Mini-Sermon

Mini Sermon #64 Ash Wednesday

Mini Sermon #64 Ash WednesdaySermon Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 (NRSV)Gospel Lesson: Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 51:1-17 (NRSV) Related Sermon(s): Mini Sermon #44 Ash Wednesday Ash Wednesday kicks off the Season of Lent in the Christian Calendar, which itself is the forty days preceding the Christian holiday of Easter.  It is notable because the palms from the year’s previous Palm Sunday are burnt to ash and then placed ritually on a believer’s forehead with…

The History of the Advent Wreath

By Rev. Averill Elizabeth Blackburn In the four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we light four candles in an Advent Wreath.  Some of us do this only at church.  Others of us follow this tradition at home as well.  We often read devotionals or say special prayers along with the lighting of the candles.  Some wreaths have a fifth candle in the center, which is lit on Christmas Eve.  But what is the history of the Advent Wreath?  Where did…

Mini Sermon #62 A Reformation Sunday

Reading: Romans 3:23-28 (NRSV) Indulgences.  We hear that word and maybe think of a candy bar, a beer on a Friday night, or maybe some chocolate chip cookie dough.  However, in the Middle Ages, the term “indulgences” was a religious word.  An indulgence was a piece of paper that the Catholic Church sold to absolve you—anyone really—of a sin.  The greater the sin, the costlier the indulgence.  They were invented when the Catholic coffers ran a little dry.  Why not? …

Mini Sermon #58

Sermon Lesson: Romans 8:12-17 (NRSV)Old Testament Lesson: Isaiah 6:1-8 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 29 (NRSV) Today we return to the Epistle of the Romans but we are going to be speaking more broadly to gain context of our passage.  Paul begins as he often does, addressing his fellow Christians as “brothers” as “sisters” for we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, but then expands upon that idea… more specifically, that we, as Christians, are all the adopted sons and daughters of…

Announcement & Mini Sermon #57

Mini Sermon #57 Sermon Reading: Romans 8:22-27 (NRSV)Alternate New Testament Reading: Acts 2:1-21 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 104:24-34 (NRSV) Quick Note The subject of our “Mini Sermon,” Romans 8:22-27, will serve as the First Lesson at Florence Congregational this Sunday.  Hope to see you there! Preamble We move to Paul’s Letter to the Romans, which is perhaps the most well-known of his letters.  Paul is writing to Christians in diaspora—or Christians who live outside of Israel.  We know, just by looking at…

Mini Sermon #46

Sermon Lesson: 1 John 5:9-13 (NRSV)Alternate Sermon Lesson: John 17:6-19 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 1 (NRSV) I’m going to be honest with you.  If someone comes up to me in the street, usually all smiles, and asks me point blank if I’ve accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I’m secretly wondering if God’s playing some perverse joke on me.  It’s not that such well-wishers are ill intentioned—they certainly aren’t.  I just don’t want to get into the questions or…

Mini Sermon #55

Sermon Lesson: 1 John 4:7-21 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 22:25-31 (NRSV)Referenced Sermons: The Love Map & The Love Map (Pt II) & The Love Map (Pt III) Today, we are returning to what I like to call “The Love Map.”  For those of you who were in church on Sunday, I eluded to it briefly in my sermon about the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18).  Little did I know when I was standing in the pulpit, promising that I would eventually make a…

Mini Sermon #54 All You Need Is Love

Sermon Lesson: 1 John 3:16-18 (NRSV)Full Sermon Lesson: 1 John 3:16-24 (NRSV)Psalm: Psalm 23 (NRSV) Quoted Verses: Matthew 22:37-39 (NRSV) Increasingly, more and more, when I look out my window and contemplate the world, I feel that nothing is quite as simple as I wish it could be.  Now, before you pack this sermon away because you think I’m about to give into such maudlin thoughts, I’ve found that Christianity—as wonderfully complex and nuanced as it is, can always be…

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…