Sermons on Spiritual Growth (Page 2)
Unbinding Grief, Unbinding Life: Shouting in Windows and Mirrors
Our Lenten Sermon Series, Unbinding Grief, Unbinding Life continues with Pastor Billy’s sermon, Shouting in Windows and Mirrors. Jesus shouts at Lazarus to come forth in John 11:38-53. This is the first time John uses that verb and then he repeats it throughout the passion narrative to contrast Jesus shouting for life and the crowd shouting for death. How can we read the the Bible as both a window and a mirror (also called descriptive/prescriptive reading) and notice ourselves in…
Pass the Baton
We welcomed the Rev. Michael Lynn Moore to our pulpit for a special joint worship with Knox Presbyterian Church. Rev. Moore is the African-American Associate in the Racial Equity and Women’s Ministry at the Presbyterian Mission Agency and is a former pastor at Knox Presbyterian in Baltimore.
Don’t Look it Up!…Look Up!
What does Wordle have to do with the Gospel? Why are Pharisees like Scrabble? John invites us to resist the temptation to decide what Christ can’t do by looking it up in the Bible. Instead Look up and see Christ loose in the world and imagine what Christ can do.
Keep on Gnawing
In John’s gospel, Jesus tells us repeatedly he is the “bread of life,” but how exactly does that work? This Sunday, Pastor Billy will discuss the great bread chapter of John (chapter 6), Passover, manna, feeding the 5,000, and what Jesus’ invitation to carbo-loaded, full life might mean for us today.
Dig the Well Deep Before the Drought
Beneath Jesus’ words that can feel threatening, we find a calling to nurture our relationship with God and each other in preparation for difficult times.
Containing the Uncontainable
In our passage today John uses the symbols of larger stone water jars to invite us to reflect on the structures, rituals, and practices we use to help us find reliable connections to God. Even though we can never contain God, how would you express what you hope to contain when it some to the Spirit? What do you do in your life to give you regular access it?
Invitational Faith in a Religiously Plural World
John is clearly calling us to an invitational faith. To follow Jesus means to invite others to follow Jesus. Yet, we can struggle with this calling when we believe other faith traditions are equally valid to our own. We also know as individuals we are not any better than anyone else. So what can John teach us about sharing our faith today? Come and see.
Speaking Hope on Behalf of the Next Generation
God invited Ezekiel to participate in raising the dead in the valley of dry bones. The bones did not have to do anything to be worthy of resurrection. But Ezekiel was called, as we are, to speak love, truth, and hope on their behalf. This is also what we do when we baptize a baby.
For All the Ways We Live in Exile: A Hard and Hopeful Message
Jeremiah’s message to the Israelites in exile in Babylon is complicated, hopeful, and hard. He calls for acceptance and resistance. He calls us to the hard work of externalizing home in unhappy places. In response to the forces that keep pulling us apart, he calls on us to keep reaching back to each other and remaking home.
Nurturing a Shepherd’s Heart and an Open Heart
What did God see in David? We are told God does not look at outward appearance but looks at the heart. What qualities did God see in David’s heart? How can we nurture those qualities with us?
Holy Rumbling: Courage, Conflict, and Vulnerability
In our story this week, God calls Samuel and asks him to deliver harsh words of rebuke to his mentor Eli the priest. Watch Pastor Billy will reflect on how we can learn from Samuel’s example and have honest conversations ourselves that are grounded in courage and vulnerability.
How to Workout When You Don’t Have a Spiritual Elliptical Machine?
God used manna to train the Israelites to trust in God one day at a time. We don’t have manna today and we aren’t in the desert. How can we learn to trust God more? Through the disciplined practice of generosity and giving.