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.

“Gift, Not Sacrifice” by Cynthia Dahlin

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June 28, 2020

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Good morning everyone!  My mission group knows that Zoom meetings have been challenging to me—Sitting on a chair for two hours without the walk into the sanctuary, the standing for hymns and all of the distractions of many faces makes me less attentive than I should be.  But in honor of this technology that allows us to be together, I will make an effort to talk slowly in case one of us has one of those glitches that slows word transmission.  I also have found that switching on Speaker View in the upper right of your Zoom Screen, and even switching off your own video, is what helps me concentrate on Sunday mornings and if you want to do that, I won’t be offended.  But come back for the reflection time so we can see your face!

The Shocking Story of the Near-Sacrifice of Isaac

When you heard today’s lectionary or read the complete selection on line, which one stuck in your head?  Was it Psalm 13:  “How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me?”

I doubt it.  It was that Abraham and Isaac story.   I had only heard the kid’s version of this story for much of my life.  A man was trying so hard to listen to God, that he was willing to offer up his own son in sacrifice to God.  At age 34, I started seminary at Virginia Theological Seminary.  I had two young children, and Julia was on the way.  My first impression of reading this story in depth in seminary was:  “What kind of father would take his son up a mountain to sacrifice him?  A monster?  A sadist?  Someone mentally ill?”  I saw the act in my mind’s eye as in Rembrandt’s famous painting of Abraham’s Sacrifice.

“You can’t Hate People and Love God at the Same Time” by Larry Rawlings

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June 21, 2020

Third Sunday after Pentecost

[The following is a transcript from the recorded sermon]

Good morning, everyone. I’ll be glad when this is over. I have to say right now, but I want to start off. You know what Jesus said? Jesus said, “You can’t hate people and love God at the same time.” I believe that is absolutely true. And so right now, can everyone just kind of take a moment of silence so that everyone can lower their expectations of me today, because it is what it is.

I believe that my good friend, Father Michael, said to me, “Every congregation remembers one thing that you said during your sermon. You’ve done your job.” And I believe that is true. And so today, hopefully, I must say a number of things that you guys will remember.

I’m going to start off with something a little bit quirky, something I got off the Internet. I didn’t see it myself, but it did happen. And it was on a game show, “The Wheel of Fortune.” And I’m sure at some point time everyone has watched the game “Wheel of Fortune” where you put letters on the board. You win lots of money. And so the category was “occupation.” And so that’s the category. Here was the answer. The answer to the public puzzle was “clam digger.” You can see all the letters on the screen here. But when the final contestant got the board, there was one letter missing.

“Jesus is my Savior” by Pat Conover

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June 14, 2020

Second Sunday after Pentecost

Jesus is my Savior. I’ll talk some theology this morning, but what matters most to me is my relationship with Jesus. Like Paul and the gospel writers I do not have any direct memories of Jesus and am dependent on what his close followers and then the authors thought was important.

I’m going to help you get to know Jesus a little better, but first I’m going to stop talking for a a moment so that you can think about some questions. What would you like to be saved for? What would you like to be saved from? Is Jesus your Savior? Do you feel like you know who Jesus was and why he could matter so much to you?  What about Jesus turns you off? What might turn you on to Jesus?

“Trinity Sunday” by Marjory Bankson

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June 7, 2020

Trinity

This week, our pandemic isolation has been upended by massive protests against systemic racism in this country. It feels like Pentecost to me. Something new is being born.

During the day, the slow-moving walks have been largely peaceful – a powerful demonstration of our First Amendment Rights by people who still trust that our legal structures will survive this President. At night, there has been some vandalism and violent clashes with police, but I also hear new strength in local leaders like DC Mayor Muriel Bowser and Bishop Marianne Budde. Something new is being born.

“Prepare to Burn the Ships” by Teresa Ramsey

May 31, 2020

Pentecost

Greetings fellow Seekers and Guests.  This is the first time in over 6 months that I have been the one to share the Word.  Looking at my Zoom screen and feeling the attack of nerves, I remember why. I pray that I have listened well to the stirrings of the Holy One in my heart that I have something of value to share with you today.

Today is Pentecost Sunday and a high holy day.  It is the Sunday that we celebrate the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and other followers of Jesus as described In Acts 2:1-21 The Holy Spirit is the means by which God makes their power available to us. The power not only brings life and healing to us, but it spreads to others through us.  In today’s gospel reading from John 7:37-39, Jesus promises that those who believed in Him would receive the Spirit, saying “Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” We must ask whether we are drinking from the living water that Jesus gives us, and if so, is it then flowing out of us to others? As always, the main question of the day is where is God in this?