Posts from 2021

Mini Sermon #53

Sermon Lesson: Luke 24:13-35 (NRSV)Alternate N.T. Lesson: 1 John 3:1-7 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 4 (NRSV) Usually when I write my mini sermons, I look ahead to the upcoming Sunday, but this time I want to look back to the previous Sunday.  I find myself unwilling to let Jesus go, to let go of his earliest post-Resurrection appearances to the twelve.  Our Lectionary completely skimmed over his second appearance to his followers after he appeared in the garden of his own Tomb,…

Mini Sermon #52

Sermon Lesson: 1 John 1:1-4 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: 1 John 1:1-2:2 (NRSV)Psalm Psalm 133 (NRSV) Our message today is in many ways a flip of the coin.  In many ways—and bear with me—the Easter message is the message of the human Jesus.  Jesus was a man who was found guilty by trial, was crucified, rose again, and then came among his followers.  Of course, simultaneously, he was fully the Son of God and fully divine, but we cannot deny that…

Mini Sermon #51 Good Friday

Sermon Lesson: John 18:29-36 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: John 18:1-19:2 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 22 (NRSV) For whatever reason, Pontius Pilate often gets overlooked in the story of Jesus’s crucifixion in Western Christianity.  Many people brush over him completely, blaming the people of Jerusalem for Jesus’s death, and forget that it was in fact Pontius Pilate who gave the order—regardless of whatever political pressure he was under at the time. Pontius Pilate has always been a man of fascination for me, I admit. …

Mini Sermon #50 Palm Sunday

Sermon Lesson: Luke 19:28-40 (NRSV) This is a much preached upon passage.  We know Jesus came to Jerusalem, we know he came in riding on a donkey (or, according to Luke, on a colt), and that people waved their palms and coats at him, proclaiming him king. We have our palms.  Or, at least, hopefully, we shall this year.  We can wave them about or, if someone in the church is talented, make them into palm crosses to be brought…

Very Mini Sermon #49

Scripture Lesson: John 12:20-33 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 51:1-12 (NRSV) We begin with a chapter told only in the Gospel of John, and certainly it is an interesting one.  Why?  Well, first and foremost, it involves Greeks (and not Jews) seeking out Jesus Christ.  This rarely happens as Jesus’s ministry was only ever in Israel. There are two things we can take from this.  First, that these Greeks are proselytes to the Jewish religion and, second, that…

Mini Sermon #48

Sermon Lesson: John 3:14-21 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: Ephesians 2:1-10 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Numbers 21:4-9 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22 (NRSV)Referenced Bible Verses: Exodus 7:10 (NRSV) Today, although we’re in the Gospels, we’re beginning with a rather confusing image that is taken from the Pentateuch, specifically from the Book of Numbers. The confusion from the opening of John 3:14-21 stems from multiple points, and I’d like to look into them one by one.  Now, if a particular point doesn’t confuse you,…

Mini Sermon #47

Sermon Lesson: John 2:13-22 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 20:1-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 19 (NRSV) A few years ago—before I came to FCC—I was particularly hung up on Biblical taxes.  There were many reasons for this, of course.  The main one was, naturally, that I had never had to pay taxes before except on a student job I held (and I remember notably receiving a check for something like 49 cents from the Federal Government one year). …

Zoom Bible Study Invitation

You’re Invited to Barkhamsted Center Church’s Virtual Bible Study Wednesday, March 3rd, from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. The subject is THE GOSPEL OF MARK. We’re starting at the beginning at working our way through! FCC’s Rev. Averill will be technical moderator and all FCC members and friends are welcome to attend. If you are on the FCC email distribution list, you will automatically receive a zoom invite on Monday, March 1st. If you’re not on our list but would…

FCC to Reopen its Doors for Palm Sunday

On Sunday, March 28th (Palm Sunday) at 10 AM Florence Congregational Church (FCC) will resume worshipping in our sanctuary, located at 130 Pine Street. We will be following the guidelines and mandates per the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. A full list of the current guidelines can be found on mass.gov. The following are the safety precautions all attending worship must follow: Face masks are to be worn at all times. Social distancing will be practiced within the church to help prevent…