Sermons

CMC Sunday Meditations | 29 March 2020 | Lent 5
The Cross and the Death Penalty

 

 

For full audio, click on the player above.

 

Peace Candle Opening | Mark Rupp | audio: 00m00s

                                       

As we meet today in spirit but not in person, we gather around these Sunday Meditations offered by members of the CMC community. Just as we light the Peace Candle to begin our worship, you are invited to light a candle for these Meditations. The flame joins us in spirit across distance, along with our sister church in Armenia, Colombia.

Scripture Reading | John 8:2-11 Common English Bible (CEB) | Oliver Davey | audio: 00m24s

 2 Early in the morning he returned to the temple. All the people gathered around him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The legal experts and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. Placing her in the center of the group, 4 they...

CMC Sunday Meditations | 22 March 2020 | Lent 4

 

The Cross and Atonement

As we meet today in spirit but not in person, we gather around these Sunday Meditations offered by members of the CMC community. Just as we light the Peace Candle to begin our worship, you are invited to light a candle for these Meditations. The flame joins us in spirit across distance, along with our sister church in Armenia, Colombia.

Opening Thoughts | Joel Call

I grew up with the picture above. The crude sketch is a basic illustration of the underlying logic of how I was taught to understand Christ’s death on the cross, and how it saves me, i.e., it was my atonement theology for most of my life. “We are separated from God.” The commentary on the drawing would always begin on this fundamental premise. There’s a gap between us and God, and Christ’s sacrifice effectively bridges this primordial gap, making a way for us to commune with the Divine; to be reconciled to God.

Today finds us separated from each other in new, unprecedented ways. In the...

15 March 2020 | Lent 3
The Cross and Redemptive Suffering

Contents:
A word from Joel
Prayers of the people
Poem: Pandemic, by Lynn Ungar
Sermon/Scriptures/Guided Meditation, by Mark Rupp

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A word from Joel:

Here’s a riddle:
What’s more important than going to a concert, or the library?
What’s more important than going on vacation, flying overseas?
What's more important than kids going to school and college students attending classes?  More important than testing and labs?
What's more important than the NBA, NHL, MLS, MLB, NCAA, March Madness, high school and youth athletics? 
What’s worth risking loss of production, loss of profits, loss of wages?  What's more important than the Dow, the S&P, and the GDP?
What’s more important than Sunday church?
What’s more important than all your well-crafted plans?
Your answer here: ______________________

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Prayers of the People

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Poem

Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/20200308sermon.mp3

Texts:  Luke 23:13-25, Acts 5:29-30

Speaker: Joel Miller

In 1999 Time Magazine named its top choices for different categories of the 20th century.  The person of the century, according to Time was…Albert Einstein.  The most prominent scientist in a century where science was prominent.

In a slightly less consequential category: The best TV show of the century went to The Simpsons.  Best film: Citizen Kane.  Children’s book: Charlotte’s Web, by EB White.  Best comedy routine: “Who’s on first?” by Abbot and Costello.

Best poem of the 20th century: The Wasteland by TS Elliot.  Best Album: Bob Marley’s Exodus.

Time Magazine also selected what it considered to be the song of the century.  It was first recorded in 1939 by Billie Holiday – A song the BBC suggested might be the most shocking song of all time.  “Strange Fruit,” that’s the song.  These are the lyrics:

Southern trees bearing strange fruit 
Blood on the leaves and blood at the roots
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
Them big bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolia, clean...

https://joelssermons.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/20200301sermon.mp3

Texts: 1 Corinthians 1:18-20; 2:1-5

Speaker: Joel Miller

 

 

The image behind me and on your bulletins is a stained glass window in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.  That’s the church that was bombed in 1963.  It was a Sunday morning in September, and there were about 200 people in the building when the bomb exploded.  Four black girls were killed.  Addie Mae Collins, age 14. Cynthia Wesley, age 14. Carole Robertson, age 14.  Denise McNair, age 11.

The stained glass window was a gift from a Welsh artist.  He was so moved by the tragedy that he raised money throughout Wales – especially inviting children to donate – in order to create this window as a permanent installation in the church.  It was one of the first public depictions of a black Christ in the deep South.

One of its messages is told in the positioning of the hands.  The left hand is held open, a sign of openness, of welcome, of surrender to the will of God.  The right hand is held up as if holding off the very forces of evil themselves.  A...

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