Sermons

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.

A Sermon by Glen Yakushiji

December 9, 2018

The Second Sunday of  Advent

When I read the scripture texts for this week I saw that they were all about John the Baptist preparing for Jesus. it’s an important part of the Christian story but I’m not going to talk about that. I’m reminded of the tenor in Handel’s Messiah shouting in the wilderness; can you hear him in your mental ears? I’m not going to talk about him either.

As I continued to read, the word salvation seemed to rise into focus. The idea of salvation meant a lot to folks in the Baptist church where I grew up but somehow I didn’t get it. When did I ever need saving, and from what? The idea of eternal fire seemed far away, and now even the idea of hell seems a bit extreme. Salvation sounds like a good idea; but what does it mean? I asked Deborah. She said it’s related to the word salve; it’s about “healing.” Okay, I can use that.

I am also going to use themes from Philippians to guide me. Verse nine reads: And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10) so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.

“What Will It Take to Make My Life Sacred?” by Will Ramsey

December 2, 2018

The  First Sunday of  Advent

I would like to begin with a prayer which I borrowed from others who have come before us.

Lord, thank you for walking with us through the seasons of our lives.
For summer time, full of warmth and colour
And for autumn days as leaves fall to seed new growth.
For the advent season when we remember both the coming of Jesus
And all those who have come before us.
For the winter, when we are held safe in your arms through the darkness.
For the hope of spring, as we are filled with new promise and life.
You are always with us.

When I quieted my mind to find words for today’s sermon, I noticed that today is the first Sunday of advent.  My feelings about Advent have radically changed since I was a boy.  I grew up in a church which did not really put emphasis on the advent rituals so I didn’t pay it much attention.

“Attending to Doomsday Decievers or….?” by Kolya Braun-Greiner

November 18, 2018

Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost

One biblical commentary I read gave today’s gospel text an intriguing if not alarming title: “Doomsday Deceivers.”  The disciples have come with Jesus to Jerusalem – and when they see the magnificence of city they are mesmerized. “What large stones and what large buildings!”  It’s as if a group of rural peasants landed in the midst of the glitz of New York City’s times square.  But what seems most ironically humorous is that their experience immediately follows the story of the widow’s mite, who gives from her greatly from her heart of her meager wealth in contrast to the grand material wealth of the city. Ched Meyers points out the disparity here – the economic contrast of her poverty with the glorious buildings built by extracted wealth of both the Roman empire and temple power.

Jesus’ response to the disciple’s naiveté bursts the balloon of their misplaced attention:  “not one of these stones will remain…  All will be thrown down.”  Jesus is pointing to both their own deception as well as warning them of “anyone who would deceive you”  or “lead you astray.”  We might remember that the Gospel of Mark was the earliest gospel was probably written about the time of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD.

“Salvation Guidance for Political Action” by Pat Conover

November 11, 2018

Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost

Some of you may not be aware that the cloth napkins we use for Seekers prepared meals do not wash themselves. The main motive for choosing cloth napkins was to avoid using paper napkins. On the other environmental hand, a minute amount of more water is used to wash the napkins because individual Seekers wash them in regular laundry loads. My point is that Seekers actions have political, practical, and spiritual aspects.

How much does spiritual concern about the stewardship of nature matter for your practical, economic, and political motivations? How much of your spiritual concerns for nature is about deepening prayer practices by escaping for awhile from practical, economic, and political “worldly” concerns? Do we live on the natural Earth, or do we live in our garden world where we weed out  invasive species. Caring in the context of environmental concerns is just one kind of caring and each kind of caring has spiritual, practical, economic, and political implications. How much does our Christian faith help us sort out and prioritize such complexity?

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