Sermons

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/20190526sermon.mp3

Texts:  Zechariah 3:1-5; John 14:15-26

One day, not so long ago, a woman walked into a grocery store.  While there, she slipped one of the items under her jacket and tried to walk out with it.  It was a frozen chicken, so it was hard to hide.  A security guard spotted her, detained her, and called a police officer.  The officer searched her and found the frozen chicken.  He ordered her to accompany him to the police station.

Lots of people saw this happening.  One reacted differently than the others.  Standing in line to check out, he told the cashier he wanted to buy that very chicken the woman was holding.  He then brought the receipt to the officer, who reluctantly agreed to let the woman go.

If this story sounds familiar, you must be a regular reader of the CMC Lamplighter, our monthly newsletter.  Or at least you read the May edition.  This story was told to Phil Hart, who wrote the article, by Yasir Makki.  Yasir lived and studied in Columbus in the late 90’s and early 2000’s before returning to his home in Sudan.  He now leads a school and church network.  We help support...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/20190519sermon.mp3

Text: John 13:31-35

The writer of Ecclesiastes famously said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  And he should know.  He’s been around the sun a time or two.  He’s an old man.  He’s seen a lot of living and a lot of dying.  And, let me tell you youngsters, there’s nothing new under the sun.

Of course, one wonders what his reaction would have been had someone slipped him an i-phone which enabled him to Facetime with his cousin way out in the Judean hill country.  Does the relentless march of technological innovation qualify as something new?  Or, to stick with the perspective of Ecclesiastes, is it ultimately just more mist in the breeze of time?

What is new, at least according to Jesus in John’s gospel, is a commandment he gives his closest companions.  “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

To claim love as a new commandment is borderline comical, to the point that one wonders if Jesus is speaking a bit tongue in cheek.  These words are a part of the lengthy farewell discourse, covering John chapter 13...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/20190519sermon.mp3

Text: John 13:31-35

Speaker: Joel Miller

The writer of Ecclesiastes famously said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”  And he should know.  He’s been around the sun a time or two.  He’s an old man.  He’s seen a lot of living and a lot of dying.  And, let me tell you youngsters, there’s nothing new under the sun.

Of course, one wonders what his reaction would have been had someone slipped him an i-phone which enabled him to Facetime with his cousin way out in the Judean hill country.  Does the relentless march of technological innovation qualify as something new?  Or, to stick with the perspective of Ecclesiastes, is it ultimately just more mist in the breeze of time?

What is new, at least according to Jesus in John’s gospel, is a commandment he gives his closest companions.  “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”

To claim love as a new commandment is borderline comical, to the point that one wonders if Jesus is speaking a bit tongue in cheek.  These words are a part of the lengthy farewell discourse, covering...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/20190505sermon.mp3

Text: John 21:1-14; New Membership Commitment statement

Speaker: Joel Miller

For the first time in a while, I’m just going to talk.  No sketchers, although their work will be here throughout May.  No singers or musicians.  Just a good old fashion monologue.  Spoken words.

What I’d like to talk about is words.  Written words.  Specifically, the words of our new membership commitment statement which we’ll be using and testing this year, printed today on the front of the bulletin.

A lot of thought has gone into these words and phrases.  In the winter we invited input through an online survey and through focus groups.  We looked over our old, long standing membership statement and several from other congregations.  And lesser known statements like our Peace statement and Mission statement.

I don’t know how the percentages break down across the population, but I know there is a group of us that gets pretty excited about language, and other groups not so much.  Especially when it comes to statements like this that are worth very little unless we actually live out the words.  This is a very Mennonite and Anabaptist concept.  “Faith is as faith does” says the bumper sticker...

Text: Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1, Matthew 28:1-2, Mark 16:1-2

Speaker: Joel Miller

 

When I say Christ is Risen, you say Christ is Risen Indeed.

Christ is Risen….Christ is Risen.

How many people does it take to witness resurrection?

How many people does it take to witness resurrection?

It sounds like the set up line of a bad joke.

Like, How many Mennonites does it take to change a light bulb?

We probably shouldn’t go there.  Change can be a sensitive topic.

Back to the first question, which is not a joke.  How many people does it take to witness resurrection?

Our Bibles contain four gospels, and thus four accounts of those first witnesses of resurrection, at the empty tomb, that first Easter morning.  You’d think of all the stories to get the particulars just right, this would be it.  The continuation of the Jesus story hinges on this – that the crucifixion is not the end of the line.  That Jesus most certainly died, and that this same Jesus, in some wonderful and glorious way, has been raised up, and is very much alive in this world.

And it all starts early on that first day of the week,...

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