Sermons

Sermon: What You Do With What You Got

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 24, 2018

The pressures on human beings, whether they are four- or fourteen- or forty-year-olds, can be enormous. The way we wait for children to come forward on Sunday for the blessings is an attempt on our part to remember to honor children as they areand not as we want them to be. That honoring is a part of how we honor all people.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Sermon: Who Isn’t Here

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sometimes the Great Commission has been taken very seriously by the Church. It reads: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. There was an imperative, an almost breathless urgency in the early church: the doors to God’s community had been flung wide open to the world—the nations, the gentiles were all given access to the transforming love of God. After all these centuries, people still wonder if that word is really for them. And yet somewhere along the way we seem to have lost our urgency.

Sermon: Witness

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 10, 2018

In the first year of my ministry at Westminster I wrote about the Six Great Ends of the Church. The sixth is the demonstration of the Reign of Heaven to the world—that is, the church is to be a witness to the Reign of God. People are supposed to be able to look at the church and see the way that God intends the world to be. Oh, my. It is an audacious goal—to demonstrate, to witness to the Kingdom of God, to show the way God intends the world to be. There are serious difficulties on the way to this goal. For one, this is a social reality that we are to point to. It is not an individual reality; it’s a communal reality. This demonstration is not simply a matter of personal morality or integrity. It is a kingdom, a commonwealth, a social reality—something we cannot do alone but do corporately. And to make things more difficult, it is not something we do in isolation from the world. And the world is broken, violent, unjust, inhuman—and we do not witness in isolation from that world but in the midst of its infectious bloodshed and banality. In our Reformed tradition we believe that are not directed to construct little enclaves of heaven and let the rest the world go to Hades. We do not allow ourselves that conceit. We don’t create monasteries or build enclaves behind walls of separation in isolation from the world; we live our communal life in the very midst of a fragmented society. We set ourselves right in the midst of it, right in the craters of a war-torn world. We do not even allow ourselves the conceit of thinking that all that brokenness doesn’t affect us—as Paul says, we groan inwardly; we need help in our weakness. We know that we share in that pain that infects the world. The world’s temperament touches our lives; we are not immune. So…, how do we witness to that Reign of Heaven?

Rev. Chandler Stokes Ministry Recognition Program

Sermon    
Sunday, June 3, 2018

A program to celebrate Rev. Chandler Stokes' 35 years in ministry held at Westminster Presbyterian Church on June 3, 2018.

Sermon: Welcome, Confession, Charge

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Welcome started with a memorial service in Oakland, California, and was offered at a memorial service here at Westminster some years later. And then through the intuition of Susan Jennings became a hallmark of our worship here. It’s Presbyterian through and through, and it has helped us understand ourselves and our place here in West Michigan.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Sermon: The Song May Be the Reason You Believe

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 27, 2018

J.S. Bach was once called the Fifth Evangelist. In his day, he seemed to have touched upon the soul of his age in a such a way that people felt they knew the gospel through his music. I’m confident that many of us have experienced music often in that way, when there is a deepening of trust that can’t be spoken in words.


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: Elijah

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, May 20, 2018

1 Peter 3 says: But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. That will be some of the witness on Sunday at 8.30. However, the emphasis will not be on the "defense" but on the questions themselves. Join us.


Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: Can These Bones Live?

Rev. Jeremy Bork

Sermon    
Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Prophet Ezekiel finds himself in a valley with God and some dry bones. Before this story's wild events unfold, God asks Ezekiel a question, "Can these bones live?" The question is both simple and profound. If God were to ask us that question today, I wonder what it might stir within us. Where in the world would we like to see dry bones live? What dry bones in our own lives would we like to see come alive? Join us on Sunday May 13 to wonder together about the living God who always makes a way.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Q&A With Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Wednesday, May 9, 2018

On Saturday, May 5, we enjoyed An Evening of Stories and Songs with Rev. Chandler Stokes as he answered your questions about his life and ministry. He played a few of his favorite songs throughout the evening while Steve Baron and Joel Schultze moderated the conversation. Chandler shared about his early life in music and ministry, his hope for the next generation, and where he hopes to go from here. We hope you enjoy this approx. 90-minute event.

Sermon: Fruit That Will Last

Rev. Jen Porter

Sermon    
Sunday, May 6, 2018

Every time we come to share communion, we prepare our hearts. We look within prayerfully at what the Spirit draws to our attention. What do we long for? What do we bring? This week we can prepare by answering this question: Where have we been abiding? How have our lives been abiding in God? Even as we pause and listen, we remember that God welcomes us. There need be no fear of what we might see, from God only deep and abiding love.


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: Job and Intimacy

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 29, 2018

From my colleague Doug King: Eugene Peterson draws an interesting juxtaposition between the two wisdom books, Song of Solomon and Job. He suggests there is a polarity between the alienation in the book of Job and the intimacy of the Song of Solomon. In the final exchange of the lovers we are told, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, a raging flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If one offered for love all the wealth of his house it would be utterly scorned.” How would those words have run in Job’s ears as he sat there in ruin?


Listen to Sermon Audio Read Sermon PDF Read Sermon PDF

Sermon: Vulnerability

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 22, 2018

My Feast colleague, Leanne Pearce Reed writes: Our discipleship must be vulnerable. So, as Dorothy Soelle puts it, “You can put your neurotic need for security behind. You do not need to defend your life like a lunatic.” We must be willing to be touched—touched by text, touched by a power from on high, most of all, touched by another who is flesh and bone as we are. There is no safety or security in this. There is only perhaps that peace found on the other side of fear.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Sermon: Fashioned in the Clay

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 15, 2018

And Paul doesn’t stop with this one weird metaphor. He continues, …that you may … comprehend . . . what is the breadth and length and height and depth…” the depth of what, exactly? These are building dimensions: “breadth, length, height, depth.” They are the dimensions of Christ’s living Body, the Church. Again, we have the rock building-like dimensions of something very organic, yet this time it’s a “people” reality. And Paul continues in this vein throughout. If he had done it once or twice, maybe it was just bad poetry, but he persists in making this point.


Listen to Sermon Audio

Sermon: How Good is God?

Rev. Chandler Stokes

Sermon    
Sunday, April 1, 2018

The question about the resurrection is not “So what do you think happened? So much as is another question… maybe the real question is not “What happened, but “How good is God? If God is good enough to make the heavens and the earth, to give us all the fruits of the Creation…, if God can breathe into us the breath of life, and has the time to count all the hairs on our head, if God can intricately form our amazing youthful and amazingly aging bodies; push the blood through our veins… how good is God?”


Listen to Sermon Audio

Sermon: Paul’s Shipwreck

Westminster Youth

Sermon    
Sunday, March 25, 2018

“Paul’s Shipwreck,” a new musical for young people, will be presented by the Carol Choir (grades 3-5) and the Chapel Singers (grades 6-8) in both services this Sunday, March 25. The two choirs will also sing a Palm Sunday anthem, complete with Jesus riding in on a donkey!


Read Sermon PDF

Page 2 of 20 pages  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›