Mark 9:14-29: Faith and Faithfulness

In today’s Gospel, Jesus triumphs in a spiritual miracle, casting out a demon.  For us, this is almost unrelatable because we can explain, in some way, people’s bizarre conduct.  In our world, people exhibit many weird behaviors.  Still, we almost always come up with some explanation, often traceable to an illness—Bipolar disorder, Alzheimer’s, a horrible […]

Sandy Webb’s Funeral Homily: Baptism Does What?

John 3:1-7, 14-17; Genesis 7:11-13, 22-23; 8:1, 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-21 Sometimes, someone enters your life who speaks the truth, flowing from a heart of love, without pretense or agenda.  Whenever a friend like this becomes part of your life, don’t let him go.  Such people are rare.  Don’t allow being comfortable to obstruct genuine […]

Mark 7:24-37: Knocked Down by Sin and Death

In less than a week, two deaths—Sandy Webb and Donna Kind-Gappa.  So close together, we are left unable to make sense of this.  Inside, we are a mess of emotions, disturbed and rattled. Somehow, this smacks of betrayal.  For if God is real, how can he let this happen, a few days apart?  Only a […]

Ephesians 5:22-33: Love and Submission?

Such a reviled word, submission.  Given a different worldview, which concerns itself for others, we set aside our desires and rights for the benefit of another.  Now, this is part of following Jesus because He did the same for us.  The rights and privileges of being God, He put away, becoming human, walking the road […]

Psalm 68:6, Dean Webb’s Funeral Sermon: God Brings Those in the Prison House to Where?

“The two ways—one of life and one of death, and a vast chasm exists between the two” (Didache 1:1).  So begins a 1st-century document, meant for Gentile converts entering a Church filled with Jewish Christians.  Such are the subjects Dean delighted in learning during my time as his pastor. Today, you will not find yourself […]

Lord of the Sabbath: Mark 2:23-28

The disciples and Jesus are walking through a barley or wheat field.  Some Pharisees, a group of legalistic Jews, are standing by, ready to ambush them.  For Jesus chafed them the wrong way, going against their grain.  In the other Gospel accounts, we learn they are hungry.  So what are they to do? Tired and […]

Holy Trinity: John 3:1-17

So naive is Nicodemus.  In the concealed obscurity of night, he visits Jesus.  Though seeking to remain undetected, he offers Him the highest praise, “Rabbi, you must be a teacher come from God.  For no one can perform the signs you do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).  Swept away by His miracles, such […]

Acts 2:1-21: The Real Power of Pentecost

At last, power!  A fitting display of vigor and vitality for the saving Word to sally forth into the world!  No more modesty of the Christ-child sleeping among the animals in a manure-filled stable.  Absent is the shame and humiliation of Christ’s execution by Roman overlords.  The hidden splendor of Easter Sunday morning when God […]

Acts 1:12-26: The Office is Greater than the Man

Most of us don’t realize how much North Africans influenced our Christian thinking.  For instance, they became the first to worship in Latin.  So, much of western Christian thought came from them, as we in the West later adopted the Latin language. In the first three centuries, a higher percentage of Christians lived in the […]

Acts 1:6-11: Christ’s Ascension Doesn’t Mean He’s Now Trapped in Heaven

This was our pastor’s sermon for the pastoral circuit meeting (winkel)  on Tuesday, May 9, 2018.   The book of Acts tells us of the first Christians as they brought Jesus to others in their words and deeds.  The Scripture pictures for us the earliest Church, unfolding who the Church is and what she does, […]