John Sermons2018-06-01T12:23:32+00:00

Sermons

  • John 1:1-18 Do You Like Beginnings? (Molin)

    When I changed my Palm Pilot batteries, I wiped out every event of last year. It was the only record of the things I did - both good and bad - and now it is erased. Likewise the promise to us is, "If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come."

  • John 1:1-18 Alter Call (Molin)

    Another new near is upon us; Happy New Year! And if this New Year is anything like those which have come before it, roughly 33 percent of us will be on diets by Monday, and 80 percent of us will have crafted some sort of New Year's Resolution, deciding to change our lives.

  • John 1:1-18 What Child Is This? (McLarty)

    It's an age-old question: If Jesus came up to you today, would you recognize him as your Lord and Savior? As importantly, would he recognize you as one of his devoted followers?

  • John 1:1-14 Christmas According to John (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) If one of the four gospel writers was an alcoholic, my money's on John. That's not because he's the only one of the four who writes about Jesus turning water into wine! No, my money's on John because: John felt – he felt things deeply.

  • John 1:14 God Has a Word for You (Gerhardy)

    John Rosen was a doctor in a psychiatric hospital. Unlike all the other doctors who were aloof and separate from their patients, he moved into the ward with them. He placed his bed among their beds. He lived the life they lived. Isn't that what God did through Jesus at Christmas?

  • John 1:6-8, 19-28 God’s Doorman (Hoffacker)

    Priests and Levites go down from Jerusalem to ask John the Baptist some questions. He works as the doorman, the doorman to God's hotel. But these priests and Levites and those who sent them refuse simply to allow John to open the door for them.

  • John 1:6-8, 19-28 A Negative Gospel (Anders)

    Would you rather be positive or negative? Most of us want to be positive. I see something unusual about this Scripture. In these two little paragraphs, there are nine negative statements. I kept coming across "no," "not," "neither," and "nor." Those are negative words.

  • John 1:6-8, 19-28 Straight Paths in a Crooked World (Molin)

    John's the name, baptism's my game. I spent my life in the wilderness, telling people that the Messiah was coming. The crowds that came were astonishing; people whose lives were a mess. I preached repentance, telling them to turn their lives around. Many did; they waded into the frigid waters and gave their lives to God.

  • John 1:6-8, 19-28 Paying the Price (Sellery)

    Proclaiming Christ still comes with a price--and it is not isolated to far off lands. We pay a price today in an increasingly conformist, secular America. And the price is going up. Start with the growing pall of intimidation that stifles even the most timid reference to faith.

  • John 1:19-28 Are You The Messiah? (McLarty)

    What an unlikely choice John the Baptist was to announce the coming of the Messiah. For one thing, he didn't look the part. I wish you could see the picture I snagged off the Internet. It showed this mangy creature standing out in the middle of a shallow river beckoning a would-be disciple to come and be baptized.

  • John 1:20 Rejoice Always (Sellery)

    God calls out to us in the beauty of a sunset, the ugliness of burnt out buildings inhabited for forsaken people, the starved child, the radiant parent, and the selfless teacher who inspires others with hope. God is constantly calling to us in many different guises, saying “Recognize me."

  • John 1:29-42 The Lamb of God (Sellery)

    Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi… Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In Latin or in English, the words are exquisite. And the concept they capture is far, far beyond that. It is the very kernel of Christianity.

  • John 1:29-42 Called And Chosen (Strayhorn)

    Hunger for spiritual food drove the two disciples of John the Baptist to seek out Jesus. Once Andrew found the source of spiritual food, he told his brother Peter. That act is the perfect example of evangelism, one beggar telling another where they can find bread.

  • John 1:29-42 Come and See, Go and Tell (McLarty)

    Today's text hits on two important imperatives of the Christian faith: Come and see--go and tell. First, experience new life in Christ, then share that experience with others that they may experience it for themselves.

  • John 1:29-42 Come and See (Strayhorn)

    There are two kinds of people at Christmas, Angel People and Star People. The Angel People know the story, and are living in expectation, like the Shepherds. The Star People are like the Wise men, people still on the journey, people still searching and seeking out the meaning of life.

