This is a short sermon I preached at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church at the early morning Communion Service on Transfiguration Sunday, February 10, 2012. If the members of the congregation were going to “give up something for Lent,” I suggested giving up our current conceptions of Jesus and spending Lent praying for clearer vision of who Christ really is.
Earlier today I was the guest preacher at Keeler United Methodist Church, a beautiful old country church just east of St. Joseph, Michigan. The structure is over 170 years old, and as soon as you walk into the sanctuary, your gaze is directed toward Christ in the garden, praying.
I especially like the fact that the person who is preaching sees another image — one that reminds us to feed his sheep. You might have to look closely to see the picture between the two windows in the back, but it was much more visible for me. It was an honor to preach in such a lovely setting, and the One of whom I spoke seemed very close indeed.
My sermon was entitled, “An Urgent Invitation.” My text was Luke 9:57-62. I talked about what it means to follow Jesus today, and I presented some mental snapshots of what our lives will look like if we’re truly doing that.
In his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 6, Paragraph 1, John Calvin introduces the idea that the scriptures serve as a lens through which Christians view the world. Although that imagery is useful, I argue that it is simplistic. As Christ shows in Matthew 5, he himself is the lens through which we ought to view all the rest of the scriptures. Click on the link below to listen (15:00).
In Matthew 5:48, Christ tells us to “be perfect.” Although I’ve never been stirred by talk of perfection, in this post I explain why this passage deeply inspires me. Click on the link below to listen (14:29).
This is a sermon I preached at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Portage, Michigan (USA) on February 16, 2014. The text was Matthew 5:21-26, and it was read by Rev. Hazel Winterburn. Please click on the link below to listen (26:08).