Sermons

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Witness

Katie Archibald-Woodward

April 15, 2018
Texts: Luke 24:36b-48
           Acts 3:12-19

Let me begin with a poem by Kabir:

What Kind of God

What kind of God would God be
if God did not hear the
bangles ring on
an ant’s
wrist

as they move the earth
in their sweet
dance?

Who Jesus Is

Betsy Edmonds

WHO, WHO is this Jesus whom we celebrate today as the Risen Lord, worthy of our trust and devotion?

Who, who is He?  The answer comes echoing down through the Ages from beyond the dawn of time; first, through the prophetic Hebrew Scriptures and then from the recounting and observations of those who knew Jesus best and followed him to the end of His life on earth.

From the book of Genesis, we see God acting creatively.  We notice there the Hebrew word for God, “Elohim,” is singular with a plural meaning: that God is a many faceted, complex being.  So we hear:

Now let Us conceive a new creation—humanity—made in Our image, fashioned according to Our likeness. And let Us grant them authority over all the earth—the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, the domesticated animals and the small creeping creatures on the earth.”

Job, Jesus, & Good News

Mike Brown

March 25,2018

Texts: Psalm 31:9-16
     Isaiah 50:4-9a
     Mark 15:1-47
     Philippians 2:5-11

Following Emily’s lead in her teaching last week, I would like to acknowledge our first-nation people in this region, the Anacostia tribe who were members of the Piscataways.  In like manner, I would like to remember the enslaved African people who worked in the fields along this portion of the Potomac River. 

In the Hebrew Scriptures, God says

…consider my servant Job?  There is no one like him in all the earth ….

and in the Christian scriptures, God says about Jesus

….You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.

Both Job and Jesus were well-regarded by God: Job as trusted servant and Jesus as a beloved son.  The stories of these two people have captured the imagination and attention of the people of faith for over two millennia.  Pain, and especially undeserved suffering, occupies many of pages of our Bible.

How Are We Known?

Teaching: Emily Owlsley

March 18, 2018

The lectionary passages for today are about how we are known and how we know God.  How we are forgiven and the fact of being forgiven as part of our identity.  We also have the foretelling of Easter and Jesus’ death allowing for new life.  And the analogy of plants dying and providing seeds that create new life.  Jesus explains that this is how new life happens. 

I’m going to talk through the lectionary passages this morning and then ask you all if you’re willing to share about particular times in your life, or the life of the community, or someone close to you, when something had to be given up, or die, to allow for new life to happen.  So keep that in mind as I go through the scriptures. 

God’s Gift of Snakes in the Wilderness

Meade Hanna

March 11, 2018

Texts:   Numbers 21:4-9
             John 3:14-21

I picked the Old Testament and the New Testament readings because they are inextricably linked.  To understand the good news of the gospel of John, to understand the God who loves the whole world and the kind of sacrifice he gave us, I need to know that that God can walk with me through the wilderness, snakes and all, not taking the sources of death and suffering away but helping me to remember and to turn to my source of life, to the places and people in whom we find God.  To remember that I never walk alone. 

Today I will start with Barclay’s ideas of the gospel of John and end with my ideas about snakes. 

John was Jesus’s disciple and Jesus is known for loving him affectionately, possibly as his younger first cousin.  We see John resting on Jesus’s arm in DaVinci’s Last Supper.  He was Jewish but in 100 AD, a good thirty years after the other three gospels were written, John and his community decide they need to write a very different gospel, one that appealed to the crowd of Greek Gentiles all around them.  Why?  The scholars propose that this gospel was written as a bridging across cultures.  John and his community want the Greeks to know their God, rooted in the Semitic story of the Old Testament.  John wants to show God as loving and choosing them, just like he chose the nation of Israel, to have as his people. 

