Category Archives: Sermons

A Place, Prepared for You

by Betsy Happel, 5/15/17

John 14:1-14  (Inclusive Bible)

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled.  You have faith in God; have faith in me as well.  In God’s house there are many dwelling places; otherwise, how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you?  I am indeed going to prepare a place for you, and then I will come back to take you with me, that where I am, there you may be as well.  You know the way that leads to where I am going.” Thomas replied, “But we don’t know where you’re going.  How can we know the way?”  Jesus told him, “I myself am the Way – I am Truth, and I am Life.  No one comes to Abba God but through me.  If you really knew me, you would know Abba God also.  From this point on, you know Abba God and you have seen God.”  “Rabbi,” Philip said, “show us Abba God, and that will be enough for us.”  Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and still you don’t know me?  Whoever has seen me has seen Abba God.  How can you say, “Show us your Abba”?  Don’t you believe that I am in Abba God and God is in me?  The words I speak are not spoken of myself; it is Abba God, living in me, who is accomplishing the works of God.  Believe me that I am in God and God is in me, or else believe because of the works I do.  The truth of the matter is, anyone who has faith in me will do the works I do – and greater works besides.  Why?  Because I go to Abba God, and whatever you ask in my name I will do, so that God may be glorified in me.  Anything you ask in my name I will do.

extremely attractive, yet utterly unrealistic

by Betsy Happel, 5/7/17

Acts 2:42-47 (Common English Bible)

The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers.  A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles.   All the believers were united and shared everything.  They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them.  Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity.  They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved.                                       

 

Hearts on Fire

By Betsy Happel, 4/30/17

Luke 24:13-35  (Common English Bible)          

On that same day, two disciples were traveling to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  They were talking to each other about everything that had happened.  While they were discussing these things, Jesus himself arrived and joined them on their journey.  They were prevented from recognizing him.  He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk along?” They stopped, their faces downcast.  The one named Cleopas replied, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who is unaware of the things that have taken place there over the last few days?”  He said to them, “What things?”  They said to him, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth. Because of his powerful deeds and words, he was recognized by God and all the people as a prophet.   But our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him.  We had hoped he was the one who would redeem Israel. All these things happened three days ago.  But there’s more: Some women from our group have left us stunned. They went to the tomb early this morning  and didn’t find his body. They came to us saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who told them he is alive.  Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found things just as the women said. They didn’t see him.”  Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! Your dull minds keep you from believing all that the prophets talked about.  Wasn’t it necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then enter into his glory?”  Then he interpreted for them the things written about himself in all the scriptures, starting with Moses and going through all the Prophets.  When they came to Emmaus, he acted as if he was going on ahead.  But they urged him, saying, “Stay with us. It’s nearly evening, and the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.   After he took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight.  They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts on fire when he spoke to us along the road and when he explained the scriptures for us?”  They got up right then and returned to Jerusalem. They found the eleven and their companions gathered together.  They were saying to each other, “The Lord really has risen! He appeared to Simon!”  Then the two disciples described what had happened along the road and how Jesus was made known to them as he broke the bread.

“The Second-Most-Common Cause for Goosebumps”

By Betsy Happel, 4/23/17

Matthew 28:1-10   (Common English Bible)               

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb.  Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it.  Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow.  The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him.  Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.”  With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples.  But Jesus met them and greeted them. They came and grabbed his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there.”

Don’t be Afraid

By Stephen Stark, 4/16/17

Matthew 28:1-10   (Common English Bible)

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb.  Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it.  Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow.  The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men.  But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him.  Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.”  With great fear and excitement, they hurried away from the tomb and ran to tell his disciples.  But Jesus met them and greeted them. They came and grabbed his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers that I am going into Galilee. They will see me there.”

 

All Stirred Up

By Betsy Happel, 4/9/17

Matthew 21:1-11   (Common English Bible)                

When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave two disciples a task.  He said to them, “Go into the village over there. As soon as you enter, you will find a donkey tied up and a colt with it. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anybody says anything to you, say that the Lord needs it.” He sent them off right away.  Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said, Say to Daughter Zion,Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring.”  The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.

Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road.  The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord![b] Hosanna in the highest!”  And when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. “Who is this?” they asked. The crowds answered, “It’s the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

We Are Them Are Us

By Betsy Happel, 4/2/17

Matthew 12:1-8  (Common English Bible)

At that time Jesus went through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry so they were picking heads of wheat and eating them.  When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are breaking the Sabbath law.”  But he said to them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry?  He went into God’s house and broke the law by eating the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat.  Or haven’t you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple treat the Sabbath as any other day and are still innocent?  But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here.  If you had known what this means, I want mercy and not sacrifice, you wouldn’t have condemned the innocent.  The Human One is Lord of the Sabbath.”