Sermons from 2013

110 of 22 items

The Real World

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There is a scene in one of my favorite shows (FYI – “The Vicar of Dibley” Britcom) where the entire cast of characters enacts the Christmas story by creating a live nativity scene. It is a comedy, so lots of things go haywire. David, the man appointed to play the part of King Herod decides to use a little creative license with his lines. Instead of King Herod wanting to kill Jesus – he decides that he should kiss Jesus. He wants to show another side of Herod. It’s just two letters – what’s the big deal?

Let’s face it – Herod is not the part you want to play in the Christmas pageant. You certainly don’t want to get stuck doing the children’s message on this Sunday. In fact, I think it would be nice if we could cut him out of the story all together. Why does he have to be in this story? He is just plain awful.

Seeing Peace

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About this time of year, Dave and I went to the home of a young family from his church. They just wanted to have us over for supper and we were happy to oblige. Their house was immaculate and decorated beautifully for the season. You would never know a couple of children lived there. I don’t know if they were threatened or bribed but they left all the decorations and candles alone. One of the kids took me by the hand to see their special tree in the kitchen and was excited to show me how they made paper chain and ornaments. This same child then took me to the nativity set perfectly displayed in the front entry. I thought he wanted to show me baby Jesus or point out the shepherds. Instead he wanted to share a secret with me. He grinned from ear to ear as my eyes fell upon the one thing he wanted me to see – then he raised his fingers to his lips and said, “Shhhhhsh.”

Smelling Hope

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My grandmother Kinkade was born in 1887 so by the time I was born she was already in her seventies and she already had 24 grandchildren. I remember her as being very patient – she didn’t do anything fast. Her house was typical of an aging farm couple – the lace curtains that served as a backdrop for their wedding photo still hung in the window. They had a horribly uncomfortable couch in their sitting room – the kind with a piece of cow hide stretched over springs and wood arms. Grandpa had his chair. In that same room grandma had a bay window that she filled with plants and clippings in all shapes and sizes.

We didn’t have a lot of special moments – just a few times when mom and dad needed to park me somewhere. I sat in the window to watch for my parents and grandma talked to me about her plants. That’s when she told me the most amazing story. She told me that one night she was awakened by an incredible smell – the whole house was filled with a fragrance.

Rejoice

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These words of the Apostle Paul are gems…..These are the kinds of words that get you an interview with Oprah – because they are key to our life, our health, our outlook, and our relationships. Science is just now proving their wisdom. So lest you think Paul’s words are just fake it till you make it, go to your happy place kinds of platitudes, think again. Paul is giving us the secret of joy and the key to peace; gratitude and rejoicing.

Paul is so convinced about the power of rejoicing – he says it twice. “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.”

Imagine

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In about a month I will become a grandma to Parker Clark Drottz. (I didn’t pick the name.) His arrival has focused my attention on the future. What will the world be like when Parker (and Will who we are dedicating today) is my age? What will life be like in fifty years? When he studies our current history what do think will prompt him to ask, “What were they thinking?”

What ARE we thinking? What futures ARE we imagining?

Celebrating FCCO’s 130th Anniversary

CELEBRATING FCCO’S 130TH BIRTHDAY – November 10, 2013
First Christian Church of Orange (Disciples of Christ), Orange, CA
Script written by Bev Weatherhill with additions by Dayna Kinkade, Michelle Harris-Gloyer and Wesley Ruby.

Zacchaeus

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Most of us know a few things about Zacchaeus… let’s review what we know:

  • we know that Zacchaeus lived in Jericho
  • we know that Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector
  • we know that Zacchaeus was rich
  • we know that he climbed up in a sycamore tree
  • we know that he wanted to see Jesus

Are you wondering why I didn’t say that we know Zacchaeus was a “wee little man?” Actually we don’t know that – we assume that. Greek scholars are unable to determine if Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus because Zacchaeus was short or Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus because Jesus was short. For some reason we just assume Zacchaeus was the short one but what if it was Jesus that looked like Danny DeVeto?

Never Give up

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This spring, one of the 259 nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize was a sixteen year-old girl from Pakistan named Malala Yousafzai. She is an outspoken activist for the education of girls around the world and truly believes the only way we will find peace on this planet is through education. When the Taliban came to rule in her city they brought a certain degree of order that was at first, welcomed. The strong arm of the Taliban quickly became cruel and oppressive. Young girls who had freely attended school were ordered with all women to stay within the confines of their homes. They were denied education, freedom, rights, even the right to be seen or heard.

Loud Thanks 2013

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Martin Luther was once asked to describe the nature of true worship. “The tenth leper turning back,” was his reply. Many of us appreciate a “rags to riches” story and the story of the ten lepers is just that. Ten men are literally wrapped in rags. Ten men are cleansed of leprosy. One of those ten becomes rich and falls at Jesus’ feet in joyful gratitude. The key to understanding the story is figuring out what distinguishes the tenth man from the other nine.

Making An Effort

Thursday evening, about 7:00 PM, something happened that shocked the nation. The U.S. House of Representatives all agreed on something. As one body they rose to their feet to cheer and applaud their appreciation for the Capitol Police. With one voice the House offered their thanks for the vigilance of the police in serving and protecting our nation’s lawmakers and those who visit our nation’s capitol. It lasted for a full ten seconds.

All it took was the sound of gunfire and immediate orders to “shelter in place.” Even though the situation was quickly though tragically resolved, it brought to the fore the importance of law enforcement officers and the dependence of lawmakers upon them. So for a few seconds they all agreed on one thing and all it took was a life or death situation.

The pledge of allegiance still says “One nation, under God, indivisible….” yet when we look to Capitol Hill we see a house divided. Name calling, game playing, finger pointing, demonizing the opposition is all mixed in with ideological differences on what is best for our nation. Some folks are giddy with excitement about the shutdown of government while others are furious about its potential consequences.