  • John 1:29-34 Lamb of God (McLarty)

    Whenever you see the Paschal Lamb portrayed, it's anything but a young lamb frolicking in the meadow; it's a mature lamb with horns, standing erect with head held high, looking you in the eye, holding a staff by its right leg with a victory banner waving in the breeze.

  • John 1:35-51 Come and See (London)

    "A pile of rocks ceases to be a pile a rocks when someone has a cathedral in mind" (Antoine de Saint-Exupery). When Jesus first laid eyes on his would-be disciples he didn't see a pile of rocks, he saw the beginnings of a cathedral, a church.

  • John 1:43-51 & 1 Samuel 3:1-20 God Keeps Knocking (Hoffacker)

    People follow a calling because they believe it is right for them to do so. The work may be hard and not particularly successful, but they find it rich with meaning and significance.

  • John 1:43-51 Your Best Life Now (Butler)

    Imagine my surprise when I got to the class and the leader started off saying, "The goal of the pastor, the goal of a congregation should never be TO GROW THE CHURCH. The goal of growing the church is a lousy goal."

  • John 1:43-51 Ho-Hum Jesus (Molin)

    “Come and see.” That is the greatest invitation in all the world. Come and see fish as big as your leg. Come and see your new granddaughter. Come and see mountains that are three miles high. Come and see the Savior of the world. Come and see.

  • John 1:43-51 God’s Dream Team (McLarty)

    So far, we've got Andrew, Simon, Philip and Nathanael. God's dream team is getting off to a slow start. If we were to list all twelve disciples, it gets worse. There's the Doubting Thomas, Thaddeus, James the Less, Simon the Zealot and, of course, Judas Iscariot. What kind of dream team is this?

  • John 1:29-42 Confessions of an Amateur Preacher (Hyde)

    The Gospels give John the Baptist a lot of ink. Christian tradition pays John the Baptist a lot of attention as well. We must conclude that the Baptist was quite important to the Christian story. But you can't tell it by what is said about John, or even by what he says about himself.

  • John 2:1-10 Party Hearty (Entrekin)

    The word "believe" appears in the Bible 273 times, "pray" 371 times and "love" 714 times, but the word "give" appears 2,172 times. Jesus' teaching about money and possessions is second only in number to his teaching about the kingdom of God.

  • John 2:1-11 His Hour (Hyde)

    John Killinger says that a preacher lives in a fish bowl, but according to his experience that is hardly the full story. It is more like a piranha bowl... people take a bite here, a bite there, and pretty soon all that's left is a stain in the water. Nobody knew that better, or experienced it more, than Jesus.

  • John 2:1-11 Cana Continues (Hoffacker)

    This story reveals a secret about life. Miracles happen. Signs of Jesus at work appear all around us. They happen whether or not we acknowledge them. They benefit us whether or not we notice them. Yet it's a joy to see these signs for what they are and believe in the one to whom they point.

  • John 2:1-11 Who Moved My Cheese? (McLarty)

    Are there parts of your life that are old and obsolete? Is your normal routine not working as well as it once did? Are you out of synch with the world around you? Has someone moved your cheese? Then listen up:

  • John 2:1-11 Humoring the Wine (Brettell)

    Kodak had a series of television commercials that highlighted moments that just had to be captured on film--"Kodak moments." In today's Gospel, we read about just such a Kodak moment in the relationship of Jesus and his mother. It is a classic moment—the kind that often occurs between a mother and her adult son.

  • John 2:13-22 Endangered Worship (Anders)

    Worship was endangered in the Temple, and worship may be endangered today as well. Too many people are selling out their worship experience to the dictates of the culture. Worship may be endangered because of a loss of habitat, a loss of a setting which is conducive to worship.

  • John 2:13-22 Spring Cleaning (McLarty)

    Spring cleaning always came on a Saturday – Dad was at work, and we were in school the other days of the week – there was no such thing as "Spring Break" back then – and to work on Sunday – well, that was out of the question. Saturday was spring cleaning day.

