Sermons

Fail Better (13 August 2017)

If we, like St. Peter, submerge instead of stay on top — today is a perfect day to try again. Even to fail again. By God’s grace, to fail better.

A sermon on Matthew 14:22-33 by Pastor John A. Nelson

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Miraculous (6 August 2017)

"Whom will you trust in more? The disciples who can’t imagine a source of food large enough? or the savior who knows that God will provide what we have not yet dared to dream?"

A sermon on Matthew 14:13-21 by Pastor John A. Nelson

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Now: The Perfect Moment (30 July 2017)

"It can seem as though rudeness and bitterness and greed have won — but they only win when they turn you and me rude and bitter and greedy."

A sermon on Romans 8:26-39 by Pastor John A. Nelson

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Plucky and Unplucked (23 July 2017)

"Our job is to let God be God. For wheaty people and weedy people. We aren’t all that different, after all."

A sermon on Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 by Pastor John A. Nelson. Click here to read, or watch the video: 

 


Good Seed; Good Soil (16 July 2017)

"God seeks the kind of growing medium in us, where we have confronted our stony hearts and allowed in the forgiving grace that cracks them open."

A sermon on Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23 by Pastor John A. Nelson

 


Too Much to Ask

"Our encounter with God, who is the fullness of living, reveals our fear of death. Our encounter with God, source of all that is good, reveals that within us live impulses and capacities for tremendous harm. But the end of the story has the most amazing, astonishing truth...."

A sermon on Genesis 22:1-14 by Pastor John A. Nelson. Click here to read, or watch the video: 


A Christian Job Description

"Getting into the life of faith has more risk to it than taking a swing on the trapeze...."

A sermon on Matthew 10:24-39 by Pastor John A. Nelson. Click here to read, or watch the video: 


"Leave Them Laughing"

"The realm of God is like this: a beleaguered people, oppressed and exiled, finally return. And someone who doesn't much care for them brings them all the way home. God is indiscriminate with answers to prayer."

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"Learning Reverence"

"We are here for the Word of God that makes it abundantly clear that the heavens and earth and all that is in them belong to the Holy One, they do not belong to us: they are loaned for our use but not given for our abuse."

A sermon on Genesis 1 by the Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson. Click here to read, or watch the video: 


"Witnesses"

"'Master, are you going to reestablish the [the rule of God] in Israel now?' Do you hear the longing in that voice? The eagerness for a clear way through the messiness of this world?"

A sermon on Acts 1:6-14, by the Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson

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"Sighted By Love"

"Because the faith that is ours through the Risen Christ has nothing to do with winning a contest, nor developing a mastery, nor defeating an opposition. The outcome that faith desires is that the 'other' and I both win."

A sermon on John 14:15-21 by the Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson. Click here to read, or watch the video: 


"Space for You"

"This is pure Jesus: personal, not doctrinal. A relationship, not a rule. God expressed through intimacy, not through an institution." Pastor John's sermon for the fifth Sunday of Eastertide.

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"Crazy Like Church"

"A curious thing happens when this particular passage comes up in Bible studies. Most of us start making excuses...." Pastor John's sermon for the fourth Sunday of Eastertide.

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"Broken World; Wholesome Faith"

"Jesus Christ teaches us to be exiles. To be in the world and of the world and also to belong to another world: the world where God is in charge, which means that grace is in charge."

Pastor John's sermon for the third Sunday of Eastertide.

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"The Last Laugh"

"Easter is God's joke: Death thought it had won, but life and love have the last laugh!" 

Holy hilarity from Pastor John Nelson for the second Sunday of Eastertide.

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"In the Garden of the Empty Tomb"

"Our story gives us the mystery of life that rises out of death, the wonder of life that rises out of death, the power of life that conquers death once and for all. Those belong to all of God’s children." 

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"A Song of Deep Waiting"

Pastor John's sermon for the fifth Sunday in Lent (2 April 2017)

"Watch the verbs belonging to God. “God … hear my voice.” For this, we cry out. Not into nothingness, but to God. To God who is waiting with an open ear, listening for the crying voices of creatures and creation."

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"A Song of Safe Harbor"

Pastor John's sermon for the third Sunday in Lent (19 March 2017)

"Thirsty for affirmation of who you are? Give the sustaining drink of affirmation to the Christ in every person you meet."

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"A Safekeeping Song"

Pastor John's sermon for the second Sunday in Lent (12 March 2017)

"Perhaps some of our sisters and brothers who are refugees, people for whom there is no safe place on the planet, are also praying Psalm 121, the safekeeping song...."

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"If – Then"

Pastor John's sermon for the first Sunday in Lent (5 March 2017)

"God recognizes your vulnerabilities, and responds by giving enough compassion and strength to move you into companionship with others who are vulnerable: that’s how you know it is God." 

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"More Than You Imagined"

Pastor John's sermon for the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany (19 February 2017)

"If you would be faithful to God, you will choose to set yourself apart from the ways of the world, as God is set-apart. How you and I pull that off is less important than why: because we belong to the God who created shalom — wholeness and harmony, justice and joy — and keeps inviting us to extend that blessing."

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"A Call from the Heart"

Pastor John's sermon for the sixth Sunday after the Epiphany (12 February 2017)

"Perhaps this time, just like Moses’s time, is choosing time. And the great Mystery from which we come is calling from the heart: choose me!"

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"God's Gumshoe"

Pastor John's sermon for the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany (5 February 2017)

"It’s almost like St. Paul is a detective, treading his way through the streets of the city especially alongside the downtrodden and desperate, striving to get through our hard heads and broken hearts to reveal the gift intended for us all along." 

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"Answering Truth Decay"

Pastor John's sermon for the fourth Sunday after the Epiphany (29 January 2017)

In the Beatitudes, Jesus answers the "alternative facts" of this world with the truth of God's realm.
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"Fulfilling Promises"

Pastor John's sermon for the third Sunday after the Epiphany (22 January 2017)

"What You See and Hear"


Pastor John's sermon for the second Sunday after the Epiphany (15 January 2017)


"The Secret of the Gifts"

On Epiphany Sunday at Church on the Hill: a telling of Matthew's gospel, of T.S. Eliot's "Journey of the Magi," and of Paul Flucke's "Secret of the Gifts."


"God on the Run"

Pastor John's sermon for the first Sunday in Christmastide (1 January 2017)

God's story and ours meet in Joseph's dreams. 
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