Sermons

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/20190203sermon.mp3

Text: Ruth

Speaker: Joel Miller

I want everyone to think back to when you were 11 or 12 years old.  If you attach memories more to school grades, this would be sixth grade.  If you’re not yet in sixth grade you can imagine a bit what it might be like.

Are we there?  If sixth grade was not a highlight of your life, I apologize for taking you back there, but try to stick with it just a bit.

I want you to think about what it was like to be you at that time?  Who were the key people in your life who loved you – family, friends, and teachers?  What did you already know deep down that had always been there and has never left?  What were you learning about yourself, about how life works?

This is a time of life so pivotal that cultures around the world have surrounded it with ritual.  Maybe not exactly the same age across the board, but there is a near universal recognition of this sacred passage out of childhood, into an age of greater independence and responsibility.  This Coming of Age service is our small way of ritualizing this...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/20190106sermon.mp3

This sermon contains musical interludes and is best heard (above) rather than read.  Many thanks to Tom Blosser (piano) and Jim Myers (clarinet), and to Rick Leonard for doing a first draft physics fact check, resulting in some editing that makes me sound like I know more than I do about such things.   

Texts: Isaiah 60:1-6; Matthew 2:1-18

Sitting down a while back to plan this worship series, one of the tasks was assigning which sense would go with which week.  Seeing and hearing could go anywhere, but when, exactly, in the Advent to Christmas to Epiphany plot is it time to taste, to touch, to smell?  Fortunately, the texts help us out.  It’s not every week frankincense and myrrh get hand delivered into the story line.  And so, we finally arrive at the wafting wonder of Epiphany.  A time to breathe in the fresh air of a new year.  Do you smell what I smell?

Do You See What I See?

Matthew’s birth narrative has a distinctly different smell than Luke’s.  Luke has the infant Jesus laid in a manger, a feed trough for animals.  Do you smell what I smell?  Mary and Joseph are soon...

Below are two reflections on Touch from CMC members within the Advent/Christmas theme "Do you sense what I sense?"

Megan Stauffer-Miller
Scriptures: 1 Samuel 2:26, Luke 2 :41-52

Clay: volcanic rock decomposed by reactions with water.  Imagine holding these seemingly unrelated materials in your cupped hands… ROCK and WATER... for millennia.  Time passes.  You’re left with clay: pliable when wet, brittle when dry, strengthened or destroyed by exposure to extreme heat, vulnerable to unseen impurities, impenetrable (kind of), vessel of nourishment, agent of artistry.

This material, when it’s potential was discovered, propelled humanity in a new direction.  It’s Biblical references are many and integral to our creation story. Humanity formed from the Heavens (Breath of God) and “dust of the ground”.

But these thoughts, these ideas are for the thinkers: theologians, artists, scientists, philosophers, those cerebral types.  Sure, I listen to NPR, I’ll dabble in some heady conversation, but to be honest I’d rather just dig my hands into something.  For some of you it may be helpful to know that I, as of this school year, am teaching high school Ceramics after teaching elementary Art for 17 years.  My district is “economically disadvantaged” and minorities are the majority....

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/20181223Sermon.mp3

Texts: Luke 1:39-56

This sermon was accompanied with a violin playing “My soul cries out,” Sing the Story 124, and vocals singing “Taste and see,” Sing the Journey 86.

Three months ago we were at Camp Luz for fall retreat.  After a heavy rain on Friday, it was a lovely weekend to be outside.  As usual, we played, ate, sang, talked, and ate some more.  Three of us rode our bikes the 100 miles from Westerville to Camp Luz, on the Ohio to Erie trail, rather proud of ourselves and a little surprised for having made it with no major problems.  On Sunday Jim Leonard reflected on congregational life.  Joe Mas and Linda Mercadante shared thoughts on hiking the Camino in Spain, a lifelong goal fulfilled, a pilgrimage.  After the service, we cleaned up and headed home.  Pulling out from Ravine Lodge, with my own and another bike strapped to the back of our minivan, I backed directly into a tree.  It bent the front wheel of one bike, and the frame of my new road bike.  After the somber 100 mile drive home, I took them both to the bike shop. Two days later we celebrated Ila’s...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2018/12/20181223Sermon.mp3

Texts: Luke 1:39-56

This sermon was accompanied with a violin playing “My soul cries out,” Sing the Story 124, and vocals singing “Taste and see,” Sing the Journey 86.

Three months ago we were at Camp Luz for fall retreat.  After a heavy rain on Friday, it was a lovely weekend to be outside.  As usual, we played, ate, sang, talked, and ate some more.  Three of us rode our bikes the 100 miles from Westerville to Camp Luz, on the Ohio to Erie trail, rather proud of ourselves and a little surprised for having made it with no major problems.  On Sunday Jim Leonard reflected on congregational life.  Joe Mas and Linda Mercadante shared thoughts on hiking the Camino in Spain, a lifelong goal fulfilled, a pilgrimage.  After the service, we cleaned up and headed home.  Pulling out from Ravine Lodge, with my own and another bike strapped to the back of our minivan, I backed directly into a tree.  It bent the front wheel of one bike, and the frame of my new road bike.  After the somber 100 mile drive home, I took them both to the bike shop. Two days later we celebrated Ila’s...

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