  • John 2:13-22 Zeal for Thy House (McLarty)

    So, what do you think? Is anything that important, that it would be worth losing your life over? Dietrich Bonhoeffer thought so. He was a Lutheran pastor in Nazi Germany, who joined the resistance effort in an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

  • John 2:13-22 God Steps Out of the Box (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) Now the interesting thing about the Jews – and the thing that makes us addicts so very much like them – is just how thick headed, and stubborn, and how defiant they could be.

  • John 2:13-22, Spring Cleaning (London)

    It's been said that the number one cause of atheism is Christians. Those who proclaim Christ with their mouths but deny him with their lives is what an unbelieving world finds simply unbelievable. So what we're talking about here is a life focus, not just a Sunday morning focus.

  • John 2:13-22 Exodus 20:1-17 Is Your God Too Small? (Hoffacker)

    The Ten Commandments warn us against small gods. For example, the Sabbath commandment warns us against the small god of Work, whose worshipers--and they are numerous--resort to frenetic activity in order to feel they have a right to exist.

  • John 3:1-17 The Gospel at Night (Hyde)

    At this point, the jury is still out in regard to Jesus. But Nicodemus is intrigued enough to search him out. Is Jesus a true prophet or just a troublemaker? If he is a prophet, Nicodemus wants to know him better. If he is a rabble-rouser, Nicodemus needs to know that too.

  • John 3:1-17 The Game Changer (Sellery)

    The good news of this gospel is not good news to Nicodemus. He has invested a life-time in ritual holiness. Yet he has seen the power of Jesus. It obviously comes from God. And he can’t dismiss Jesus as a crank. Christ is telling him that his world has changed and that he must change with it. He must be born again.

  • John 3:1-17 Losing Your Religion (Howard)

    The father said, "My son and I had only one Bible verse that we both knew. We talked about this verse a lot. 'For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whosever believes in Him may not perish but have everlasting life.' Will you read that at my son's funeral?"

  • John 3:1-17 The Beauty Steals Inward (Hoffacker)

    One feature of growing older especially deserves our attention. It does not happen automatically, but comes as a gift to crown an entire lifetime. What I refer to us is the rebirth that can happen in old age--what Emerson meant when he said that "As we grow old, the beauty steals inward."

  • John 3:1-17 Nick at Night (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist, had an alcoholic patient who just couldn't get sober. Jung finally told the guy that his only hope, his very last chance for recovery, was for him to undergo a spiritual conversion.

  • John 3:1-17 & Exodus 3:1-6 The Cure for Our Pride (Hoffacker)

    Since the day we were born, we have encountered societies scarred by selfishness, self-condemnation, and sin. One of its worst results is our assumption that a social order is inevitably like this. We live in a moral and spiritual madhouse, and assume it to be normal.

  • John 3:1-17 Faith for the Common Man (McLarty)

    After Jesus breathed his last and the Roman soldiers hoisted him down from the Cross, two men stood there to receive his body. One was a wealthy man named Joseph of Arimathea. He provided the tomb. The other was Nicodemus. He brought costly myrrh and aloes to prepare Jesus' body for burial. (John 19:38-40)

  • John 3.1-17 and Isaiah 6.1-8, Bold Enough to Tell the Truth (Trinity) (Hoffacker)

    Nicodemus is a decent man, yet decency is not enough. His world, like ours, must hear time and again that a society short on mercy is an offense against God. The Nicodemus story in John ends before the resurrection. Our story as Church depends on the resurrection.

  • John 3:14-21 Bronze Serpent or Exalted Savior? (McLarty)

    Anyone can build a statue or hang a picture of Jesus. That's not enough. Jesus Christ is no bronze serpent on a pole. He's the crucified and risen Lord, and he calls us to live in relationship with him day by day. To lift high the Cross of Jesus is to serve others in his name and glorify him as Lord of all creation.

  • John 3:14-21 The Gospel in Miniature (Kegel)

    John 3:16 was a flamboyant character. I never knew his original name (I think it was John Cook) but he changed it to John 3:16 when he became an evangelist in St. Petersburg, Florida. I don't even know if he is still preaching, but when I was an intern pastor in Florida, he was very well known.

