Tomorrow, August 5, 2023, I’ll preach on Matthew 14:13-21 with a sermon titled “The Compassion of the Christ.” We’ll also celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion and hear special music from Heather Landsdowne, Angela Bunger, and Mary Ann Buhler. Isaac Weyeneth will give the children’s message, and Grace Hutchinson will be with us one final time as the worship leader before returning to Kansas Wesleyan.
I’m excited to be preaching on Junia the Apostle this coming Sunday, July 9, 2023, and welcoming new members into College Avenue UMC. Hope to see you all there!
Art by Sarah Beth Baca. She has a whole series on women in the Bible at www.sarahbethart.com.
This coming Sunday (March 12, 2023), I plan to preach on Faith and Allegiance. My texts will be Habakkuk 2:1-4 and Romans 1:1-6, 16-17.
In my sermon yesterday, I preached on Matthew’s account of the transfiguration and talked about mountaintop experiences. I spoke with only a few notes and forgot to mention what to do if you haven’t had a mountaintop experience. I would like to address that oversight in this blog post.
Perhaps you haven’t had a mountaintop experience, but you’ve had what might be called a hilltop experience. You’ve felt or sensed an encounter with God that was meaningful to you, just not very dramatic. You’re good to go. God works in different ways in the lives of different people. Just take your experience and apply what we talked about yesterday. Let that experience be a source of energy and encouragement in your daily walk with Jesus.
Perhaps you haven’t had a mountaintop or a hilltop experience. In that case, I want to ask you to do three things. 1. Remember that God works differently in different people’s lives. 2. Be open to the possibility of God granting you such an experience. You won’t need to force such an experience, but being open to the possibility of one will hope you perceive it when and if it happens. 3. Either way, rest secure in the knowledge that God loves you. Jesus preached “The Sermon on the Mount,” but he also preached “The Sermon on the Plain.” Regardless of whether or not you’ve experienced God’s presence in a dramatic and memorable way, God’s love has been, is, and will be at work in your life.
In my last sermon, I made a point about how math teachers have the answers in their books but don’t share them with their students. Instead, the teachers have their students figure out the answers for themselves. I meant this as a good thing, but not all the former math teachers heard it that way. The point I was trying to make is that in his letters to various churches, the Apostle Paul did the same thing. He was teaching early Christians (and those of us who still read his letters now) to think theologically. To do that, he couldn’t just give out the answers; he had to share his thought process with them and us.
I’m thankful for the math teachers who brought this up with me and gave me a chance to clarify. I’m grateful they felt like they could speak honestly and frankly with me. Please let me know if you ever find yourself in a similar place.
I’ll plan to preach on Micah 6:1-8 this Sunday (January 29, 2023). In verse 8, Micah tells us that God desires that we do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God. On our church t-shirts, this is phrased as “seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly,” but the meaning is the same.