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Sermons

2012-12-02 Message- The Lion and the Lamb in Advent Light

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Stretching for the limits? Is our faith experience a collection or facts, or a collection of connections? Life connections. When Jesus calls you and says, Follow me, are you ready to passionately just get up and follow, or do most of us just hold back a little because thats how we were taught. The Lion of Judah is leading into a future of hope. Let’s invest in that journey! Let’s try an experiment. Stretch your right arm up as far as you can. Now, reach further. Wow. Thanks. Did you notice that almost everyone reached further when asked. Why didn’t you reach at that far at the beginning? You can blame the inventor of the #2 pencil. We are not standardized, interchangeable parts on an assembly line of living. Do you know why the earliest teacher’s colleges were called Normal Schools? Because that’s all they expected!  They wanted everyone to be normal. But look around you this morning. Do you see normal? Of course not! Each one of us has that same inner light of Christ that shines in its own uniquely faceted beauty.

Who are you looking for this morning? A Lion or a Lamb? The Lion of Judah has your back. In fact, he’s leading you forward and you can be confident that Jesus the Lion of Judah will protect you into the future, though the future is uncertain and the sun and moon above may fall from the sky!

Jesus is also the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Maybe you need to meet the Lion. Or, the Lamb. Either way, let’s not hold back with that what we have been taught in school since the early 1900’s. Following Jesus is not done with a standard #2 pencil, as we answer standardized multiple-choice questions, so we can be the next interchangeable part for an assembly line called church. No! Church is not for normal people. You are not “standard!”

The Lion roars its invitation to a future of hope despite the sky falling and the uncertainties that abound! The Lamb has forgiven you of your past and freed you to live your very best self right now, and into the future. So let’s get up and go this Advent season. The light of Hope shines brightly and I can’t wait for what’s next!

2012-12-02 Message for Kids- Your Inner Advent Light

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Why do we light our Advent Wreath Candles? Because it helps us to remember that God’s light is always present in our lives, every day. God offers us a dependable light, the light of Jesus Christ. This light, though, is not just in the five candle here in our worship center, no. The light of Jesus in within you. And you. And you. How do you know? Deep inside, no matter how we feel, no matter our mood. Sad or glad. Fearful or Courageous. The Light of Christ is within to give us hope. Hope that is brighter than any darkness. This week, remember that Jesus is your light.

2018-11-18 Message- Ropes Of Living Hope

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Have you ever felt at the End of your rope?! Sure, we all have. The rope is a familiar metaphor for many of life’s experiences and activities. Sometimes we can feel like we’re getting all Tied Up, or walking a Tightrope just to get through our day, or wistfully longing for the simple joy of Jumping Rope as a child in the neighborhood. Remember playing Tug-of-war on the field? It may have Ben a while since you enjoyed the Rope Swing in your backyard. Ropes can also keep us on the path and guide us in the best direction. 

Our energizing message this week is from Mark 13 and Hebrews 4 and you are invited to consider Jesus’ promise to be with us in our present and our future. While visions of the “end times” may result in some anxieties, the end times is not at the end of our rope. Rather, Jesus promises to be faithful to us… “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23). Even when Jesus envisioned the future destruction of Herod’s Great Temple, do not fear. Even the uncertainties ahead can result in normal fears, God promises to stand with us in our fear, to tie us as with a safe and secure rope, not only to himself, but to one another. Sure, we may not immediately correlate encouragement and safety to former church experiences, but at Cold Spring Church, we not only stand on the promises of God, we stand on the promises of God together.

Did you know that the The Latin root of the word “religion” is re-ligare, which means to be tied to a yoke? Many monastic orders still require the monk to tie a rope around his waist. It’s not a rope that keeps the cassock from falling. It was a symbol of God’s promises. The rope symbolized that we are all bound together in ropes of hope and faith and love.

Find Ropes of Living Hope this week at Cold Spring Presbyterian Church.

2018-11-18 Message for Kids- Roped In For Thanksgiving

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What holiday do we celebrate on Thursday? Sure, Thanksgiving! What are you thankful for? Lots of things. And lots of people, like our family and friends, too, right? We are thankful because God has given us reasons to give thanks because in Jesus Christ we are tied to God. See this rope? What kinds of knots would hold us tight to God? Here, let me know you as I tie this knot. (Disappearing knot rope demonstration.) Wow. That kind of loose knot is not secure. No! The kind of knot you are tied to God with is like this. (Demonstrate a tight knot.) When Melissa and I were married, the minister used the illustration of a knot to show how we are tied together in marriage. Held by God. Held to each other in love. Let’s celebrate God’s connection as we trust in Jesus. Remember to give thanks. And every time you see a rope, a cord, over the holiday, remember how you are always tied to Jesus! And give thanks!

2011-11-11 Message- Why the Widow Only Had Two Coins (and what we can do about it)

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It’s veteran’s day. Did you know that there is an historic high in veteran suicides? It’s time to pay better attention to all sectors of our society; to take another look at the social services and technology that can help address this important issue. Our veterans are at risk.

Veterans today are like the widows in Jesus’ day. They give sacrificially, and we want to celebrate their sacrifice and even model it in our own lives. But their sacrifice is needed because of the untenable, unacceptable, situation they are in due to injustice, inattention, because we as a community, as a state, or nation, have not adequately provided for them.

Historic voter turnout in this week’s midterm elections is a positive sign of civic engagement. Along with the political analysts and pundits, in the coming months the nation will realize the hope of Election Day outcomes. But as citizens, we “vote” and make “decisions” every day on what matters most to us and what we care about. In a way, Election Day is every day, especially for followers of Jesus Christ. Throughout Scripture, the litmus test for loyalty as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ is this: How do we treat the poor and vulnerable? How do we care for the least of these? On Sunday we will meet a widow described in our Gospel text from Mark 12 who dropped two small coins in the offering box. Jesus said she gave more than the larger amounts from more affluent worshippers. We will discover WHY this woman was poor and vulnerable how God calls us to make decisions rooted in grace and gratitude as engaged people of faith.

 

2018-11-11 Message for Kids- Priceless Kids Are God’s Workmanship

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You are priceless! God created you as his workmanship. At each stage of our life we find ways to showing evidence of God’s work in us through Jesus Christ! You have ideas? Doing homework? Cleaning your room? Helping a neighbor of grandparent to the car? Taking the dog out! Saying kind things to others. Each of us can show God’s workmanship, its like he has signed you as an original! And that’s what you are! Now, this week, let’s show what God can do!

2018-11-04 Message- Embracing An Olive Tree Faith

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This week we are departing from the lectionary readings to talk about the roots of faith and how our faith can be rebooted for the future as we build on the promises of God. The theme is the Olive Tree. From Genesis to Revelation and everywhere in between, the olive tree is a metaphor for our faith. From the olive branch returned by the dove to Noah to the great olive tree in the new heaven and earth of Revelation, anointing oil inaugurated kings, blessed believers, and it was on the Mt. of Olives that Jesus wept over Jerusalem. You will never look at the olive the same way again!