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.
God Is Greater Than Our Hearts
When I first heard this verse – “God is greater than our hearts” – I felt reassured. This verse promised me that God still existed, that God still was present in the world and to me, that God still cared for me, even when I wasn’t aware of it. Even when I couldn’t feel God in my heart, I was promised that “God is greater than our hearts.” God is with us, because God is greater than our hearts.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The Scripture lesson is 1 John 3:16-24.
An Ode to the Darkness
"Like every other Biblical author, John uses imperfect language to try and describe what a life in union with God is truly like. I have often used this imperfect language myself: to honor and lift up the light, at the expense of the dark. However, today's text provides this preacher the opportunity to try and remedy that. Let us together lean into the dark."
Rev. Dr. Jacob Bolton preaches on the Third Sunday of Easter. The Scripture lesson is 1 John 1:6—2:2.
We welcome to the pulpit the Rev. Dr. Camille Cook, Senior Pastor at Georgetown Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC. The Scripture lesson is Joel 2:18-27.
An Easter Prayer
If the Gospel of Mark is “the beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ,” Mark may be inviting each of us to “finish the story” of that Good News with our lives. But what if like the women at the tomb, our fear remains? The Longer Ending of Mark serves as an Epilogue that reminds us readers and hearers that no matter how the women felt and no matter where their fleeing took them, God’s presence and providence followed them unabated.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of the Lord. The Scripture lesson is Mark 16:1-8, 12-20.
The Paradox of Palm Sunday
Today I am going to focus on Palm Sunday – specifically on the crowd who greeted Jesus with cries of “Hosanna!” on Sunday but whose cries morphed into “Crucify him!” by Thursday. In a matter of four days the crowd moved from joy to anger, from welcome to outrage, from celebration to vengeance. And it moved as one mind: intense, emotional, passionate.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on Palm Sunday. The Scripture lesson is Mark 11:1-11.
Now, today may not be your birthday, and it’s not Christmas, either. But for all of us, John 12:25 is our text. The question is: will we see the gift in it for us?
Rev. Patrick Hunnicutt preaches on the Fifth Sunday of Lent. The Scripture lesson is John 12:20-27.
Wisdom from "Equus"
When we are aware of pain, most of us need something more than pleasure to move us to praise. In order to worship, in order to recover joy, we have to come to terms with our pain; accept it, incorporate its presence or its memory into our lives, let it become an appropriate part of us, neither oversized nor buried and hidden.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, at the 8:30am in-person service. The Scripture lesson is Psalm 107:1-3, 17-21.
It must be noted that today marks the one-year anniversary of the last time that Westminster worshipped in a pre-Covid reality in this space. It has seemed, at least for this preacher, that this last year has been an entire year in the wilderness. This particular season has challenged us all like none other.
Rev. Dr. Jacob Bolton preaches on the Third Sunday in Lent. The Scripture lesson is John 2:13-22.
The Simple Concept of Taking Up the Cross
Sometimes we get to choose the crosses we bear. At other times, our crosses choose us. But either way, we’d best bend down, take our cross up into our arms, place it over our shoulders, and begin our walk with it, because in God’s infinite wisdom, God has designed it to fit us, like a tailor designs a suit or dress and hangs it in our closet, awaiting our donning of it.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Second Sunday in Lent. The Scripture lesson is Mark 8:27-38.
Leaving the Ark
I realize this is a rather sad and dark portrait of Noah’s lengthy life. His overall story doesn’t ring true with the “Arky, Arky” of the children’s song. But in the grand sweep of God’s relationship with the human race – in which Noah plays a crucial role in God’s starting over – there is a redeeming feature to Noah’s life that comes to him even in his silence.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the First Sunday in Lent. The Scripture lesson is Genesis 9:8-17.
Through Thick and Thin
We welcome the Rev. Evangeline Taylor, Director of Seniors Pastoral Care, to the pulpit on the Transfiguration of the Lord. The Scripture lesson is Mark 9:2-9.
"Many" Is Not "All"
In today’s sermon – the final in what has turned out to be an unintentional mini-series – I want to capture the spirit of hope in Mark’s gospel as many who seek Christ are healed of the maladies which lead them to turn to him in the first place and offer hope as well for those among the all who are not healed in the way they had hoped.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany. The Scripture lesson is Mark 1:29-39.
The Most Important Power Jesus Has
The title of this sermon is “The Most Important Power Jesus Has.” While it is not a memorable title, it is a bold one, because it claims that one power Jesus has is more important than his other powers. My claim is probably more personal than theological. I am not even sure that there needs to be a competition among the different powers we see in Jesus: we don’t need NFL “power rankings” each week. But for some reason I am wanting to argue for a preeminent place – a #1 ranking – for one of Jesus’ powers; and if I am going to make that case, I need to make it well.
Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. The Scripture lesson is Mark 1:21-28.