Sermons

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The Bright Thread

2 Timothy 1:1-14     Luke 17:5-10     Rusty Eidmann-Hicks        At Christmastime when I was growing up, my Mother would cover the dining room table with a plaid red and green tablecloth.   What I remember distinctly is that the tablecloth had a few golden threads that cut across the cloth – making it festive and bright.   These golden threads would glitter in the light, especially when candles were lit at Christmas. We have fine quilters here in our congregation – and Lynn – Pru – you know what it means to have a bright thread that catches the eye and that draws attention to a pattern or design.   Spiritually, we seek to discern a pattern, a pathway pointing us to something deeper, with great beauty or meaning.    Our spiritual lives are a search for that bright thread, those outlines in life and in our relationships, that lead us to [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 October 3rd, 2016|October 2016|Comments Off on The Bright Thread

Pray for Our Leaders

Pray For Our Leaders    I Timothy 2:1-7    Luke 16:1-13 Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote this about prayer: “Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it that will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education.”  Prayer is an education in opening our hearts to others- gaining a new insight, a wider vision, and an opening to compassion.  It settles the heart; it offers us not only inner sanctuary, it also offers direction, a spirit path to follow.  It fosters positive energy and soul-light illuminating our lives.  Prayer heals, reconciles and unites. Let’s all take a moment to pray, first in silence and then with words….   I read once that Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk and writer, used to keep a picture of Richard Nixon on his altar, where he would [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 September 19th, 2016|September 2016|Comments Off on Pray for Our Leaders

Is It Enough?

Is it Enough?    Colossians 3:1-11    Luke 12:13-21        Milton Berle once said: “Money won’t buy you happiness.  Money won’t buy you love.  Money won’t buy you health.   But the way I see it is – give me the money and I’ll rent them!”   Money is certainly at the center of most of our thoughts, and though money doesn’t solve everything, it’s a good start! The guy in Jesus’ parable was willing to gamble on happiness based on having plenty of stuff – barns full of grain – figuring it’s going to bring him happiness, enough to ‘eat, drink and be merry.’  Most of us are willing to make that bargain also; figuring if we’ve got enough money, the rest will follow.  Our goal is to get as much stuff as we can and to secure it in big barns – whether houses or bank accounts or [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 August 1st, 2016|July 2016|Comments Off on Is It Enough?

Go and Do Likewise

2 Kings 5:1-14   Luke 10:25-37    This past Friday, Martha and I were in New York City at Union Square, looking for a subway entrance.  Surrounding the entrance were several hundred demonstrators protesting the two latest shootings of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers.  We saw painted signs of anger and frustration, many shouting vulgar rage against the police and saying “Black Lives Matter.”  Around the demonstrators were dozens of tense police officers, doing their jobs – being careful to be respectful. The news had just broken about the sniper killings of the five police officers in Dallas.  The faces of the police officers – women and men – were stony.  Right in front of us in a dramatic tableau was the tragic and continuing racial divide in this country.   How can we possibly regain trust and community in the torn and tattered cloth of our nation? [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 July 11th, 2016|July 2016|Comments Off on Go and Do Likewise

Fear Driven or Faith Driven?

Do Not Fear   Genesis 21:5-21   Luke 8:26-39    Russell Eidmann-Hicks Before they even reached the rocky shore, the man rushed down the rock face, leaping from boulder to boulder, chains on his arms and legs ringing and rattling.  Eyes glaring in rage; mud and scars coated his body, muscles bulging.  The disciples struggled to turn the boat, to shift the sail, to escape this monster.   Stepping from the boat, Jesus strode straight toward the man. The disciples crouched down in the boat, terrified, waiting to flee.  Several grabbed oars, ready to use them to protect themselves.  Their hands shook, their mouths dried, time stood still.  Suddenly, the demon-possessed man ran full tilt – stopping sharply at Jesus’ feet. “What have you to do with us, Jesus, Son of the Most High?” screamed the creature, voices of thousands streaming in concert, a sickening symphony. “What is your name?” Jesus asked, calmly.   “Legion,” the [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 June 19th, 2016|June 2016|Comments Off on Fear Driven or Faith Driven?

