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.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll share excerpts from some lectures I’m giving this fall at Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Portage, Michigan (USA). Today I introduce the subject of the course: how the Christ Culture grew to be a world-changing power within the Graeco-Roman and Jewish cultures of the time. Click on the link below to listen (13:15).
(Correction: H. Richard Niebuhr was the author of Christ and Culture, not his brother Reinhold Niebuhr.)
If Christ is “the Way,” can we say anything in practical terms about where that Way will lead us? Here is a brief meditation on Psalm 77:19 (NRSV) with that question in mind. Click on the link below to listen (4:43).