Posts in Sermon
Fill This House

 I’m convinced that we have to reimagine the house to include our neighborhood and our world and all of those who will not likely enter the front doors of this church, but may come to a book study or an enneagram workshop, an animal blessing or a trail walk. Extraordinary things happen when the people of God gather, regardless of when and where that gathering takes place because all who feast on God’s grace are compelled by that grace to share it with the world.

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Call To Action

Here’s the thing.  I simply don’t know if I can sustain an attitude of love towards my enemies.  And I would have a hard time telling little Magdalena to love those who took her parents away from her.  And so I am grateful for the words of Martin Luther King who declares that “love is so much more than emotional bosh.”  If it were all about our emotions, I would despair of ever claiming to love my enemies.  

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Inspired: Fish Stories

There are occasions in life when the experience we have with another human being or with God is so extravagant, so bold, so precious that we have to use exaggerated language to talk about it truly. The Bible is full of stories that are too good to be true, almost-but-not-quite-believable stories of miraculous, mysterious events. Rachel Held Evans calls these “fish stories.”

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Inspired: Gospel Stories

In the Kingdom of God goodness shows up, grace shows up.  And grace changes us.  Weeds may always be weeds but people can be transformed.  So, we are called to let go of our judgment and refrain from plucking out the possibility of transformation.  If we leave anyone out or if any one of us feels unwelcome then we miss the opportunity to cooperate with the grace of God to influence positive change.  

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Inspired: Stories Of War

The antidote to hostile texts of the Bible is more Bible. As Christians we read all stories through the lens of the cross. As Rachel Held Evans describes it: If God became flesh and blood in the person of Jesus, the cross proves that “God would rather die by violence than commit it.” Jesus bore the brunt of human cruelty and remained faithful to the God of love.

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Love Languages

The church is a community that gathers “altogether in one place.”  The church is a community that opens itself up and allows the Holy Spirit to enter.  The church is filled with all kinds of people who get caught up in the power of the Spirit so that they begin dreaming dreams, big dreams, God dreams.  The church is a place where God’s dreams and visions are proclaimed.


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SermonAaron Manes
Witnesses

In the time of Jesus there was no one but this small band of committed disciples, including women like Jesus’ mother and including his brothers. In the time of Luke, there was no one but his community, which is believed by scholars to have been the poorest of the poor. These were not people gifted with power and wealth, but they were inspired by the Spirit of God. If these common people had not chosen to be witnesses, we would not be here today.

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SermonAaron Manes
Encountering God At The Table

At the table we encounter God as the host and as the meal itself. This holy meal invites us to allow God to dwell inside of us. This is a meal that we share with the risen Christ who is the host at this table where we are all welcome and who is the grace that transforms all of us into the presence of Christ in the world - the body of Christ.

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SermonAaron Manes
Encountering God In The Other

Rooted in the ancient tradition of caring for the widow, the orphan, the poor and the sojourner, hospitality is at the core of the world’s great religions.  But in a world where fear of the “other” is pronounced, how do people of faith respond to the opportunity and challenge of encountering the Outsider with a heart open to God’s presence?  

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