Sermons

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The Nature of Call

David Hilfiker

Texts:
     Isaiah: 6:6-9
     Luke: 5:1-11
     I Corinthians 12:4-11

The Servants group is scheduling about one teaching a month to examine our Eighth Day core beliefs and spirituality and also to share a bit about our personal spiritual journeys.

So I want us to speak this morning about the nature of “call,” one of the basic building blocks of our faith and practice.  I originally thought that this would be easy to write since I’ve felt called to a couple of personally meaningful vocations in the last forty years.  But it turns out I know less than I thought I did, so this will be a group teaching.  I’m going to talk a little about my calls and then we’ll hear from some of you about yours.

As we read from Corinthians, each of us is called, and within community each call is, in the eyes of God, of equal value.  A significant part of our faith journey is discerning that call.  Let me share a couple of mine:

Accompanying the Oppressed to Form a Just World

Carol Bullard-Bates
Helen Walker

Psalm 146 makes it clear that God is behind and rejoices in every action we take to uphold the cause of the oppressed.  God watches over the alien in our communities.  That was Jesus’ way of life, to be with the oppressed and develop their leadership power in sharing the good news that they were God’s people, no matter how outcast they were in their society.  That gave them the vision of what God’s Kingdom was, so they could stand up against oppression and work for justice.

Listen to Carol's teachng:

Jesus was born into the oppressive Roman Empire that had colonized Israel.  Even the Jewish religious leaders were more focused on the details they had added to the law that effectively left out the poor, than what God wanted of them.  Jesus was immersed in the words of the prophets who had to keep reminding Israel that God wanted them to take care of people who were poor and the aliens rather than focus on self-serving sacrifices that had nothing to do with God’s justice.  We too, as followers of Jesus, can be so brain-washed in our oppressive empire of the United States and its militarism and consumerism and racism, that we forget that God upholds the cause of the oppressed, and wants us to act to end the oppression with leadership from the oppressed, not for them.  It has been so painful to see our President increase the oppression of our aliens and our poor people and so make the chasm between rich people and poor people even greater.

The Blessing and Cost of Discipleship

Fred Taylor

September 15, 2019
Text: Luke 15

I want to begin by thanking you for your prayers in my battle with cancer and for the Spirit’s guidance to finish my book.  I am happy to still be here and to be working on the last chapter of my book.  Please keep those prayers coming. 

A few weeks ago, the 8th Day Leadership Team asked me to lead off a series of once-a-month teachings about discerning our future as a church.  Given the powerful history we inherit as a child of the Church of the Saviour, what now?  What can we say about how God in Christ is working with us as a community now and what clues are given to us for how God is calling us into the future? 

When I accepted this assignment my first instinct was to tell some of the inspiring stories from Church of the Saviour’s past.  There is a lot to tell, but upon further reflection it occurred to me it would be better to start with “now” and a place or places where we perceive the Holy Spirit at work in our midst.  So this is what I am going to do.

Different Roads to a Spiritual Awakening, Leading All to One Road

Connnie Ridgway

Aug 25, 2019

The lectionary Scriptures today in Isaiah, read from The Message, talk about manifesting God consciousness through caring for the least of us in the community, through housing, feeding, and treating people well.  I love what it says in verses 10 & 11:

10: If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down and out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight.

NRSV:

your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. 

11: I will always show you where to go.

Messsage:

I'll give you a full life in the emptiest of places—firm muscles, strong bones.  You'll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. 

Journeying in the Great Cloud of Witnesses

Jeanne Marcus

August 11, 2019

Good morning, 8th Day. 

Let us pray: 

Gracious One, you lovingly, continuously invite us to radiant, courageous, creative, compassionate lives in you.  May we turn our faces toward you in trusting faith, the “yes” of our lives unfurling and blossoming in the bright sun of your love.  Amen.

Today’s New Testament portion, from chapter 11 of the Letter to the Hebrews, is one I keep coming back to.  It provides me key coordinates on my spiritual map, locating me in God’s space and time, in the larger scheme of things.  It reminds me, as well, of the kind of journey I want to be on. 

It focuses on God’s call to Abraham, already 75 and his wife Sarah, age 65 and childless.  Abraham heeds God’s call to leave his homeland with Sarah, but is given no clue about where they will be going.  But he is given two promises: 

  • the first is that Abraham will find a new homeland. 

  • The second is laid out beautifully in today’s passage from Genesis, which links to the passage from Hebrews : “Look up to the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able.  This is how numerous your descendants will be.”

Hevel

Alfonso Sasieta

August 4, 2019

Listen to teaching

Texts:
     Ecclesiastes 1:2-12
     Colossians 3:1-4
     Luke 12: 13-21

 Good morning everyone,

I invite you to pray with me before we begin:

God of love, we greet you.  It is good to be here with you.

This morning we ask for the grace of  sensing your Anchoring presence within us.

Though limited in our capacities,  though limited in our knowledge, though limited in our smallness, we know that we know  the basics of your good news. 

Grant us courage to live from that foundation.  Let us begin, again, today.  Amen.

Meaningless,
meaningless,
everything is meaningless.

Growing up in a very churched environment meant that by the time I was a high-schooler, there were very few scripture passages that struck me as weird and unfamiliar.  This opening poem, indeed the opening line, in Ecclesiastes was an exception.  Everything is meaningless?  I had a hard time understanding how a line like that could make it into the bible.

Failure and the Sacred, Radical Community

Jonathan Nisly

July 21, 2019

Texts:
     Amos 8:1-12
     Psalm 52
     Luke 10:38-42

“Martha, Martha.  You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or, indeed, only one.”

Good morning, 8th Day.  I’m happy to be here with you, and I’m excited to dive into the mix of scriptures that the lectionary offers us this morning.  I’m also excited to be here because of 8th Day’s flexibility; as you may have noticed, these aren’t the scriptures on our online calendar.  I originally read through the Common Lectionary, which has alternate Old Testament and Psalm readings for this morning.  But the readings from Amos and Psalm 52 had already intrigued me too much to go back, and I thought you all wouldn’t mind too much.

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