidence in hard times when they come.  

Text: Mark 10:35-45

Recorded at Hudson UMC on October 21, 2018 (Originally published December 6, 2018)

S.D.G.

17Oct

Lectionary Readings for Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 24), Year B

October 17, 2021

Old Testament: Job 38:1-7,34-41

Psalter: Psalm 104:1-9,24,35c

Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 5:1-10

Gospel Lesson: Mark 10:35-45

Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

S.D.G.

13Oct

S3E17: Riches & the Kingdom of God (2015)

Sermon #135

As we continue our liturgical journey through the book of Mark, we come to one of the best known and least understood phrases in all the Bible - It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.  The question often is, what did Jesus mean by it?  Did he mean a literal camel and a literal needle, or was he speaking in hyperbole, or was he talking about some cultural construct that we no longer understand?  But what we find today is, what Jesus was saying is that it is impossible for us, but that all things are possible for God.  So grab your Bible, turn it to Mark chapter 10, and prepare your heart and mind as we take a deeper look at riches and the kingdom of God.

Mark 10:17-31

Recorded at Ebenezer UMC on October 11, 2015 (Originally published November 14, 2015)

S.D.G.

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