April Fools

Kevin Boteler

March 4, 2017

Texts:
     Exodus 20:1-17
     John 2:13-22
     I Corinthians 1:18-25

Good morning, Eighth Day.  If I may, I would like to start out with a familiar prayer that is also the last verse of today’s lectionary Psalm text.  If you’ll bow with me:

14 Let the words of my mouth
    and the meditations of my heart
    be pleasing to you,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

I’m not yet sure yet exactly what my Call is at 8th Day, but I do know that a part of my Call (with a capital C) is to say yes when I get a “little c” call asking me to serve in some way.  I have found that saying yes to bringing the teaching without first checking to see what the lectionary is often brings interesting surprises.  So it is with this time, as I read the scriptures and realized two things:

Faith and Transfiguration

Ann Barnet

February 25, 2018

Texts:
     Genesis: 17:1-7
     Psalm 22
     Mark 9:2-9
     Romans 4:13-24

Genesis says: When the world began, God created Adam and Eve in his own image.  And God declared: "Behold, it is very good!"

God took joy in his own reflection in the first humans.  He liked us!   He loved us.  God said his creation is worthy of his love.  A good thought in those moments when we feel unworthy.  Right from the beginning, so goes our Bible story, the mystery and paradox of man is set before us: We are a creation destined to bear the image of the uncreated God.

But those first humans, and humans ever since, have wanted to negate the mystery of the God-image.  Satan told us we could be "as God" and we believed him.  We invented various designer fig-leaves, dressing ourselves up in images of power, immortality, knowledge, wealth, and invulnerability.  We puffed ourselves up with missile launches and ever taller towers.  We store up bit-coin and off­shore treasure that's doomed to end up as ashes.

Transfiguration

Chris Taylor

February 11, 2018

Text: Mark 9:2-9

Good morning, my dear sisters and brothers.

I'm truly honored and feel blessed to be here, speaking to you all today.  When I got the call from David Dorsey asking me if I would like to do the teaching today, I said “sure” without any hesitation.  In Mark 9, we’re told about the transfiguration.  I myself had a transfiguration in my life.  It’s been almost 14 years now that Jesus touched me.  Since that blessed day, my life has been transformed.  It started then and has not stopped, and took away my addiction.

When we look at the Scriptures of transformation throughout the Bible, it’s just miracle after miracle, transformation continually.

When Jesus healed people, telling them go and sin no more, each person’s life was never the same after that encounter with Lord Jesus.  We cannot remain the same.  We change.

After that fateful day when I asked Jesus to take away my addiction, the very next morning, when I woke up, I was transformed.  I didn’t have any desire to go out there looking for a “fix.”

On Our Way Home

Kate Lasso

February 4,2018

I find a lot of comfort in the image presented in Psalm 84 of our spiritual journey being a journey home.  Throughout Scripture (especially in the Old Testament) there’s lots of verses that support the vision that our time on earth is a journey to God’s Promised Land.  Applying these old, old stories to my own situation, I take comfort in seeing my life as a continuous journey homeward, sometimes hoping that I’m somewhere near my destination, sometimes discovering that I’m in the middle of unfriendly territory, and sometimes realizing that I’m just walking around in circles lost in the wilderness.  Let's again soak up the image from the first few verses of Psalm 84, where I hear, in Verse 1, a description of being home … in the house of the Lord.  If you listen carefully, you’ll find that what follows this image is a longing to come home.  It seems that, this psalmist’s experience of living in the house of the Lord is like mine, experienced internally, as a heart-felt hope, rather that externally in the day-to-day world.

Call: God's Early Warning of Change

Kent Beduhn

January 21, 2018

Texts:
     Ps. 62: 5-12
     Jonah 3: 1-5, 10
     Mark 1: 14-20b

Jesus arrives on the scene in Mark just as John is imprisoned: one brother and prophet succeeds the next.  The Message, the Good News is clear: Time is fulfilled; God’s Kindom is at hand, has “come near”; Repent! Transform your minds and actions (metanoia)! Turn and Change!

  • It is God alone who calls us (just as Jesus does).
  • It is possible Leave everything; follow God’s creative possibility in a call (just as the one Jesus proclaimed).
  • We can Trust that, by faith, God can change everyone and everything, including those we (personally) give up on (just as Jesus did).

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