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.
January 07, 1995
I was so turned off by arguments over the virgin birth in the churches of my youth that I came to generally dislike the Christmas stories in Matthew and Luke. Then there was a period when I was interested in scraping away all the accretions of the gospel writers so I could try to understand what was really going on with this Jesus person. Now I’m prone to thinking that even if we can get some windows onto the words and actions of Jesus, that an important part of what was going on was that people were responding to Jesus the best they could, and their best included stories to name some truths they couldn’t fully grasp.
Are we looking forward to the Second Advent mentioned by Jesus in the Luke passage? Are we to read the signs of the times and wait for “The Human One coming in a cloud of power and great glory?” Do we believe that there will be a Second Advent? Does it matter? Whose Advent is it?
November 06, 1994
His instinct was to grab a large rock and try to kill it. Fortunately I saw the toad and its impending doom in time to yell “Hey, Stop it!” The rock was thrown, but my tone startled Ben just enough to change its trajectory. Once again, I could have yelled at him, but something kept me from doing it. Instead I scooped up the toad [scoop toad from container and show it to the congregation]. I stopped the group, and praised Ben for finding such an interesting critter, and asked him to name it as I planned to take it back to the Lab to set up an aquarium for it. When I picked it up. [squeeze toad’s back a little and explain vocalization of males] The toad talked. This little instinctive sound completely unwound Ben. He forgot his role as “tough dude” for a minute and said with wonder. “I almost killed him!” The toad spoke to him somehow — or was it the toad doing the speaking.
This morning I want to talk about a variety of hungers. Throughout his ministry, Jesus recognized both our physical and spiritual needs to be fed. When he said, in the gospel passage for this morning, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall never be hungry; whoever believes in me shall never be thirsty,” he was not telling us that we had no more need of physical food.
February 06, 1994
A Native American was visiting a friend in Seattle. Walking near Pike Place Market he stopped her and asked “Do you hear it?” “What” she replied. “Listen”… All she could hear was the hustle and bustle of the city, cars, shouts, horns, and buses. He smiled, pulled out a coin and whispered “watch”. It landed on the sidewalk with the soft silver tinkle we all know. Everyone in the radius of 20 feet stopped to look. He then lifted up a nearby stone to reveal a single cricket chirping away — much louder than the coin. She had not heard it, no one else had either. The sound of the cricket was always present, but it took one who was open to make others aware. This is prayer — a listening process, to wash away the everyday trappings of our humanness in order to let in the ever-present voice of wisdom … the cricket … God.