Sermon - 21 Pentecost

In the Name… The story is told of when Henry Ford visited Ireland in the 1920’s and made a $1,000 donation to a local hospital. That was a generous sum, back then, but, the newspaper printed that his donation was $10,000. To the relief of the embarrassed officials, Ford agreed to make up the difference but, on condition that in the entrance hall there be inscribed a verse of Scripture; Matthew 25.43, "I was a stranger, and ye took me in." The theme of hospitality looms large in our Scriptures this morning. First, we heard the admonition of God to the people of Israel that they were not to wrong or oppress the strangers in their land. Then we heard St. Paul expressing his deep appreciatio

Sermon - 20 Pentecost

In the Name... There were once two men shipwrecked on a desert island. One of them started screaming and yelling, “We're going to die! We're going to die!" But, the second man just sat quietly against a tree and said, "Relax. I make $100,000 a month." The first man stared at him in disbelief and shouted, "What does that have to do with anything?” The second man calmly replied, "I make $100,000 a month and I tithe. Don't worry. My pastor will find me!" Well, this Sunday, Jesus talks about money and how we use it. In fact, today we hear one of his most memorable statements on the subject, "Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." That's a great phrase.

Sermon - 19 Pentecost

In the Name... A Baptist minister and an Episcopal priest once agreed to hold a pulpit exchange. Since the priest would wear a plain suit at the Baptist church, he asked the minister to wear an alb when he visited the Episcopal church. The next day, the priest asked his friend how he thought it went. "Just fine" the minister replied, "But, I was sure glad to put my trousers back on afterwards." Throughout his ministry, Jesus used stories - parables - to express and communicate deep spiritual truths in terms to which we human beings could relate and visualize in a concrete manner. But, while a good story often owes its success to its realism, the strength of a good parable is often found

Sermon - 18 Pentecost

In the Name... One Halloween, two boys went trick-or-treating and one brought some eggs to throw at houses. On the way, the older said to the younger, "I'll give you five dollars if you let me break three eggs on your head." The little boy knew it was going to be painful and messy, but, because he wanted the money, he agreed, so, the older boy broke the first egg on his head. It hurt and got his head gooey, but, he readied himself for the second. This one also hurt, but, he was determined to get the five dollars, so he braced himself for the third and last egg, but, the older boy then walked away laughing, "I changed my mind. I think I'll keep the money." Like the older kid in that story,

Sermon - 17 Pentecost

In the Name... A few years ago, Sue and I were traveling in Ireland and we stopped late one night to get some fish and chips. The town where we stopped, however, had hosted a major football match earlier in the day and the shop had been cleaned out by the ravenous hoards. All they could offer us was fried smoked cod. Probably, one of the worst meals I've ever eaten, but, I can truly say, it was the piece of cod which passeth all understanding. This mornings' selection from the Letter to the Philippians contains one of the classic New Testament statement on the subject of peace. Now, peace is something with which we should all be concerned and yet every time we think that conditions should