Categories
New Testament Sermons

Strange times…

Sermon Text: John 12:20-26.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us pray… Lord God, bless your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as you have promised, your Word may achieve the purpose for which you sent it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

These are indeed very strange times; times that even our oldest members have never been through. A quick look at the local obituaries reveals that although people are still dying, no one is having a funeral service. Now that did happen on occasion before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now everyone is being forced to delay such events until this pandemic is over – sometime in the future. Strange times indeed.

Categories
New Testament Sermons

Let us go…

Sermon Text: John 11:1-16.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us pray… Lord God, bless your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as you have promised, your Word may achieve the purpose for which you sent it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

So how is your isolation going? I can’t imagine what we would do if we didn’t have digital forms of communication like phones and computers. At times like this we really do need each other and talking to someone else helps keep us sane, just barely though. I think we could all use a really big hug.

But did you know that Jesus often isolated himself, going to some secluded place to pray or to be tempted in the wilderness or even in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus had earlier left Jerusalem because the Jews wanted to stone him (John 10:31). At the end of John 10 we read that He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. Now His isolation at that time still involved having people around, but even so, there he sat and waited with His disciples (John 10:40), pushed away by threats.

Categories
New Testament Sermons

The Light in this present darkness

Sermon Text: John 9.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, my family and those whom God loves.

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let us pray… Lord God, bless your Word wherever it is proclaimed. Make it a word of power and peace to convert those not yet your own and to confirm those who have come to saving faith. May your Word pass from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the lip, and from the lip to the life that, as you have promised, your Word may achieve the purpose for which you sent it; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

As we stand in the midst of this present darkness, I am struck by the first seven verses of this Gospel reading. It begins with…

As he (Jesus) passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. (9:1)

Seeing people with various disabilities was not uncommon in Jesus’ day.  In fact, blindness, deafness, dumbness, leprosy, and paralysis were the most common diseases mentioned in the Bible. Such persons were often considered by families to be a burden because most families had very limited income and needed every able body person to be productive. As a result, these disabled individuals would be taken and positioned at key locations in the town or village so that they could beg for alms. It was the only way that such people could be supported.