  • John 3:14-21 The Night Visitor (Molin)

    Nicodemus perceived God as a demanding task-master who had to be appeased with rules, and rules, and more rules. But in this late night conversation, he began to see God as one who loves, and forgives, and welcomes sinners home. And it changed Nicodemus' life forever.

  • John 3:14-21; Numbers 21:4-9 On Leaving It to the Snake (Hyde)

    "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?" the people demand of Moses. Think about it... It's been forty years and they haven't gotten anywhere. They've being doing nothing but wandering around in circles, eating the same manna and sleeping in tents. No wonder the people are impatient!

  • John 3:14-21; Numbers 21:4-9 Lift High the Cross (Brettell)

    When I was fifteen, I asked my dad why he didn't go to Good Friday Service. He said, "I can't, it's just too depressing." I wish I had him with me still so that I could help him understand the real meaning behind the cross.

  • John 3:14-21; Numbers 21:4-9 Seeing with Our Third Eye (Hoffacker)

    To look with the third eye is possible for us. This mode of vision is known by many names: Conversion, enlightenment, transformation, contemplation, holiness. This is the pearl of great price that you sell everything you own in order to buy.

  • John 4:5-42 The Big Surprise (Hoffacker)

    The woman confesses her faith in the messiah who is to come, and Jesus says that he is that messiah. He thus reveals his identity not to his disciples, not to his own people, not to their religious leaders, but to this person who is marginal three times over: A Samaritan, a woman, and an exile among her own kind.

  • John 4:5-42 Slumming (Sellery)

    Jesus talks with a woman at a well. In that encounter he tells us that the love of God is not the narrow privilege of the elect. It is not rationed exclusively to the pious. Whatever our station, pedigree or profession, God loves us all. Whatever our sins, weaknesses or addictions, he wants us all.

  • John 4:5-42 A Gospel for Samaritans (and the Whole World) (Kegel)

    Jesus' words are living water; Jesus is the water of life. Those who drink have everlasting life. He promises to sinful human beings—all human beings—that in Him their sins are forgiven. In Him we have life and salvation. We are one in our salvation through Christ.

  • John 4:5-42 I Confess, My Heart Was Hard (Butler)

    You may have heard the Samaritan woman story before, but probably don't know how very it is. In fact, in almost every single verse, this story flies in the face of convention, breaks rules, challenges social morays and violates preconceived standards for behavior.

  • John 4:5-42 The Woman at the Well (McLarty)

    The woman asks: "Are you asking me to forsake my fathers and come over to Mount Zion?" You'd think Jesus would have said, "Yes! That's precisely what I have in mind." But, no, he said, "Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father."

  • John 5:1-9 Do You Want to Be Made Well? (McLarty)

    When it comes to being made well, repetition is not necessarily a virtue. Too often we simply practice tired patterns of behavior without checking to see if they're valid. Jesus asks us today, "Do you want to be made well?" Do you want to experience life in all its abundance? Then, maybe you need to try a new approach.

  • John 5:1-9 Getting Unstuck (Wagner)

    Jesus realized that the man was stuck. But, instead of carrying him to the pool he asked, "Do you want to be made well?" The man answered that he had no one to carry him. Jesus said, "Stand up, take your mat and walk." Rather than oblige the man, Jesus challenged him to walk.

  • John 6:1-21 Disqualification (Hoffacker)

    Disqualification is the name of the game when a person says: "What I have isn't worthy." Yet another form of Disqualification happens when people question their own motives, and that keeps them from giving. Recently I came across a newspaper story about a girl who—thank God— has not learned to disqualify herself.

  • John 6:1-21 Subtraction and Multiplication (Hoffacker)

    Call it the best picnic ever. Call it a spirituality of multiplication. When we give away what we have, when we sacrifice even out of our scarcity, then God blesses our gifts and multiplies them, and there's enough for everybody and even more-- but a spirituality of subtraction leads to a bunch of ugly results.

  • John 6:1-21 Andrew, the Guide to Christ (Brettell)

    Andrew lived his life in Simon's shadow. Many verses that mention Andrew add that he was Peter's brother, as if that fact alone made him significant. But you can't look at just the quantity of a person's actions; you have to look at the quality of those actions. And that's most certainly the case with Andrew.

