Sermon: A Concert of Prayer

Sermon Text: Matthew 6:5-14 Sermon Excerpt Prayer becomes a part of people’s lives in many ways.  What is your story? How did you come to learn of prayer? When did you begin to pray? Maybe you remember childhood prayers – your own or those of your children or grandchildren.  Simple prayers like . . . Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, If I shall die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen. OR . . . Perhaps as a youngster you were taught to Read More …

Sermon: The Best Sermon

Sermon Text Matthew 5-7 Sermon Excerpt I begin in a way I never have before and likely never will again by offering a bold guarantee. I assure you that this morning's sermon will be the best sermon you will ever hear. With this in mind, let us pray . . . As those who seek to follow the way of Jesus, may his wisdom continue to be our guide.  Take and use the words I will speak to empower our imaginations, awaken us to new possibilities, and embolden us in our actions. Amen. When Read More …

Beatitudes v2012

Richard Beck, Professor and Department Chair of Psychology at Abilene Christian University, recently posted his "study guide" on the Sermon on the Mount on his blog.  Beck's notes on the Beatitudes showcase his approach: Do not be egoistical or self-absorbed. (5.3) Weep over the pain in this world. (5.4) Be gentle, tender and kind. (5.5) Wake up wanting to be a better person. (5.6) Show mercy to others. (5.7) Be sincere, genuine and real. (5.8) Work for the cause of peace. Read More …

The Abbreviated Sermon on the Mount

Drew Willard, pastor of the United Church of Christ of the Villages, FL, will be leading a session on Biblical storytelling, entitled "The Three Point Sermon on the Mount,"  on July 3 at the United Church of Christ's General Synod.  Recently he shared what he calls "the Cliff Notes of the Sermon on the Mount" with some of the folks in the Florida Conference: You have heard that it was said, "One Way," but I say to you, "God is still speaking..." Don't pray, donate or serve just for show, Read More …

New Testament Reading for Sunday, February 20

Most of us have heard hundreds of sermons, yet would have a hard time constructing a list of even a dozen sermon titles.  However, if we compared lists I suspect three would rise to the top as the most frequently cited: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” – Jonathan Edwards “I Have a Dream” – Martin Luther King, Jr. “Sermon on the Mount” – Jesus More than centuries and geography separate the two American sermons from that of the Galilean sermon.  The American preachers wrote and Read More …

A Year With the Sermon on the Mount

For the last few years, I have been studying the life and ministry of Jesus in an attempt to more fully answer the question: “Who is Jesus?”  A few months ago I wrote series of posts sharing areas of emphasis in my study of Jesus over the last several years: prayers, parables, priorities, and creed.  Recently, I read a blog that has led me to ponder the possibility of spending some time focusing on preaching.  That blog, "A Year With the Sermon on the Mount," encourages participants to make Read More …