Life-Bringer

Life-Bringer  I Kings 17:8-24  Luke 7:11-17   June 5, 2016   Russell Eidmann-Hicks The jar was close to empty; a few handfuls of barley meal left, the last taste of harvest before her husband had fallen over in the field and died.  Now the drought had descended, drying up any hope of another harvest this season. No more grain; no more life.  Her heart felt like that jar; all joy drained away leaving a few last memories of her husband’s smile, his embrace, his protection. The worst was seeing her little son’s face, skin stretched tight, bones showing through his clothing, his eyes dull.  Their hut perched on the edge of a ravine in the desert, isolated from the village. Few talked to her now that her husband was dead. She saw no hope of work or income.   Her future appeared as desolate as the parched earth after weeks without rain. [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 June 6th, 2016|June 2016|Comments Off on Life-Bringer

Re-Member

Re-Member   Psalm 96  Luke 7:1-10    May 29, 2016   Russell Eidmann-Hicks In parts of Latin America, it is a common practice at commemorations of battles or struggles to read the names of those who died.  As a name is said everyone shouts, “Presente!”  (Present!)  Though dead, they are present in hearts and souls. Memorial Day reflects this spirit, vowing that we will not forget those in the armed forces of our nation who sacrificed their lives for the future of our nation.  As we remember our loved ones, in some ways they live on through us. On this day we remember those we love, admire, and for whom we are grateful.  We remember those who are examples to us, who have gone before us into death, but who still live on in our memories and hearts.   We remember those throughout the world who have worked and died to protect and [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 June 6th, 2016|May 2016|Comments Off on Re-Member

Trinity = Wise Relationships

Trinity = Wise Relationship    Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-36       John 16:12-15         A few years ago on St. Patrick’s Day, we gave out coins to carry in our pockets with the words: “Christ Above Me, Christ Before Me, Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me, Christ Around Me, Christ Below Me.”  These words, part of St. Patrick’s ‘Breastplate’ prayer, are within three overlapping circles – signs of the Trinity.  I carry this with me as a reminder of the spirit of Christ with me always. We live in a web of relationships – in family, communities, schools, neighborhoods, church, friends, colleagues, teachers, facebook friends, twitter feeds…  We affiliate ourselves with groups and identities: ethnic, religious, political, sports, favorite shows, fans of famous actors or pop stars… Most importantly we feel ourselves held and loved by those to whom we belong: parent, child, grandma or grandpa, aunt or uncle, [...]

By | 2016-05-23T15:38:50+00:00 May 23rd, 2016|May 2016, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Trinity = Wise Relationships

Equal in Love

Equal in Love  Galatians 3:23-29     Luke 7:11-17  Video:  The Lullaby Project at Carnegie Hall...     What we need most from our parents; is simply devoted, faithful, self-giving, whole-hearted love.  It is nutritious food and drink for our souls. We need primary ‘holding’ and ‘acceptance’ and a ‘soul connection’ that our parents offer us.  The foundation of this is simply love, above all else. If parents, grandparents, teachers, care-givers can offer us this basic acceptance, then maybe we will be able to accept ourselves and others.   If we can feel, in our core, that we are loved, then we feel safe, secure, and at home in the world.  If not…we struggle with feeling alone in a cold and heartless world.  Of course parents are not perfect, and too often betray that essential love, leaving children wounded and broken.  But with lullabies and gazing into a parent’s eyes and reading [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 May 11th, 2016|May 2016|Comments Off on Equal in Love

Earth Day Sermon 2016

 From a story about scientists free-diving with whales: “The cracking was coming from the whales; it’s a form of sonar called echolocation used to “see” underwater. With these vocalizations, called clicks, the whales were snapping three-dimensional images of my body, and those of my diving companions, from the inside out — scanning us to see if we were a threat, or if we were food.  I held my breath and swam deeper, 10, 20, 30 feet. I heard a thunderous crack, then another, so loud they vibrated my chest. Below my kicking feet, two sperm whales emerged from the shadows, each as long as a school bus.  As we kicked down deeper, within just a few feet of the mother whale’s gaping mouth, the click patterns changed, becoming slower, softer. They sounded to me like “coda clicks,” the sounds sperm whales use to identify themselves to others in the pod. [...]

By | 2016-10-21T21:38:49+00:00 April 25th, 2016|April 2016|Comments Off on Earth Day Sermon 2016