First Presbyterian Church

(Read Lamentations 3:19-26.) “Patience is a virtue” is a familiar cliché that may be easier said than done, especially during times of illness, uncertainty or suffering. Life’s circumstances are unpredictable. There are good times and not so good times. For human beings, suffering is inevitable....
Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians ends with a section often known as “Final Instructions.” This is because the words close out the letter. (I Thessalonians 5:16-24). There are some very familiar, short exhortations contained in this portion of the letter: “Rejoice always … pray continually...
I have often heard it said that Lent is meant to be like a journey. The Biblical background that inspires this is Jesus journeying toward the city of Jerusalem where he will be crucified and killed. The reason we remember and think about this is that Easter is on the other side of that journey. The...
READ: John 1:29-42 John the Baptist was standing there with two of his disciples, and as he was watching Jesus walk by he exclaimed, “Look! There is the Lamb of God!” On the surface that doesn’t sound like much, but there is a great significance to the way John writes this. Of the four Gospel...
We’re journeying through December toward Christmas, so I invite you to consider some of those who journeyed to see the newborn king. Those shepherds in the wide open fields were the first to receive the message of God’s great action of grace. Their lives were repetitive, perhaps even monotonous....
Read: Matthew 16:13-20 (This is the Gospel Reading for Sunday, Aug. 23) “Who do you say that I am?” This question from Jesus is right in the middle of Matthew’s Gospel. It’s meant to be the key question for us to consider. Have you ever noticed how people remember where they were when significant...
One of my favorite hymns is “Jesus Calls Us.” The hymn begins with “Jesus calls us o’er the tumult.” Tumult refers to commotion or confusion; agitation rather than calm.        I was curious, so I looked up synonyms for “tumult” in a thesaurus. One of them listed was “hullabaloo.” Hullabaloo is a...
(Read John 20:19-22, Luke 24:13-35)      A few weeks ago the Coronavirus crisis came upon us with a sudden rash of closings and life changes. Much confusion ensued, and several people I knew seemed to be panicking.      As this unfolded over several days, I started to think about a passage from J.R...
Read Matthew 2:1-12 (The journey of the Magi/Wise Men) Welcome to 2020! A new year and even a new decade! When a new calendar year arrives, people get inspired to make (and try to keep) resolutions: to eat better, exercise more often or give up a vice or bad habit — be a better person in some way....
There has been a long ongoing debate among those who teach and study the craft of preaching sermons. Some say it’s good to use personal illustrations and stories to try to better explain a Bible verse or concept. Those who believe this would argue that personal stories can bring greater connection...
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