Tag: John (Gospel)

The Christmas Story

God loved the world like this: In the days when Israel was ruled by Rome, God sent an angel to a young woman named Mary, who was engaged to a man named Joseph, and that angel said, You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will

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Again, from Above, of Water and Spirit

Today is Trinity Sunday, a day when churches around the world — not just the United Church of Christ, but Catholics and Anglicans and Lutherans and Presbyterians and Methodists — recognize and celebrate one of the great mysteries of our faith. We worship one God in three Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy

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An Ever-Widening Circle

Previously, at First Congregational United Church of Christ. A couple of weeks ago, when we were having our annual celebration of extravagant welcome, I preached on the beginning of the story of Peter and Cornelius. To recap, since it’s important: Peter was an apostle of Jesus Christ. And he knew that the church was a

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A Sign and a Wonder

This sermon was delivered at First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeWitt, Iowa, on April 8, 2018. The scriptures for this sermon are John 20:19-31 and Acts 4:32-35. There are stories about Bill Murray; you know, the guy from Groundhog Day. Some of them are not true. And the stories that aren’t true tend to

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A Meditation for Maundy Thursday

This meditation was delivered at  First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeWitt, Iowa, on March 29, 2018 (Maundy Thursday). The scripture was John 13:1-17, 31b-35. Those of you who are members of First Congregational United Church of Christ might have read the little bio of me that you received before you called me as your

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Will You Be Transformed?

This sermon was delivered at First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeWitt, Iowa, on March 18, 2018. The scriptures for this sermon are Jeremiah 31:31-34 and John 12:20-33. Some of you may know that, before I came to serve as your pastor, I worked for Back Bay Mission. The Mission is a community ministry

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Even Me. Even You.

This sermon was delivered at First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeWitt, Iowa, on March 11, 2018. The scriptures for this sermon are Ephesians 2:1-10 and John 3:14-21. When I was in college, I met some Christians who believed in the contract. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the contract, but I’ve seen it

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Sometimes, We Flip Tables

This sermon was delivered at First Congregational United Church of Christ in DeWitt, Iowa, on March 4, 2018. The scriptures for this sermon are Exodus 20:1-17 and John 2:13-22. When I was in elementary school — and, probably when you were in elementary school — every classroom had rules. They were written on the chalkboard, or

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John 13:3-7 (for Maundy Thursday)

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and

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