“A Message for Memorial Weekend”

Luke 7:1-10 “Unexpected, Unlikely” Introduction It seems Jesus in his ministry is always mixing it up with the wrong types of folks.  Often it is the poor, the outcasts, the marginalized, those others do not consider worthy of the attention of a respected rabbi.  And then there are times when we find Jesus in the company of people at the … Read More

“A Lot of Hope

Romans 5:1-5 “A Lot of Hope” Introduction David Lose, theologian and seminary president, says one of the most challenging elements of the secular age in which we live is a loss of hope, hope for meaning in our everyday lives. Charles Taylor, a Harvard professor who has written about this, says that the increase of secularism brings about a loss … Read More

“Pentecost”

John 14:15-17, 25-27 “Pentecost” Introduction Today is Pentecost Sunday when Christians celebrate the coming of Holy Spirit in a new way into our hearts. Pentecost is a kind of culmination, a grand finale, of the events that marked the last days of Jesus’ physical life, the farewell dinner, the betrayal, the arrest, the trial, the crucifixion, the death and burial, … Read More

“In Life and Death We Belong to God”

As providence would have it, I find myself writing a column to be printed on my birthday. At the same time I am working on a funeral service which I will officiate this same day. Birthdays remind us we are a year older.  Funerals remind us we are mortal and our days are numbered.  The preacher in the book of … Read More

“That All May Be One”

John 17:20-26 “That All May Be One” The setting here is Thursday evening, the night on which Jesus will be betrayed, handed over to his enemies, deserted by his friends, tried, convicted, and then crucified. And knowing all that is to come, Jesus gathers his disciples, offers them parting words of encouragement and hope, and then he prays for them. … Read More

“The Lord’s Bequest”

John 14:22-29 “The Lord’s Bequest” Introduction This coming Friday, four of our five student singers, will graduate with their bachelor degrees from East Carolina: Ben Reyes, Marshall Williams, Michelle Lerch, and Sara McBrayer.  I realized that they probably will not have a baccalaureate service, since they are at a state university.  So we invited them today to wear their purple … Read More