Sermons

Scripture and Sermon

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 15, 2015

Our confirmation series comes to a conclusion with a reflection on the center of Reformed worship: the Scripture and its exposition. Both are essential, though not enough. Both call upon the Spirit’s presence. Both are fraught with challenges. From words to Word—that’s the great hope of our worship!


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The Law

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 8, 2015

My colleague at San Francisco Theological Seminary, Prof. Greg Love, once wrote: Christ and the Spirit always engage us in a way that leaves our freedom intact. The Law, rather than a burden, is God’s map of the freedom we have in Christ and the Spirit. The law describes the shape of our freedom.


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Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, November 1, 2015

Martin Luther said: “The devil flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the Word of God.... Music is a gift and grace of God, not an invention of humankind. Thus it drives out the devil and makes people cheerful.” We are participants in music—singing, playing, listening, and yet it seems to be bigger than us, much bigger, more mysterious, less controllable. We speak of being “moved”—there’s a lot going on here…


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Go Into the World in Peace, For I Am With You

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Charge at the end of our services is the final reminder of how our worship of God is intended to form us as we re-enter the world. We “go in peace” and we are to “have courage”—and we are to remember that when we re-enter the world, we are accompanied by God. God is with us. That is how we are even able to re-enter the world, let alone re-enter it with courage, trusting in love as the only power we have.


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Further Than We Can Walk

Sermon    
Sunday, October 18, 2015

On Sunday afternoon, October 18, Christopher Mergener was ordained as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). His ordination was historic in our Presbytery. It was a joyful, blessed occasion. Here is a link to the sermon Further Than We Can Walk preached on that day.


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Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 18, 2015

This is what the old hymn says: We give Thee but Thine own Whate’er the gift may be All that we have is Thine alone A trust, O Lord, from Thee. How shall we live, if we recognize that we own nothing, that everything we have is a gift? That’s worth spending some time, giving some time, to understand. Join us.


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What Does it All Mean?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, October 11, 2015

Since grace is so huge, it is no wonder that each week, in describing our Prayer of Confession, the bulletin says: Trusting that God is love, we express our lament, our brokenness, and our failings to God. There is room for all of that in the heart of God: sorrow, hurt, pain, guilt. We needn’t shy away from any of our alienation or brokenness—that’s how deep, how broad and how high is the grace of God.


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The Architecture of Worship

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 27, 2015

This Sunday in worship: The order of worship takes us from Preparing to Hear the Word, like Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem to prepare for the coming of the Word—it takes us from there to our Going out to Be the Church, the Word made flesh in the world. Worship is a retelling of the story of the Incarnation. And because Jesus becomes flesh first as a child and also later bids us welcome children, there is an element of this story that always involves our understanding Christ's welcome to children. Join us as we explore these mysteries together.


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Let Us Pray

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 20, 2015

Maybe prayer sounds easy to you. Maybe it sounds daunting. Either way, my hope is that you will find prayer more accessible, more readily available to you after Sunday’s service. And a further blessing this Sunday is that we will all get to pray together—in silence and in word. Join us.


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Horizon

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, September 13, 2015

What is this strange activity, worship? It’s not merely education, or entertainment, or therapy. Even though we may find ourselves illumined, engaged, and healed, worship is something else. Worship is not necessarily easy. Even though worship can become a positive contagion, it is so often moving against the momentum of our lives. May the promise of Something both beyond us and yet able to touch and transform us in love beckon you to worship this Sunday.


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Jubilee

Kyle Kooyers

Sermon    
Sunday, September 6, 2015

It’s Labor Day Weekend… “America’s Annual Sabbath”. As seen by the one day we get a year, little attention is given to rest, since it hampers production. Indeed, productivity seems to be the law of this land. Yet, in the Law given to Israel, God graces her people with a special Sabbath every 50 years. In the Year of Jubilee, the land is given rest, debts are forgiven with seized property being returned to its original owners, and those who are captive as slaves are set free. The Jubilee Law is a snapshot of the Kingdom of God! Seem too good to be true? Well even Israel may have struggled to follow this one. But this vision of Jubilee is what the Prophet Isaiah offered as a balm to Israel as their world came crashing down around them. And the same vision is offered by Jesus as he reads from the Scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue, proclaiming “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” Indeed we have been shown the fullness of Jubilee in the person of Christ and are called to live in to the reality of God's Kingdom. But, wait, how do we really live out Jubilee?


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Re-creation

Rev. David Baak

Sermon    
Monday, August 24, 2015

The lectionary this week brings us to the words of the epistle of James, possibly even from the brother of Jesus in the first century, with a message that is good for individuals, but is intended first of all to help a community live in faith. James is quite a bit like a New Testament Proverbs: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (1.27); 14What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith." (2.14-18).


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Marriage

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon     Marriage LGBTQ
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Matthew includes Ruth in the genealogy of Jesus. One of the reasons is that she represents an outsider to the family line, which anticipates some of the outlandish things that Jesus does. Another reason for her inclusion in the genealogy is the profound covenantal expression of love that she makes to her mother-in-law Naomi. It is a picture of God’s fidelity in human form.


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Wisdom

Kyle Nolan

Sermon    
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

At our 10am service this Sunday, Kyle Nolan will continue our Vocabulary of Faith series, considering the elusive meaning of wisdom within and beyond the tradition.


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Hope

Rev. Sarah Juist

Sermon    
Sunday, August 9, 2015

For all of its talk about light, hope thrives in the darkness. It bears bittersweet fruit there: patience, endurance, compassion, and joy. This hope--the good news that God is making all things new--nourishes us on the way and binds us together as God's people, even in the worst of our seasons. It's the sort of gift that turns strangers into family, anger to lament, and excitement to joy.


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