  • John 6:24-35 The Bread Also Rises (London)

    Something inexplicable happens when we eat these small bread crumbs of life. When we ingest the unconditional love that is Jesus Christ, we realize, maybe for the first time, that this bread means that there is no disagreement, no argument, no sin big enough to keep God from loving us.

  • John 6:25-35 Life-Giving Bread (Wagner)

    Whether we dine at a four-star restaurant or a fast food place, we eventually get hungry again. We need to eat to survive, but here in John, Jesus, is telling the people by the Sea of Galilee something quite different. He was saying that food may fill their stomachs but it will never fill their souls.

  • John 6:24-35 It’s Not the Journey, It’s the Destination (Kegel)

    "Labor for the bread which will not perish," St John Chrysostom once proclaimed. People are nailed to the things of this life. We are nailed to crosses of things. It is hard to talk about the freedom of life's journey, when my next paycheck is already spent.

  • John 6:35, 41-51 Food from Home (Hoffacker)

    Today we gather in this church to receive a reminder of home, a taste of food that will help us remember who we are--the bread of life, our Father's gift to us. This is the food of God's kingdom, and reminds us that this kingdom is our true home.

  • John 6:35, 41-51 Hungry People (Donovan)

    "Young people are very hungry." Thus said Bernadette Mulholland, the school chaplain in Yeppoon, a coastal Australian town. She organized an evangelistic outreach. More than 250 people became Christians in one month because of that outreach. Some of the conversions seemed unlikely....

  • John 6:51-58 The Main Course (Stevenson)

    The main course is that which fills us up and nourishes us. The main course is the steak and potatoes. The soup and salad and the desert are wonderful. But the main course makes or breaks the meal. Jesus is saying, "I am the main course."

  • John 6:51-58 The Great Hunger (Sellery)

    More persistent than every other appetite, spiritual hunger cries out for nourishment. Many otherwise intelligent people jam all sorts of junk into their souls to try to fill the hole--materialism, mysticism, astrology, they are all on the menu every day… looking tasty but ultimately without nourishment.

  • John 6:51-58, Shocking! (London)

    Jesus uses shocking language to say the bread sent from heaven is for the hungry, for the really, really hungry. It's for those of us who are so hungry that we eat like famished teenagers. It's a call to put aside politeness and to eat and drink grace as if our very lives depended upon it. And by the way, they do.

  • John 6:51-58 What’s the Matter with Matter? (Kegel)

    Just after World War II, Oscar Cullman suggested that Christ's death and resurrection were D-Day and VE-Day for Jesus Christ. The war was effectively over after the Normandy landings though there were many terrible battles yet to be fought. VE-Day was not yet in sight, the armistice not signed, but the war was over.

  • John 6:56-69 The Flesh God Has Married (Hoffacker)

    See the flesh of Christ in the poor, and seek justice for them. See the flesh of Christ also in the rich, and pray that wealth does not destroy them. And see the flesh of Christ when you gaze in the mirror. Look at yourself, and say that this too is the flesh that God has married.

  • John 7:37-39 Are You Thirsty? (Stevenson)

    When we are thirsty, we need water. Coca-Cola may be the "pause that refreshes" but nothing beats just plain water. Water is what we need. It is essential to our existence as living physical beings. If we are thirsty spiritually, then the Holy Spirit is what we need.

  • John 7:37-39 Living Water (Kegel)

    Jesus is the living water. We do not have to quench our thirst ourselves. We have merely to open ourselves to what God has given us in Christ. We need the great exchange. We give Jesus our sins and doubts and fears, and he quenches our thirst.

  • John 8:31-36 The Truth Will Make You Free (Schoonover)

    There are many things in life that would offer us freedom. Our country was founded on the principle of freedom. Madison Avenue advertisers offer products galore that promise us freedom. And then, there's this Jesus character. He says, "If you continue in my word, you will know the truth and the truth will make you free."

  • John 8:31-36 Knowing God Personally (Haferman)

    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN KNOWING ABOUT GOD – AND KNOWING GOD PERSONALLY. This is the truth we need to see this Reformation Sunday.

