Seekers recognizes that any member of the community may be called upon by God to give us the Word. Our Guidelines for Preaching help us prepare sermons. This section collects for study and reflection drafts of sermons that happen to have been prepared in electronic form. The most recent sermon is on the top of the page.
October 12, 2020
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Next Sunday is Recommitment Sunday. I hope you have taken some time in silence to engage with the questions that Celebration Circle has posed, and I hope you have sent an email or text message to Ken Burton letting him know whether you are recommitting as a Steward or member, or if you’re committing for the first time. This year they posed two new questions: “How has the pandemic demanded changes in my personal life this year? How does that affect my faith?”
The pandemic has changed parts of my life a great deal. Usually I spend most of my spring, early summer, and autumn days and evenings guiding busloads of students or senior citizens to the D.C. monuments and memorials. Since January I’ve done exactly two tours and the last one was on March 6. The company I guide for has bookings for next spring, but we’re not optimistic. So, one change is that I’ve been around the house a lot more. Also, instead of taking a two-week trip in mid or late summer with Sharon, this year I’ve made only one daytrip. I long to dine inside a restaurant. I haven’t hugged, shaken hands, or given a high five to anyone outside our family and I’ve reduced contact with our grandchildren. I wear a mask and try to maintain appropriate social distance. Teaching on Zoom has changed the way I prepare for and teach a class in the School for Christian Growth.
October 4, 2020
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Recommitment season offers us a chance to think seriously about who we are, as individuals and as a community. It creates a yearly invitation for questioning our lives, pruning away what doesn’t work, and attending to what does. It’s an invitation to consciousness, clarity and choice.
At Seekers, it may also be a time for stepping out of a mission group or stepping into deeper commitment to the community, for examining our level of giving — and receiving – all in preparation for Recommitment Sunday on October 18.
September 27, 2020
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Our theme for this recommitment season is “The Mind of Christ in Us.” That is quite a concept! It’s very challenging to think about, and a bit hard to know where to start.
As I struggle to understand a difficult idea, I sometimes imagine I’m trying to explain it to a curious 10-year-old. What could I say to such a child, to make clear what I’m talking about? Maybe something like this: “Well, if you had the Mind of Christ it would be as if you were still yourself but also different, in a really good way. You would still see everything from your point of view, and hear the same birds, and smell the same bread baking, but it would all seem richer and more fun somehow, like it came to life all of a sudden. And the really big change would happen when you started hanging around with your friends, and even with other kids you don’t like very much. They’d still be the exact same people they were before, but now you’d want to help them out, and forgive them when they get stuck and do stupid stuff, and not worry so much about getting your own way.”
September 20, 2020
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
I started coming to Seekers Church in 2008, and made my first commitment probably the following year. I haven’t recommitted every year since then, but most years. And, occasionally, I’ve preached the sermon. I can’t recall a sermon that has been more difficult for me to get a handle on than this one. I have plenty to say, but somehow the message just kept slipping out of my grasp. It might become apparent, in what I say to you this morning, why this was happening.
My focus is on the parable we just heard from Matthew’s gospel, and I’m going to ask three questions:
- What is Jesus saying to us, today, through this parable? Or, as Peter asked in a recent mission group meeting, “What is the Creator putting out there for us to learn?”
- What is the good news, for us, today?
- What does this have to do with commitment to Seekers Church?
I will share some possible answers, and I encourage you also to listen for your own answers, because yours might be different from mine.
September 13, 2020
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost
This morning I am going to focus on the passage for today from Genesis, about Joseph and his brothers. As you may recall, Joseph is the eleventh son of Jacob. Joseph is Jacob’s favorite, and Joseph’s brothers really resent that.
When the brothers get the chance, they kidnap Joseph and sell him into slavery in Egypt. Amazingly, Joseph ends up becoming the second most powerful person in Egypt, after interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream, predicting seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Thanks to Joseph, Egypt stockpiles enough grain during the years of plenty to see them through the years of famine.
When the famine hits, Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt in search of food.
They end up presenting their case to Joseph, but they don’t recognize him.
Joseph eventually reveals himself to them and persuades the whole family to move to Egypt, where Joseph takes care of them.
Today’s reading takes place about 17 years later, when Jacob dies. Now, the brothers fear that Joseph will finally retaliate for what they did to him. But he doesn’t. Instead, he continues to take care of them.