Messages from 2020

Messages from 2020

The Fullness of Time

Scriptures:  Luke 2:25-32; Galatians 4:4-7 Sunday, December 27, 2020 at The First Congregational Church of Marshalltown, Iowa Intro.  This sermon is for those followers of Christ who feel frustrated with themselves, who feel their imperfections acutely and wonder what will become of them.  They struggle with this life, and feel that if they were better Christians, they would not struggle so much, or that their struggles and frustrations indicate that they are poor excuses for Christians.  The purpose of this…

The Established Life

Romans 16:25-27 4th Sunday of Advent Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began  but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith– to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.…

Life as a Mission

John 20:21  3rd Sunday of Advent Introduction:  purpose in life I remember, just a few days ago, watching part of a documentary about Hasidic Jews, who are fluent in Yiddish as well as English and live in certain parts of Brooklyn.  A resident of the neighborhood was guiding the filmmaker down the street when all of a sudden, a young man steps out of a storefront, looks straight into the camera and says, “We all have a purpose in life. …

1,000 Years Like a Day

2 Peter 3:8 Second Sunday of Advent Introduction:  Waiting is not always wasting time.           On this second Sunday of Advent we consider that waiting is not wasting time.  This runs counter to our fast-moving culture.  We usually are in a hurry to get things done, and that is not always bad.  Such people are often productive, but I was in a meeting recently and someone reminded me that we need to slow down the pace, be quiet and reflect…

Beyond Our Understanding

Isaiah 64:4 1st Sunday of Advent Introduction:  The once and future king Today marks the first day of the Season of Advent, recalling the events preceding the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  It has an ancient history and marks a wondrous theological truth; that in His birth Jesus, the eternal Son of God who is Creator of all things is Himself now part of Creation.  He has joined the human race, and when He resurrected and ascended to heaven, He…

The King’s Priorities

Matthew 25:31-46 Verse 34 “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;…’” Introduction: Once, some years ago, Jeanne and I took at trip that involved driving our car into the hold of a ferryboat. The crew gave us two choices, one was to let them drive the car into the ship, the other was to drive it ourselves under…

From Every Generation

2 Corinthians 1:1-6 2 Timothy 2:7-13 ❖ IntroductionSome people would prefer to face trouble now if it meant that they next generation would enjoy peace. Others are just the opposite. Hezekiah, a righteous king in the Bible (2 Kings 21:19), was content to know of trouble for his descendants as long as it was after his lifetime. Contrast this with the stories I’ve heard over the years of Jewish leaders facing concentration camps on the eve of World War 2…

From Every Nation

Hebrews 8:4-5; Revelation 7:9–10 9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands,… IntroductionEvery year, except this year, we have a Rally Sunday worship service that is prepared and led by the children and the Youth Groups. It is not spontaneous, but designed and rehearsed in order to…

With All Your Heart

Jeremiah 17:7-10; Matthew 22:36-40 IntroductionI remember listening to the story of a professor who led a student short term missions trip to a hostile country. He and his group had a wealthy benefactor who promised them all the financial support that they would need, only to abandon them once they arrived in the country. They managed to finish their goals and make it back to the United States, but it was a very difficult and nerve-wracking experience. They were not…

Chosen

1 Peter 2:9 IntroductionLast Sunday I spent a few minutes speaking on the parable of Jesus that ended with the phrase, “many are called, but few are chosen.” In common use, it referred to a selection process in which many were invited to compete, but few would be selected in the end. In the Kingdom of God it is different, in that many are invited but few bother to respond to the invitation. The idea that, as followers of Jesus…