Monthly Archives

March 2019

2019-03-31 Message- The Day God Ran

By Sermons

While we all know exercise is important to our health, and most agree that we should exercise more, it can be a struggle. Run? Why run when you can stay put! Why run when you can drive, or ride? But, Research shows that running, more than other aerobic activity, keeps you healthy from the inside out. Did you know?:

  • Running makes you happier. … 
  • Running helps you lose or maintain weight. … 
  • Running strengthens your knees (and your other joints and bones, too). … 
  • Running will keep you sharper, even as you age. … 
  • Running reduces your risk of cancer.

So, running is good. Walking is good. Any kind of aerobic exercise is beneficial. But the direction and object of our running is more important than the running itself. Have you ever had a day leaving you feeling like you were on a treadmill? Have you ever exerted lots of energy to do something great, only to be left dismayed with the underwhelming outcomes? Have you ever run with a right spirit of dedication only to realize you were ruining in the wrong direction? Well, that kind of running can be draining and unproductive. Lots of motion, but no progress! This week’s Gospel of Grace from Luke 15 reminds us that we’re not the only ones running as we consider Jesus’ parable depicting God as running for us! That’s right, imagine God running to meet us where we are, no matter where we are. God is running to catch up to us regardless of what we are caught up in. God runs to us, with us, and for us to bring words we long to hear: “You are loved.” “You are forgiven.” “I want to bless your whole life!” I will give you a future of hope.”

If you need to hear these powerful words, invest 30 minutes of your time and listen to this message from God’s word titled, “The Day God Ran.” If anyone knows something about running, its God. On our Lenten Journey, God is running for you with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.

There is a place for you, here! (If you’re new to our church, discover more about what we believe and why we do what we do by visiting a special Welcome First-Time Guests page on our website.)

2019-03-24 Message- Gimme That Fish, Fig, Discipleship

By Sermons

Have you seen the new McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish commercial? This humorous ad features a toy mechanical fish mounted on a wall who sings, “Gimme that fish, O Gimme that fish…” announcing the return of the Filet-O-Fish sandwich. Have you ever wondered why the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich is so heavily promoted the same time every year? Hint: The special fish promotion always occurs during the 40 days of Lent. That’s right. It all started in a predominately Catholic neighborhood in Ohio when, in 1959, a McDonald’s franchise owner named Lou Groen noticed plummeting hamburger sales every Lenten season. Instead of just suffering through the 80% drop in sales, he decided to meet the needs of his customers by developing a non-meat alternative. The incredible success in delivering what his community needed is, as they say, history.

What does the Filet-O-Fish have to do with Jesus’ words about the fig tree from our text this week from Luke 13? As we will discover during this Sunday’s message titled, “Fish, Fig, Discipleship” the origin story of this popular sandwich can teach us a lot about our mission. You see, the fig tree Jesus spoke about was not producing the fruit the other crops needed, nothing for three years. But, instead of destroying the barren fig tree, the owner agreed to let the fig tree have one more year to deliver what was needed.

We know figs are remain a very popular fruit in the United States, but did you know that it was the abundant vitamins found in figs that motivated a Philadelphia baker in 1851 to produce a machine that could stuff the nutrient rich fig jam into pastry dough. Delivering what the community needed led a baking company to buy the machine and the cookies were a huge success. The town they were first produced was, you guessed it, Newton, Massachusetts!

Fish and figs can teach us a lot about discipleship as we follow Jesus during lent as we deliver spiritual nutrients our neighbors need.

2019-03-24 Message for Kids- Fig Newtons Are A Health Food

By Sermons

We know figs are remain a very popular fruit in the United States, but did you know that it was the abundant vitamins found in figs that motivated a Philadelphia baker in 1851 to produce a machine that could stuff the nutrient rich fig jam into pastry dough.

Do you like Fig Newtons? Well, as a kid, they were my very favorite cookie, er, nutritional snack! Delivering what the community needed led a baking company to buy the machine and the cookies were a huge success. The town they were first produced was, you guessed it, Newton, Massachusetts! God wants us to nourish our mind, body, and spirit. This week, let’s read more, exercise more, and eat nutritious foods. And to feed our spirit, read God’s word where we can know that Jesus loves you and wants to fill your life with joy!

2019-03-17 Message- Tears of Love

By Sermons

In the photo (right) you can see Jerusalem through a window from inside the Dominus Flevit Church. The church gets its name because its designed in the shape of a teardrop to symbolize the tears of Christ (Luke 19) when Jesus becomes overwhelmed by tears of love for the city and its people.

