First Sunday after Epiphany

Exploring the meaning of baptism

 

Collect: The First Sunday after Epiphany

 Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized in his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen.

Genesis 1:1-5;  . . . God parts the waters, transforming darkness and turmoil into light and hope

Psalm 29 . . . The voice of power

Acts 19:1-7 . . .  Linking baptism with the empowering descent of the Holy Spirit in the developing Christian community

Mark 1:4-11 . . .  As John baptizes Jesus, the heavens split apart and the Spirit descends, affirming Jesus as both messianic King and Spirit-filled servant

The Baptism of the Lord, 

The First Sunday after Christmas Day

The mystery and meaning of the incarnation

Collect: First Sunday after Christmas Day

 Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Isaiah 61:10–62:3 . . . Isaiah tells of a coming time of deliverance and joyous fulfillment

Psalm 147 . . .    “The Song of Tender Care”

Galatians 3:23-25; 4:4-7  . . . Paul announces that Jesus’ incarnation brings redemption and adoption as God’s children.

John 1:1-18 . . . John presents Jesus as the incarnate Word of God, full of grace and truth.

“Christmas Presence”, a sermon by Rev. Emily Knight.  December 24, 2014, Christmas Eve. First United Methodist Church, Ocala, FL

The Fourth Sunday in Advent

An  invitation to respond to the wonder and mystery of God with a clear and joyful “yes.”

Collect: Fourth Sunday in Advent

Purify our conscience, Almighty God, by your daily visitation, that your Son Jesus Christ, at the coming, may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

 

2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16 . . . God overwhelms David with the promise of an eternal kingdom to David’s heir.

The Magnificat .

Romans 16:25-27 . . . Paul proclaims that in Jesus Christ the mystery of the ages is revealed.

Luke 1:26-38;  . . . Mary opens her spirit, soul and body to the mystery and word of God.

Carla Pratt Keyes, Pastor of  Ginter Park Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, preaches a sermon called “Awake to Grace,” based on the lectionary readings from 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16, and Luke 1:26-38.

 

The Third Sunday in Advent

The light of God’s approaching deliverance

Collect: Third Sunday in Advent

Stir up your prayer , O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and forever.  Amen

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11  . . .  salvation glows like a torch flaring in darkness and like dawn breaking the night.

Psalm 126 . . . A Prayer for Level Ground

or

The Magnificat . . . The Song Of Mary

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 . . . In anticipation of this coming light, Paul exhorts believers to persist in holiness, confident that God alone will sanctify them

John 1:6-8, 19-28 . . . John the Baptist announces the coming of Jesus, the true light in the midst of all our darkness.

A Sermon by Father Frank Pavone, “Rejoice”

 

 

Second Sunday of Advent

A Call  to Repentance

Collect: Second Sunday in Advent

Merciful God, who sent your messenger the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Isaiah 40:1-11 . . . Isaiah announces that God is coming to deliver and comfort—prepare the way!

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13 . . . The embrace of reconciliation

2 Peter 3:8-15a . . . The author  tells us to prepare for this coming by living in holiness and devotion.

Mark 1:1-8 . . .  John the baptizer proclaims “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (v. 4).

Sermon: The Rev. Sue Eaves considers the question of whether the American church is actually “in exile.” Sue says no, and tells us why not. 

 

First Sunday in Advent

Watchfulness

Collect: 1 Advent

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Isaiah 64:1-9 . . . Isaiah assures us that God works for those who wait in faithfulness, especially through challenging times.

Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18 . . . A prayer for restoration of life and seeing

1 Corinthians 1:3-9 . . . Paul affirms his readers for their spiritual gifts, which well equip them for the return of the Lord Jesus.

Mark 13:24-37 . . . Jesus directs us to “keep awake”

Sermon: “The Present Moment” by Geoffrey Plant

The Final Sunday of Liturgical Year A

Christ Our Compassionate King

Collect: Proper 29

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that people of earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 . . . God as our Shepherd, who rescues and watches over us.

Psalm 100 . . . The Song of the Lamb

or

Psalm 95: 1-7a . . .  Remembering the Past, Holding The Future

Ephesians 1:15-23 . . . Christ reigning triumphantly over creation, over his enemies, over the Church and even over death.

Matthew 25:31-46 . . . a vision of final judgement, in which the Son of Man welcomes into God’s kingdom those who have treated others with compassion and mercy.

The Final Sunday for the year, “Christ Our King”

 

Twenty-fourth Sunday After Pentecost

God asks us to make appropriate use of our gifts and talents.

Collect: Proper 28

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Judges 4:1-7 . . .    Deborah, a prophetess, shares with Barak God’s plan to defeat Sisera

Psalm 123 . . . Higher and lower sovereignty, to which do we see the throne?

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 . . .  Paul urges the Thessalonians to quit worrying about the time of Jesus’ return, and instead to live fully, now, as children of light.

Matthew 25:14-30 . . . two slaves wisely invest the talents entrusted to them, while a third slave cowers in fear.

Sermon: “What is Expected”, by  Dr. Kincaid is Pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Escanaba, Michigan

Who Barack Obama was in 1995:  a review of “Songs Of My Father.”  Why did I decide this to be a good topic in a celebration session on use of talents, I don’t know.  For some reason it just fits: this is a guy who made quite a splash with what God gave him to work with.  And with that I can’t help but think about what I have at am doing.

 

Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost

Be prepared!

Collect: Proper 27

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him, in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Joshua 24:1-3a. . . Joshua  urges Israel to pledge their faithfulness to the one true God.

psalm 78:1-8 . . . . An introduction to Israel’s epic journey.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; . . ., Paul prepares the Thessalonians for Jesus’ return with the hope of reunion with those who have died in Christ.

Matthew 25:1-13 . . . . In Jesus’ parable in today’s gospel, the long-delayed bridegroom arrives to find only five bridesmaids prepared to celebrate with him.

Sermon by Jim Somerville, Pastor of Richmond’s First Baptist Church: “Choose this day and every day.”

All Saint’s Sunday

The rich blessings God intends for the saints

 

Collect: All Saints’ Day

Almighty God, you have knit together your elect in one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son communion and fellowship in the mystical body of your Son Christ our Lord: Give us grace so to follow your blessed saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those ineffable joys that you have prepared for those who truly love you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

Revelation 7:9-17 . . . . A vision that assures us of God’s ultimate triumph over evil, sadness and death, a victory to be shared with the faithful.

Psalm 34:1-10, 22 . . . . the “flavor” of the divine presence can only be known by its taste.

1 John 3:1-3 . . . , We are God’ children now, full participants in God’s kingdom.

Matthew 5:1-12 . . . .   the blessings that are ours as we depend on God and work for the kingdom.

Sermon: About Ernie Blake

A sermon on Revelation by Jim Somerville