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Mini Half-Sermons 45 & 46

Mini Half-Sermon #45 Sermon Lesson: Mark 1:12-15 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Lesson: 1 Peter 3:18-22 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Genesis 9:8-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 25:1-10 (NRSV)Referenced Bible Lesson: Job 1-2:10 (NRSV) The Temptations I remember growing up, one of my favorite band was the Temptations.  And, really, what’s not to love?  As Christians, we’re conditioned to think of temptation (the earthly sort, not the blues group) as a bad a thing.  But, really, it really isn’t necessarily.  Instead, it’s a part of life. …

Mini Sermon #44 Ash Wednesday

Sermon Lesson: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 51:1-17 (NRSV)Referenced Gospel Lesson: Luke 21:1-4 (NRSV) This is a passage about motive, and there could be no better passage for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, a time for penance and contribution in the Christian calendar. In religious life, we often have to strike a balance, between the seen and the unseen.  The seen is what others around us see and…

Mini Sermon #43 Transfiguration Sunday

Sermon Lesson: Mark 9:2-9 (NRSV)Epistle: 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 50:1-6 (NRSV) Transfiguration is one of those big words that in Christianity has a rather specific meaning and reason behind it.  When we speak of “The Transfiguration,” we mean, rather specifically, The Transfiguration of Jesus Christ, and we tend to celebrate it a Sunday or two before Lent every year. But what does it mean? If we look “transfiguration” up in the dictionary, we’ll get an answer somewhere along the…

Vaccine Openings

The Northampton DPH has openings for tonight (Thursday, February 4, 2021) and tomorrow (Friday, February 5, 2021) for ELIGIBLE folks! This includes phase I (healthcare workers etc) AND ANYONE AGE 75 or older. Sign up on the city website asaphttps://www.northamptonma.gov/2219/COVID-19-Vaccination-Clinics

Mini Sermon #42

Sermon Lesson: Mark 1:29-39 (NRSV)Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 147 (NRSV) Last week we saw Jesus cast out an unclean spirit (or a demon) in a synagogue and this sermon lesson follows immediately after that.  Jesus is with four of his first followers—Simon and Andrew, with James and John (two sets of brothers, coincidentally). We have several short stories of his ministry and his miracles placed together in a longer narrative, and for that reason it might almost…

Mini Sermons 40 & 41

Mini Half-Sermon #40 Sermon Lesson: Mark 1:14-20 (NRSV)Epistle: 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 62:5-12 (NRSV) These few verses in Mark have been written about and over analyzed so many times that for the young minister (or even the experienced one), it is difficult to bring anything new to table.  When I read them just yesterday, I felt both a quiver of excitement and a sinking dread in my toes for that very reason. However, I like a challenge, especially when…

News from the Youtube Studio

New Wall Hanging in Studio My warm thanks and awe go out to the inestimable Sandy Hubbard who quilted this wall hanging ahead of the Lenten Season for my youtube ministry. It shows the Crosses at Cavalry (Luke 23:33). It will be featured in my prerecorded youtube sermons beginning this Sunday (January 31) and through Easter (and quite possibly beyond that). For those with a keen eye, you can also see in the lower left of the photograph the new…

Mini Sermon #39: Anointing an Everyman

Sermon Lesson #1: 1 Samuel 10 (NRSV)Sermon Lesson #2: 1 Samuel 16:10-16 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 20:6-9 (NRSV) In the United States, we have never taken to anointing kings.  The closest we have is the Netflix original series The Crown which showed, in great detail, the anointing of the young Elizabeth II, with full explanation from the Duke of Windsor (the former Edward VIII).  In fact, we Americans have always made a point not to anoint our elected leaders.  I was once…

Domain Notice

Many of you may remember that in past months — when changing to the new website — we were registered as both fccnorthampton[dot]org and fccnorthampton[dot]com. This is just a friendly notice, to save all pages in your bookmarks as [dot]org as we will be letting the [dot]com expire on February 14, 2021. Forgive the technobabble. Any questions? —email the Reverend.

Mini Sermon #38

Sermon Lesson: John 1:43-51 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson (full): 1 Samuel 3:1-20 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 139 (NRSV) Today, one week since the beginning of Epiphany, we move to Jesus’s early ministry, specifically as recounted in the Gospel of John. We are fortunate in that we don’t have to break down one of Jesus’s parables (as in months past) as no one is speaking in riddles—at least not to each other. In this short passage Jesus meets one of his first followers, and…