Sermons

Trying to Keep the Prophets Quiet

Rev. David Baak

Sermon     Sermons
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Trying to Keep the Prophets Quiet" — a sermon on Numbers 11.24-30: It is Pentecost...the "birth of the Church" when the Holy Spirit "falls on the disciples in wind and like tongues of fire." Except the Holy Spirit was active long before, even in the ancient stories of God's people—at the Tabernacle, in the wilderness, in pillars of fire and cloud, and by inspiring prophets. From the God at the tabernacle being "out of the camp" to becoming "living in us." Today, we believe that the Holy Spirit lives in each of us, together, as Church—how does our "prophecy" take shape in our lives, in this culture of ours?


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Closing the Distance

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Sermon
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Peter is the exemplar of "I believe. Help my unbelief." When he watches Jesus' trial "from a distance," Jesus looks at him in compassion. Jesus crosses the distance to him.


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Finding the Unknown God

Rev. David Baak

Sermon     Sermon
Sunday, May 25, 2014

The question is how do we live as a holy people in a broken world? From the Greek poet, Paul affirms for us today: “In God we live and move and have our being.” When we hear our own faith voice in that of another, we reach toward understanding and acceptance and peace. And, when we live that way, we experience God’s grace with and through each other…which in a profound sense is an experience of holiness.


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Dirt in Our Shoes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 18, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on 2 Kings 5:1–14, part of a short series about living in between the “I believe” and the “help my unbelief.” In this text, Naaman is healed by the prophet, and he returns to Syria, to the house of Rimmon—where he knows he will worship another god than the one that healed him. But before he goes, he takes some of Israel's soil with him. What’s he going to do with it? He might just sprinkle some in his shoes to remind himself of where and to whom he ultimately belongs. It’s not always safe to act like you belong to God—but it is faithful.


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Namesake

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 11, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Matthew 1:18–25. We are called to live holy lives in an unredeemed world. We are baptized and given a name (“Christian”) that puts us in the world but not of the world. Living in “two worlds at once” is like being an immigrant in some ways; it is a metaphor for those who worship and serve the living God. We are in one sense never really at home.


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Fleeing in Terror

Ryan Donahoe

Sermon    
Sunday, May 4, 2014

A sermon by Ryan Donahoe on Mark 16:1–8. What do we do when we wake up the Monday after Easter and it appears as though the resurrection never happened—that the world is exactly the same as it was on Palm Sunday? The good news is that we know what to do—even when our faith is lacking, our doubt is overwhelming, and we don't comprehend what took place on Easter morning.


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Return No One Evil for Evil

Rev. Karen Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 27, 2014

Perhaps the most difficult teaching of Jesus is his admonition to ‘turn the other cheek.’ Using examples from her own ministry and from the films ‘Witness’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Rev. Karen Stokes explores how we might return no one evil for evil.


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Sermon: Love That Never Lets Go

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Easter Lent
Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday worship with Rev. Chandler Stokes preaching on John 20:11--18. God's love does not let go. God is able to hold on—death is no barrier to God's love. Even death on a cross.


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Faith in Spite of…

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Sunday, April 13, 2014

A sermon by Rev. David Baak on Luke 19:28–42. The sermon title this week is: "Faith In Spite of..." In spite of what? Whatever is going on, and so we explore what mature faith looks like. Jesus' lament in Luke was, "If only you knew what makes for peace." What helps us is that we know how the story turned out and we can apply that knowledge.


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Changing Our Questions

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 6, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Micah 6:1–8. The gospel assumes at its root that we can mature, that we can be changed. But sometimes, in desiring change, the questions we’re pursuing aren’t the right ones. By asking better questions—“When did you feel loved today?” or “What can I do to help you right now?”—we can better come to terms with God’s call on our lives, just as the Israelites did from our text in Micah.


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Maturity as Freedom

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, March 30, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Exodus 17:1–7. Quite often the way we experience the freedom of the gospel, the way we experience our personal liberation, is through love. Lose assuages the fear that keeps us from freedom, from the maturity that is freedom. Sometimes we seemingly experience that love from God. And sometimes, far more commonly, God’s love seems to be mediated through others.


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Desiring Truth

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, March 16, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Luke 18:9-14. Psalm 51 says that God desires truth in the inward being. Maturity in Christ is to want that truth ourselves. The story of the Pharisee and the Publican from this text in Luke is a plain parable about that truth that God desires: We need the truth in us; we seldom want it; but we need it. The good news is that the truth is always right there, waiting to be acknowledged. God believes in us enough to forgive us and give us a chance to develop wisdom in the inner being, to change and to grow—to mature.


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Expecting Change

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, March 9, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on I Corinthians 3:1–9. We’ve been talking about Christian maturity, and there will indeed be change as a mark of that maturity. God is not finished with us yet, and everyone we know who is “mature” in Christ is still growing—no matter how old they are. As soon as we think we’ve learned all we need to learn, and we’ve decided that we are as in touch with God as we’re ever going to get, we stop growing and stop being in touch. Christian maturity thus includes a kind of humility that says, “I’m not there yet”—all the time.


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Trusting the Fire

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Lent Ash Wednesday
Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Matthew 7:15–20 on Ash Wednesday. “Lent can be a dangerous time. People come to the church looking for discipline and a new way to live; they come to be challenged—prepared for the heartache and joy of the cross to come. The problem with Lent, however, is a direct outgrowth of this urgency: we contain the season to six weeks of doing good, rather than building a Lent that becomes a life.” ―Maryetta Anschutz (For this service, the lighting in our sanctuary was dimmed for ambiance, hence why the resulting video looks so dark.)


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Grace: Living with the End in Sight

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, February 23, 2014

A sermon by Rev. Chandler Stokes on Revelation 4:9–11 and ‘Love Divine, All Loves Excelling.’ The book of Revelation is a testimony—a vision, a holy imagining. John is painting a picture; that’s the way with this strange language called “apocalyptic language.” He doesn’t communicate by making one logical point after the other; rather, he paints a picture—tells a story. He tries to describe to us what he sees, and what he sees is that in the end, Jesus is Lord. John starts at the very ending, and in the end, Jesus rules, Jesus reigns, Jesus is Lord. Like John, we too profess that Jesus is Lord—not just here when we join the church or become officers. This is how we “cast our crowns before him” now: by proclaiming him Lord, by proclaiming Love as the Lord of our lives.


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