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Glad and Generous Hearts

Written by Pastor Dan Wilfrid on Sunday, 07 May 2017 15:50.

Easter 4 A    John 10:1-10

An amazing thing happens to people when they feel safe; when they are confident that their needs have been and will continue to be met; when their fears about the dangers and threats they face are reduced or eliminated. When people feel safe, they get generous. When people feel secure, they begin to see and feel compassion for the struggles and needs of others. When people worry less about what might happen to them, they turn their attention and resources to what needs to happen for others.

The opposite is, of course, also true. The more people worry about what might happen to them or what might become of them; when people feel insecure, unprotected and un-provided for, when the threats seem real and dangers most frightful, people not only stop sharing, they sometimes even stop caring. Even when they have more than enough for now, if they are fearful about whether it will be enough for tomorrow, the need to accumulate even more becomes most urgent, guarding and protecting what you have against people in desperate need becomes more important than trying to meet those needs.

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Detour

Written by Pastor Aaron Decker on Sunday, 30 April 2017 17:27.

Easter 3(A) - Luke 24:13-35

When I graduated from High School, I was one of those lucky people who had been successful in discerning my future goals and career plans.  It had become so clear as a junior and senior, particularly thanks to the leadership of Mr. Weiss, a teacher with a goofy sense of humor who called all of his students “Chief,” I suspect, because he wasn’t very good with names—but who recognized my interest in the subject matter and made sure that interest was stimulated.  So by the time I entered college, I knew for certain:  I was going to be… a theoretical physicist.

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Coming to Believe

Written by Pastor Dan Wilfrid on Sunday, 23 April 2017 19:48.

Easter 2 A      John 20:19-31

Last week, on Easter Sunday, I told everyone gathered here that God’s intention that day was to give us, feed us, and fill us with, the resurrection life of Jesus, so that God could then send us out empowered to live that new life into our homes, communities and world. And to be honest, I don’t really have much beyond that to say today, other than to say that it’s still true. God’s intention here today is still to give us, feed us, and fill us with the resurrection life of Jesus, so that God can again send us out empowered to live that new life into our homes, communities and world.

In fact, I could just let that be my sermon every Sunday and perhaps save us all a lot of time. God wants to give us new life, Easter life, eternal life. Jesus was God’s way of accomplishing that. Jesus’ life lived for others, his self-giving passion, his death and resurrection was God’s way of birthing that new life, that new creation, for us. And this weekly gathering, these words, this Baptism, this meal, this time together and the blessed sending that concludes it is God’s way of giving that new life to us, and extending that new creation through us.

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The Take Away

Written by Pastor Dan Wilfrid on Sunday, 16 April 2017 19:39.

Easter Day      Matthew 28:1-10

If I neglected to say it earlier, let me say now that it’s good to have you here today, each and every one of you.  Easter, as we all know, is a day that draws more people into churches than any other Sunday of the year, and for a whole variety of reasons, some deeply spiritual, but also others just as valid even if less religious. It’s a day of family togetherness, a day of deep traditions and powerful memories. It’s a day when the host of other activities that ordinarily compete for our Sunday morning attention either aren’t happening or just don’t seem quite as compelling.

And, of course, in the midst of all those varied reasons that we have for being here, there is the main reason, the big reason, the holy reason, what I’ll even dare to call God’s reason: the one that whether we know it or not has been at work behind and beneath all of the other perfectly good and valid ones that we think brought us here. And that reason is so that God can give us, fill us, feed us, the resurrection life of Jesus, and then send us from here empowered to live that new life into our homes, communities and world.

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Tired Out By the Journey

Written by Pastor Dan Wilfrid on Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:27.

Lent 3 A       John 4:5-42

In this Lent of increasingly long Sunday Bible readings, each one filled with abundant and juicy preaching options, my goal is to keep my sermons simple and short – focused and clear. Today, that means focusing our attention on how this gospel story of Jesus and the Woman at the Well begins.

Try and picture in your mind the scene that John paints for us. Jesus is stilling by Jacob’s well, and John says that he’s tired out by his journey. So picture a tired and weary Jesus in your mind, sitting beside a well. And along comes a woman, who we will soon discover is pretty weary herself.