The church’s name, Dominus Flevit, is Latin for “Jesus has wept.” This week’s Gospel also describes the intense love Jesus has for us. For you! Can you recall a time when you were moved to tears of love and compassion for another or others? Of course, some of us express deep emotion with tears, while for others, the tears appear less so, but we all can intensely feel empathy and loving concern that moves us to action on behalf of another.

St. Patrick was first and foremost a missionary who was moved to tears of compassion for others. This Sunday we will discover some interesting facts about St. Patrick. (For example, he wasn’t even Irish, and he was never canonized as a Saint, either. The story about the snakes? Didn’t likely happen.) But St, Patrick did amazing things and his story of love for the Irish people was rooted in his love for Jesus and his life’s mission was tell others about God’s love.

This Sunday, we will turn images of shamrocks and Leprechauns into green teardrop crystals as we experience Tears of Love, to remind us of Jesus’ love for you, his amazing love for you. You will be renewed your Lenten journey and be moved to caring actions that blesses others!

2019-03-17 Message for Kids- The Colors of St. Patrick’s Day

By Sermons

What is the color for St. Patrick’s Day? Sure, white! No? How about orange? Well, for some it is! But you’re right, green is the color usually associated with St. Patrick’s Day. . But did you know that St. Patrick’s Day also includes the colors orange and white. Do you know why? Because the Irish flag has these three colors! The white in the middle represents the peace between the Irish (Green) and the Northern Ireland (Orange). St. Patrick loved the people of Ireland and is know to have cried tears of love and went to Ireland to tell them the story of Jesus. Jesus sheds tears for us, too. Jesus loves all of us, of every color and nation. Let’s remember this St. Patrick’s Day Jesus’ tears of joy. Each of you can have a green, crystal glass teardrop to represent God’s love for you! Let’s share the teardrops with others in the congregation this morning!

2019-03-10 Message- The Call of the Wild

By Sermons

Why do so many Biblical hero’s end up in the wilderness? While Adam started in a garden, he and Eve ended up in the wild. Jacob, Moses, Elijah, John the Baptist, and the Apostle Paul, to name a few, had wilderness experiences, too. Oh, and of course, Jesus! This week we will meet Jesus where the wild things are. And we will discover that God is present with us when resources run out and unexpected challenges make the way unbearable. God provides a way where there is no way. Do you ever feel you’re in the wilderness? Sure, we all do, at least from time to time. This Sunday, find wilderness tools for the Lenten journey. There is a place for you, here! (If you’re new to our church, discover more about what we believe and why we do what we do by visiting a special Welcome First-Time Guests page on our website.)

2019-03-03 Message- FaceTime With God

By Sermons

Mardi Gras is all the buzz this week. From New Orleans to Cape May, the festive celebrations that precedes Lent’s constraints is a lot to take in as groups of people interact at arm’s length along streets and balconies.  All of us want to feel connected, but noisy, chaotic, whirlwinds of activity is not what we are truly looking for. Each of us, and every community, longs for something substantial, sustainable, and shareable. We want to be “face to face” with experiences and people that bring us love, peace, forgiveness, justice, and hope. 

Imagine what it would be like to have FaceTime with God? While you can’t pick up your phone and dial God, if you could, that kinda sounds terrifying, right! What would you say? How would you act? FaceTime with God is the title of the message from from Luke 9 and Exodus 24. It will take us from Mardi Gras to the mountain of God with Moses and Jesus. Let’s follow Moses up to the mountain where he experiences God’s incredible and indescribable holiness. When he came back down the mountain, everyone knew something was shockingly different! The people in the camp couldn’t even look at his face because it was so bright! Moses had to put a covering on just to get through his day. Then we visit Moses who joins Elijah who have a conversation with Jesus and his companions on another mountain. In a similar manner, the majestic glory of God was dazzlingly bright. Wow!

FaceTime with God might appear to be a risky idea except that God is good and accessible to us. Where we see God, where we see Jesus “face to face,” is not just in “religious” settings, a beautiful sanctuary, or even in some miraculous vision. Where we see God, where we discover Jesus’ presence most brightly, is in our daily, face-to-face encounters with God’s word, creation, our neighbors, our enemies, our friends, the faces of each and every child of God on this earth. Let’s see God’s face and show God’s face as we make a difference in our neighborhoods in the name of Jesus Christ. You are invited to come as you are and get involved. There is a place for you, here! (If you’re new to our church, discover more about what we believe and why we do what we do by visiting a special Welcome First-Time Guests page on our website, here.)

Listen to this message and discover how and why to have FaceTime with God. You got this!