10Jan2021 Sermon “Repentance-Renewal” SLMANN

10Jan

This week our focus is "Baptism of Jesus" Sunday - and as I prepare, I am struck by the call for repentance issued by John the Baptist to the world.
John the Baptist, to whom Jesus came for Baptism, to fulfill the call for righteousness.
The baptism during which the Spirit of God arrives...as a dove...and descends into Jesus, in the beginning of Jesus ministry, and a call to all to repent and follow righteousness.

And I am struck by Paul's arrival at Ephesus (described in our reading from Acts), a visit in which he discovers that the Christians there "had never heard of the Holy Spirit". What a wonderful opportunity Paul had here - to explain that the repentance of John's baptism was a beginning, and then they were baptized in the name of Jesus, and the Holy Spirit came upon them.

And we look at our current situation in the US. How do we move forward with new hope, and light. How do we DISCERN the truth and let go of toxicity.

Powerful stuff.. We need the power of the Spirit in all our lives.

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3January2021 - Sermon - “Energize - Engage”

3Jan

Sermon for January 3, 2021 (Epiphany Observed for us) "Energize - Engage" - Focusing on Journeys - and Discernment

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27December2020 - Sermon - Our Songs of Praise

3Jan

Sermon from December 27, 2020 - First Sunday of Christmas "Our Songs of Praise"

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24December2020 - Homily - The REAL Story

3Jan

From the Christmas Eve Service - a short Homily - a fun look at "The Real Story". Explores some of the assumptions and misconceptions about the Nativity, in the form of a dialogue and illustrations.

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20December2020 Sermon - Giving Love a Home

3Jan

Sermon from December 20, 2020
"Giving Love a Home" - for the 4th Sunday of Advent ("Christmas Sunday")

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13Dec2020-Seeking Joy

3Jan

Sermon from December 13, 2020 "Seeking Joy" - for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

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6Dec2020 - Sermon for the 2nd Sunday of Advent - Seeking PEace

6Dec

Sermon for the Second Sunday of Advent, 2020. "Seeking Peace"
"Seeking Peace" - Sermon for the 2nd Sunday of Advent 2020. A look at Isaiah 40 and Mark 1...and a bit of 2nd Peter. Patience in waiting for Lord. Joy in the knowledge that Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are coming.

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29November2020- Sermon - Seeking Peace - Dr. Mann

6Dec

Sermon for the First Sunday of Advent, 2020. "Seeking Hope"
"Yikes! It's Advent"...The work God began in the ministry of Jesus, then, continues in our midst. We are faithful disciples not when we focus on the future and obsess about the end of the world but when we commit our lives, here and now, to the great work of God, repairing this world, shaping a new creation of beauty, grace, justice, and joy, leaning into the reign of God, and trusting that future to God, and God's own timing.

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22November2020 Sermon Sheep, Goats, and Littles Ones

22Nov

Sermon from November 22, 2020 - Reign of Christ and Thanksgiving Sunday. Our topic, "Sheep, Goats, and Little Ones" is an exploration of the parable in Matthew 25: 31-46.  We consider all the readings as well, including Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 with Psalms 100.

Ezekiel speaks of the shepherd who searches for lost sheep, rescues them from danger, and feeds them from rich pastures. Matthew makes the metaphor personal, as Jesus blesses the “sheep” who feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Truly, this manner of shepherding is an occasion to join the psalmist in making “a joyful noise to the LORD,” for we are indeed God’s people, the sheep of God’s pasture. Thus it is that we are both broken and whole, at once healer and healed, at the same time shepherd and sheep.

Check this out for an additional insight into the parable....here is a snippet from the sermon:

All of this suggests to me that what we have in the parable of the sheep and the goats is not so much a story that urges Jesus’s disciples to be more merciful toward those who are “the least of these.” This story is Jesus’s reassurance to his disciples who are the “least of these:” vulnerable as they carry out his mission to the Gentiles. He reassures them that he is with them and will suitably reward even the Gentiles who unknowingly and unwittingly show mercy to his “brothers and sisters,” the “least of these” whom he is sending out into an often hostile world.

Jesus tells those followers—who have been sent out to him into an often hostile world to tell and show the good news—"I bless even those who don’t know me who treat you well. I will graciously receive those who receive you. I will recognize those who not recognizing me receive you. When the Gentiles, the peoples of the world, receive you little ones, my family, I recognize and receive them.”

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Render Unto Caesar

1Nov

Sermon from October 18, 2020:

This Sunday: "Render Unto Caesar"
In Exodus, Moses, seeking guidance, implores God, “Show me your glory!” In response, God reveals through a cleft in the rock.
In writing to the Christians at Thessalonica, Paul gives thanks to God for the witness of the Christians who are gathered there. A key verse: “Our message came to you not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit”, reminding us that if hearts are changes, if the world tilts on its axis, it’s God’s work…
And in Matthew, Seeking to entrap Jesus, critics ask him about whether it is permitted or not to pay taxes to Caesar.
And it is the simple answer given by Jesus, that for me, ties it all together…
Listen closely: Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and Render unto God what is God’s.
See – that’s the important part. Render unto God what is God’s, who is God’s….
 
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