What You Signed Up For
There are many questions that the continuous sweep of a pandemic has raised for us the past few weeks. For all these questions – theological and human – some will soon have answers, some will have answers in time, and some will never have answers. But there is one thing with which we are left: the witness of our fellow human beings. Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on Palm Sunday. The Scripture lesson is Matthew 21:1-11, and is read by Rev. Patrick Hunnicutt.
The Will of Grace
Hebrews boasts that “we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.” This assurance can only emerge from those who have been met by God not just in their strength, but in their weakness. Not those whom God finds to be puffed up, but those who are shrunken down. Not those who are found and can see, but those who are blind, and lost. That’s what we need. We need to be met where we are, to go where God would have us be. Rev. Patrick Hunnicutt preaches on the Fifth Sunday in Lent. The Scripture lesson is Hebrews 4:14-16.
A Run-On Sentence
On a small scale, I never thought I could accept that the worship of God could occur – at least for me – without the congregation being gathered, in the Sanctuary, in the Chapel, worshipping as a community. But when I walked into this Sanctuary last Sunday, even though the pews were empty, the place was filled with the Spirit. And this week whenever a familiar face has appeared on the monitor I now have set up in my basement, that even though location changes and media of communication is new, the face or faces on the screen are community, the community with whom I worship, the community I love, the community of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fourth Sunday in Lent. The Scripture lesson is selected verses from Number 13-14, read by Rev. Whitney Fauntleroy.
The Ant and the Sluggard
I was tearful on Friday when our Session made the final but correct decision – in a conference call in which nearly all thirty-three members participated – to cancel all our activities, to livestream our worship, and to close our facilities. It was clearly the right decision, but I never thought I would see the day when I would say, “I’m sorry, but you cannot enter this house of worship.” Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the the Third Sunday during Lent. The Scripture lesson is Proverbs 6:6-11 (Revised Standard Version), and is read by Rev. Jacob Bolton.
Face to the Wall
During an illness, King Hezekiah, one of the three vaulted kings of Israel, is told by the prophet Isaiah, “Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.” In this sermon, we will see how Hezekiah faces news of his impending death. Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Second Sunday in Lent, when the Westminster choir presents the Bach cantata, "God's Time Is the Best of All Times." The Scripture lesson is Isaiah 38:1-8, and is read by Rev. Patrick Hunnicutt.
Count Our Days
No matter how bleak or insignificant a human life seems to be, the most important thing is to seek wisdom, to seek a wise heart, to seek a heart that begins with awe, reverence, respect for the Lord as the first principle and animating force for life. Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the First Sunday in Lent. The Scripture lesson is Psalm 90.
If You Are
Rev. Whitney Fauntleroy preaches on the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Matthew 5:22-26, and is read by Boy Scout Drew Berlett.
Light to All the House
His name was George Steiner. He passed away Monday at the age of 90 at his home in Cambridge, England. He had served as the chief literary critic at The New Yorker for over thirty years. Now it may seem odd for so highbrow a figure as a professor of literature to serve as a connection to a sermon given on a hillside by an itinerant first century rabbi, to fishermen and tax collectors and other ordinary people who had gathered around him. But maybe there is more in common between Jesus’ teachings and the obituary of a scholar of literature than at first meets the eye. Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Matthew 5:14-15.
A few weeks ago, a member of our church told me that the Beatitudes are the most meaningful part of the Bible for her to read. Her comments have led me to think about the Beatitudes over the past few weeks, specifically, what they mean to me, to us; their role in the life and teaching of Jesus; their place in the faith out of which they grow and which they in turn shape and form. Rev. Larry Hayward preaches on the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Matthew 5:1-12.
Leaps and Bounds
When we say, “We do,” we don’t just bind ourselves together, we affirm one another’s identity in Christ. When we say, “We do” we are honoring, dignifying, embracing one another as unique, beloved, children of God. When we say, “We do” we commit ourselves to the Beloved community, called, and promising, to live, rejoice, learn, engage, grieve and create together. Rev. Jacob Bolton preaches on the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time. The Scripture lesson is Matthew 4:12-23.
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