Sermons from 2021
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.
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.
How can we find hope in the darkness during troubling times? How can we find the strength to walk in the light of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amos has a strong and specific testimony about God’s feelings about our worship. In short, worship on Sunday with justice Monday-Friday is deeply troubling to God. How can we approach worship in a way that is less disturbing to God and transformative to us?
Elijah wanted to be better than his ancestors and failed. He wanted to be more righteous, more zealous, more faithful. Then, over the course of his 40 days journey he discovered all he could do was do the best he could and focus not on generations past but on generations in the future. He could only try to be a good ancestor, not a better ancestor.
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?
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.
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.
Throughout the Bible, we hear of people experiencing God as absent. This is hard because we prefer to believe God is ever-present. How can we honor this scriptural testimony about God’s absence while seeking and finding God’s presence with us always?
How do we deal with people who don’t play by the rules we thought everyone had agreed upon? Rebekah is a woman with a message from God in a patriarchal society. She has to resort to deception to realize God’s message. Can we ever meet Rebekah’s example and learn how to nurture God’s blessings?
Does God really ask Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Or is there a deeper challenge in the story of Genesis 12:1-14? Pastor Billy will preach on what we can all learn from Abraham and Isaac’s encounter with God (spoiler alert: killing your children is not what God wants).
How can we widen our circles of compassion? How can we avoid compassion fatigue? Genesis 1 suggests we are not so different from the animals except that we have a particular responsibility to compassionately care for them.