In Hebrew, the word for widsom is "Chokmâh," or a person with a wealth, and a depth, of spiritual, moral, and relational intelligence. What James alludes to, and what we as Reformers must in fact hold fast to, is that wisdom is not solely a contemplative attainment - it's most faithfully expressed when made manifest in particular actions.
Rev. Dr. Jacob Bolton preaches on the Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is James 3:13-18.
When Covid Met Delta
"Today’s sermon will be different than most, in that its primary aim is to introduce you to the preaching I plan to do over the course of the next several months and perhaps beyond. Why do I think a series on the crucifixion fits now? With the appearance of Delta, with its quick spread, with vaccines for children as yet unannounced, we are not likely to be free of COVID for several months (if we ever fully will be). But with the resurgence, we now more than ever need the spiritual strength and consistency not only to get by, but to flourish as much as possible. By offering a sermon series, on a topic as central as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, I want to provide some consistency from the pulpit that might lead you to a deep dive into the Christian faith."
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Revelation 7:9-17, and is read by Ms. Olivia Patterson.
Privilege and Responsibility
In Hebrew, the word “generous” literally means “good of eye.” My friends, even though we are a largely white church, there are ways we can develop more goodness of eye, ways we can learn what people of different colors and backgrounds experience in this world, so that we might be part of a new day in our church and in our country. Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23.
Keep Your Eyes on the Field
Rev. Patrick Hunnicutt preaches on the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Ruth 2:1-10.
Filled with the Holy Spirit
Rev. Jean Coyle, Westminster Parish Associate, preaches on the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is John 14:15-27.
Characters with Character: Joseph of Arimathea
When we consider the last few hours of Jesus’ life, three people involved in his death stand out in our memories. The third person who plays a role in the last hours of Jesus’ life shows a different kind of character: not the character that comes when we change, but the character required when the situation around us changes.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Luke 23:50-56, and is read by Rev. Dr. Jacob Bolton.
Characters with Character: Elizabeth
Today we encounter Elizabeth, who is a paragon of patience, who listens to God speak through the prenatal movements of her son John the Baptist, and who prepares both her son and Mary the mother of Jesus for the roles they play in the birth and life of Jesus Christ.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Luke 1:39-45.
Characters with Character: Uriah the Hittite
"Today’s character in our summer sermon series is Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband, David’s military officer. Though we might forget about Uriah – or never have noticed him – the Biblical narrator does not forget Uriah. So what about Uriah’s character?" Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is 2 Samuel 11:6-17.
Characters with Character: Abigail
Today in our summer sermon series on Characters with Character, we encounter another strong female from the Old Testament: Abigail. Abigail is a woman described as beautiful but who uses her intelligence to navigate between two powerful and angry men—one of whom is her husband, one of whom is King in waiting—to defuse a situation which could have been the end of all of three of them.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is 1 Samuel 25:23-31.
Characters with Character: Lois
Today’s character, Lois, is only mentioned in one verse in the Bible. In order to get a feel for the character Lois had, we have to follow the life of her grandson Timothy, whose faith he attributed to her influence. Perhaps it is the length and steadfastness of Timothy’s faith that comes directly from the length and steadfastness of the faith that “lives in” his grandmother Lois. No drama is reported. No conversion experience is evident. No tragedy or crisis giving rise to a turning to God. Just faith. Pure and simple. Living in a woman, then her daughter, then her grandson.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is 2 Timothy 1:3-7.
Characters with Character: Lydia
I start today’s sermon with stories of three women who were tremendous in their financial support of the work of the church; their model, Lydia, was also a woman. Lydia’s generosity grows out of her character, and her character develops because the because the Lord opens her heart and she listens eagerly. Lydia realizes so much of what she has is more beneficial to the growing movement of the church than to what she had thought were needs of her own. She experiences “conversion of the purse.”
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Acts 16:11-15.
Characters with Character: Daughters of Zelophehad
The five daughters of Zelophehad –Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah – go to the leadership of the people of Israel to demand the right to inherit their late father’s property since had no sons as heirs. This text is a terrific example of a particular people – the people of God – using words to work together within the culture of their day and time to implement a change which made their society more just and complete. I scheduled this story for today because I want us – on this Fourth of July – to consider how the way we use words impacts the present and future of our nation.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fourteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Numbers 27:1-11.
Characters with Character: Miriam
In the overview of Miriam we get from the Books of Exodus and Numbers, we can see that it is her trust in God that leads Miriam to act boldly, quickly, and with great ingenuity. For these character traits, Miriam earns the title of Prophet, the third person and first woman to be so designated in scripture, a title by which she is remembered centuries later.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time as part of a summer sermon series on “Characters with Character.” The Scripture lesson is Exodus 2:5-10, 15:20-21 and Numbers 12:1-16.
Going Across to the Other Side
Before Jesus says, “Let us go across to the other side,” he had been teaching. Immediately following this story, Jesus starts his work as a healer. There is a clear ministry shift. We, too, find ourselves amidst transition: crossing over to another side, another side of life in whatever we end up calling the season of pandemic.
Rev. Dr. Jacob Bolton preaches on the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Mark 4:35-41.
Help from the Sanctuary
“Psalm 20 is a text of blessing and encouragement; it is a text of faith and trust. It is the wisdom of knowledge, and pride in what deeply matters beneath glimmers of surface-level concerns and attractions. I knew, in reading this Psalm, that I wanted to stand before you, in this pulpit, in this place, to offer you its benediction.” Rev. Patrick Hunnicutt preaches on the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Psalm 20.
The Beginning of the Beginning
A sermon by Larry R. Hayward the first Sunday during which the church was fully open after being highly restricted during nearly fifteen months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life with Honor
On Memorial Day, we remember many things - that we are a people connected to a greater story, and that story continues to unfold.
The Rev. Evangeline Taylor preaches on Trinity Sunday. The Scripture lesson is Isaiah 6:1-8.
The Testimony of God Is Greater
John acknowledges the validity and power of human testimony that bears witness to Christ. But as effective as they are, John says, “the testimony of God is greater.” No human agent can give us the assurance that what we believe is right and what we are doing is right. That assurance can only come from the testimony of God.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Seventh Sunday of Easter. The Scripture lesson is 1 John 5:6-12.
Faith Conquers the World
In the passage we have read for today, three times in a sentence-and- a-half the phrase "conquers the world" appears. The promise of this phrase is that the faith we have in Jesus Christ is an essential element to bring us some form of victory in the circumstances in which we find ourselves. To say "faith conquers the world" is to promise that in the end, we exercise some form of control over the situation that is upon us, some form of choice and agency within the condition into which we have been born or transported.
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The Scripture lesson is 1 John 5:1-5.
We Love Because God First Loved Us
“We love – we love God, we love others, we are even able to love ourselves – because God first loved us.” An infant but a few weeks old cannot possibly have earned God’s love; but that love comes with birth: “We love, because God first loved us.”
Rev. Dr. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fifth Sunday of Easter. The Scripture lesson is 1 John 4:7-21.