Last Wednesday, on the eve of his ordination, my friend Jody’s wife passed away. Carolyn was young and this was completely unexpected. Jody anticipated going to presbytery on Thursday, then being installed at Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway, SC on Sunday. That changed radically. Jody and Grace Church are both in shock and would covet your prayers for their healing.
In the face of this, Grace asked if I would preach to them the Sunday Jody was to be ordained. This was far and away the most difficult sermon I have ever preached. You can download the sermon by clicking here or listen using the widget below. If you do listen, please pray for Jody, his 4 children, and Grace Church.
It’s Christmas Eve and the madness that accompanies the season is upon us. There are parties and gifts, travel and elves, cookies and milk, and every other thing imaginable.
In the midst of all of this hustle and bustle, it is easy to lose sight of the meaning of Christmas. I had an opportunity to preach a few weeks ago at Surfside. My Advent message was a meditation on what Christmas has become compared with Paul’s hymn about the incarnation from Philippians 2.
The way Paul sees the incarnation is a far cry from our plastic nativities and saccharine songs (Silent Night anyone?). For Paul this is a story of the God of the universe taking on flesh and exercising submission. You can listen by clicking here or using the Sound Cloud widget below.
Last week I had the chance to preach here at Surfside. It just so happened the the text I preached had to do with the Isthmian games. The last nine verses of 1 Corinthians 9 make some of the strongest demands on us as Christians. In this sermon I walk through those demands, then ask the question, “Why in the world would we do this?” You can download the sermon by clicking here or listen to it below.
As I mentioned on Monday, I was called in on short notice to preach Easter Sunday here at Surfside. I was grateful for the privilege and amazed by what the Holy Spirit did. I had about 13 hours between the phone call and the sermon. And I had to squeeze a “nap” in there somewhere. I had no text. No idea. But I did have a good God. The Lord was gracious and I was able to find a text and put this sermon together with some sleep in between. Christ is faithful. You can listen to the sermon by clicking here.
*The Link is now fixed and active.
Last summer while I was on vacation at my folks house in Tampa, I was invited to preach at Westtown Community Church (PCA). It was a great time to speak at a church where a number of my friends and family attend and to have a chance to open the Word in my hometown. As I began to prepare I was lead to the passage in the upper room where Jesus tells His disciples, “Take heart, I have overcome the world”. As I studied the text, I realized more and more how little the disciples understood even on the eve of the crucifixion. This sermon is an examination of what exactly faith is. It looks at faith in the face of problems we just can’t seem to see around. You can by clicking here.
If you have been raised in the church you have surely heard the story of Zacchaeus and Jesus.
It is a flannel-board classic. It even has a Scottish themed song (It has to be Scottish because it contains the phrase “wee lit’le”) In Luke 19, we follow Jesus as he retraces the steps of Israel from the Jordan, to Jericho, and on to Jerusalem. As Jesus makes this historic journey, the pharisees grumble about Christ’s actions. This sermon explores the expectations we have of God. Often times, these expectations have more to do with our dreamed up messiah, not who Christ actually is. Click here to download the sermon or listen using the player below.
In Luke 14 Jesus heals a man and then turns and teaches two parables to the crowd gathered at a Pharisees house. Jesus does an incredible job laying bare the self-righteousness of those gathered for the dinner. In this sermon, our self-righteousness is challenged by the bread and wine on the communion table. To download the sermon, click here or just listen using the player below.
As I mentioned in my last post, I had the opportunity to preach yesterday. I was able to speak on Moses and contrast his attempted leadership in Exodus 2 with his reluctance in Exodus 3-4. The audio begins with the special music, and the mic doesn’t click on right away, but hold on, the sound gets better. You can listen to the player below, or download the sermon here.
Yesterday I had the privileged to preach for the first time since I have served at Surfside Presbyterian Church. We have been studying an excellent small group study called “Modern Parables” and the sermons have been following the same passages. As fate would have it, the passage that fell to me was the most difficult. I was assigned the parable of the Shrewd Manager.
This text is by far the most difficult sermon I have ever preached. The text was extremely difficult to fully wrap my head around and therefore, difficult to communicate. I would like to share a few thoughts before sharing the link to the sermon.
>; This text is part of the same encounter with the Pharisees that began in ch. 15.
>; This story is tied very closely to the story of the Prodigal Sons
>; Though verses 10-13 are related, they are not a part of the parable. Instead they are a complex poem contrasting Mammon and the Kingdom.
>; There are as many opinions on what this text means as there are commentators.
>; I do disagree with the narrow application of this parable simply to finances.
So there are some of the complexities of this passage. Click here to hear the sermon.
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