Seekers recognizes that any member of the community may be called upon by God to give us the Word. Our Guidelines for Preaching help us prepare sermons. This section collects for study and reflection drafts of sermons that happen to have been prepared in electronic form. The most recent sermon is on the top of the page.
July 16, 2017
Sixth Sunday After Pentecost
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Our gospel lesson for this week, “The sower went to sow some seed…” is one of those well-worn parables that often invokes more old memories than fresh insights.
When the disciples ask Jesus what he was trying to say when he talked about those different kinds of soil, he gets quite specific:
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
July 9, 2017
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: Romans 7:15-25a
I’m not much of a fan of the Apostle Paul, so I appreciate his comment in First Corinthians that it’s following Christ that matters, not following Paul. From my modern perspective, I find Paul’s acceptance of slavery as a social institution and his devaluing of women totally unacceptable and inconsistent with the apostle’s teaching regarding God’s abiding love for all. But, despite those reservations, I have chosen this morning to work with the passage from Romans 7 which is today’s epistle lection. I have made that choice for several reasons. First, it is one of a handful of texts from the Pauline epistles where the apostle uses the first person singular and thus appears to be speaking about his own spiritual condition. Second, the passage has a universal quality about it, addressing the human condition generally even as it is cast in the first person. And finally, and perhaps most important, the passage speaks to me. It feels directly relevant to where I am right now on my own journey.
July 2, 2017
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: Jeremiah 28:5-9
There is a lot of prophesying going on these days. Turn on the TV or the radio or read Facebook or your email, and people will tell you that the current President will or won’t be impeached; there will or won’t be widespread destruction from climate change; there will or won’t be war with North Korea or Russia or some other country; millions will or will not lose their access to health care; this or that bill will or won’t be enacted by Congress; this or that law will or will not be struck down by the Supreme Court; and on and on and on. Some mornings when I read the newspaper there are more articles about what might happen than any actual news about what has already happened.
Who should we believe? Whose voices should we listen to? How do we know who is a false prophet, and who is speaking the true Word of God?
June 25, 2017
Third Sunday after Pentecost
New Story Leadership is an organization that brings together Israeli and Palestinian young adults to work, live, and share their stories with one another and with faith communities. Participants in this summer’s program spoke at Seekers this morning during the time of sharing the Word. Two speakers from among the twelve participants, one Israeli and one Palestinian, shared their experiences of growing up in the midst of the long-standing conflict. Each is committed to an ongoing project in support of peaceful sharing of the land they all call home.
June 18, 2018
Second Sunday after Pentecost
Make a joyful noise to God, all the Earth.
Worship the Holy One with gladness;
come into her presence with singing.
Know that the Holy One is God.
It is she that made us, and we are hers;
we are her people, and the sheep of her pasture.
Enter her gates with thanksgiving, and her courts with praise.
Give thanks to her, bless her name.
For the Holy One is good;
her love endures forever, and her faithfulness to all generations.
Some of you know that John and I have been making joyful noise—that is, music—together for many years, and we recently wrapped up our seventh album, which we call The Last Giraffe. Though our music is out in the world, for sale and streaming, and we sell a song or an album here and there, I guess it is mostly a labor of love. We funded a portion of this new CD with a Growing Edge grant. We are grateful for the support and want to share a couple of songs and a taste of their genesis with you. Thanks also to Jesse for joining us on one today and for workshopping these songs in the songwriters group we are all part of.
To me the key phrase of psalm 100 is right at the beginning: “all the Earth.”