Posts Tagged ‘Mother’s Day’

Sermon 05-11-14: “One Tough Mama”

May 16, 2014
Rebekah's story shows how God is like this stealthy young woman in a popular recent insurance commercial.

Rebekah’s story shows how God is like this stealthy young woman in a recent insurance commercial.

In this Mother’s Day themed sermon, I talk about one of my favorite biblical mothers, Rebekah. She’s a hero of faith to me, not because she was a perfect role model—far from it!—but because she was one tough mama, doing her best to trust in the Lord under very difficult circumstances. She teaches us a great deal about what it means to be a disciples of Jesus Christ!

Sermon Text: Genesis 25:19-28; 27:1-17, 41-45

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

On this Mother’s Day, I thought I would preach about a favorite mother of mine in the Bible, Rebekah. Oddly enough, not everyone likes her. Once on Facebook I referred to Rebekah as a “Bible hero,” and a clergy friend Geoff, who’s currently earning his Ph.D. in Old Testament, responded: He said, “Not a fan of the whole family. Isaac: waste of space… Esau: trades his birthright for a bowl of soup. Moron. Rebekah: sells out one son for the sake of another. Jacob: probably the best of the lot (which isn’t saying much)… Sorry, Brent, but I find it hard at times to think about these characters in terms of ‘Bible heroes.’” Far from being heroes, he wrote, they are “object lessons”; they put the “fun” in dysfunctional.

Maybe all that’s true, but, hey… no one’s perfect. And I still love Rebekah.

If you’re of my generation, you remember those early days of Facebook many years ago when we were all getting in touch with old classmates and renewing old friendships online. I was wondering what happened to the person who was probably my best friend from childhood, Geoff—not the Geoff I mentioned earlier; a different one. So about five years ago, I was trying to find him online. I had gotten in touch with other old friends from back then. And I discovered something shocking. Instead of finding his Facebook page, I found his obituary. I did a double-take as you can imagine! I checked the names of his “survivors”: yep, those are his parents’ names; those are his sisters’ names. This is the same Geoff. He died just a month earlier. He was only 39. Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 05-12-13: “The Word Is Love, Part 5”

May 17, 2013
The Beatles got up and danced to "a song that was a hit before your mother was born" in this memorable scene from Magical Mystery Tour.

The Beatles danced to “a song that was a hit before your mother was born” in this memorable scene from Magical Mystery Tour.

A church that focuses more on “helping” people than on saving people is a church that has lost its focus. I hate to pit these two tasks—service and evangelism—against one another, but isn’t it easy to see how the United Methodist Church is really good at one and not so good at the other?

Want to help people rebuild after a hurricane? Call the Methodists. Want to get rid of malaria? Call the Methodists. Want to fight for justice in the world? Call the Methodists. Want to tell someone how they can be saved? Hmm… Doesn’t Billy Graham still do that? Or the Baptists? Or maybe the community megachurch down the street? Are the Methodist just supposed to outsource that part of the job?

Like Jesus in today’s scripture, this sermon challenges us to stay focused on what’s most important.

 Sermon Text: Mark 7:24-30

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

When I read today’s scripture, my first thought is, “I have a defective dog.” After all, my dog, Neko, refuses to do the very thing that even JesusGod in the flesh—says that dogs are supposed to do: which is to eat crumbs and scraps that fall from the table—or the couch or the recliner—onto the floor. Jesus knows that’s what dogs are supposed to do; you know it; I know it. It’s like their only job around the house! Cats are responsible for catching mice and bugs and creepy-crawly things that get in the house; dogs are responsible for eating food that falls on the floor. Neko doesn’t eat human food! She never has.

I love my dog, but she is not normal when it comes to eating table scraps!

I love my dog, but she is not normal when it comes to eating table scraps!

We had a normal dog named Presley—an English springer spaniel—when my kids were babies. Presley would park himself underneath the high chair in the morning, waiting for every little Cheerio that would fall to the floor—which would be a couple of handfuls before all was said and done. Spill a bag of Goldfish on the floor? No problem! Presley was on it! But not Neko! Crazy! Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Mother’s Day

May 8, 2011

For this day, here’s one of my favorite mom songs…

Or how about this one?