  • John 8:31-36 Reformation Day (Haferman)

    Jesus said, "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!" Suddenly Luther knew the truth of the Gospel, and instantly was set free--set free from trying to make himself acceptable before God-- free to rest in the grace of God

  • John 8:31-36 Quo Vadis, Domine? (Kadel)

    While searching the internet, I came across a poem by Calvin Miller entitled, "My Easy Christ Has Left the Church." The poem is melancholy, full of disappointment with today's church. Here is it's essence. Calvin Miller's "Easy Christ" has left the church because the church has left the true faith.

  • John 8:31-36 Reformation: Major Transition (Robb)

    On this Reformation Sunday, as we review our heritage let us renew ourselves in that Spirit of transition, that miracle of ‘forgiveness' in Jesus Christ that set fire to the Church once again at the time of the Reformation.

  • John 8:31-36 Life-Changing Discoveries (Selbo)

    Martin Luther made three important discoveries that continue to be important for us today. Discovery #1: Doing the right thing doesn't make a person right. #2: It's not the "what" of our faith that saves us, but the "whom." And Discovery #3: The truth of what we believe is grounded in the Truth.

  • John 8:31-36 The Truth Will Make You Free (Donovan)

    Jesus said, "If you REMAIN in my word." Some translations read "If you ABIDE in my word" or "If you DWELL in my word." The Greek word is meno, and the idea is that the person chooses to REMAIN in a particular place—to put his or her foot down there and to stay there.

  • John 8:58 Jesus, the Great I AM (Batchelor)

    Perhaps the most ironic testimony to the divinity of Jesus Christ of Nazareth is the testimony of His enemies. Christ's enemies often make it impossible for people to reject the possibility that Jesus is God and then admit that Jesus was a good teacher and example. You see Christ's enemies often point out the outrageous nature of Christ's teachings.

  • John 8:31-36 The Freedom God Gives Us (Dohrmann)

    Ted Schroeder writes, "Much of what passes for religion in our world has to do with obligation, guilt and rules. Sometimes people take offices in the church because they feel obligated. Sometimes people try to please God by "doing their duty." "Martin Luther struggled with the idea of religious obligation.

  • John 9:1-12 I Confess, I Failed to See (Butler)

    Even today, Jesus is still asking us to look beyond the obvious and to notice God at work in the word in the most unexpected ways. How can we possibly take Jesus' advice to heart and open our eyes to see—to really see—God at work in the world?

  • John 9:1-12 Seeing Clearly (Wagner)

    The blind man was surrounded by a community who all suffered from some form of spiritual blindness. Sadly, no one acknowledged that a miracle had taken place. No one rejoiced or praised God for the man's ability to see. Instead, they all rejected him because of his profession of faith.

  • John 9:1-41 Sermon In A Minute (Molin)

    Jesus’ purpose in this world is “to give sight to the blind, and to give blindness to the sighted.” What a strange thing--that Jesus would make some people blind. But it is only strange if we take his words entirely literally. Jesus was, in fact, saying this: "To some I will give sight, and to others I will take away insight."

  • John 9:1-41 Blindness and Vision (Sellery)

    Because no one is as blind as those who will not see, the Pharisees are the blindest of the blind. In their blindness they stumble about in anger and ignorance; striking out at the man cured of blindness, his family, and ultimately at Jesus.

  • John 9:1-41 Sight for Blind Eyes (Leininger)

    "You people amaze me. You don't know where he comes from, but yet he gave me sight. God does not listen to sinners, but God DOES listen to those who do his will. Since the beginning of time, no one born blind has ever had his sight restored. If this man had not been from God, he could never have done it."

  • John 9:1-41 Man Born Blind (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) Several years ago, I invited a blind man to come and deliver the sermon here. I figured if us drunks & addicts get to tell our stories, then why not have a blind guy come and talk about his?

  • John 9:1-41 Spiritual Blindness (Bedingfield)

    Jesus could have told his disciples, “It’s nobody’s fault. God didn’t make this man blind as a punishment. This blind man has come to us so that you can be made to see. Now open your eyes and watch this.” Then we get the wonderful interaction between Jesus and the blind man.

  • John 9:1-41 The Blind Man (McLarty)

    The story of the blind man contrasts those who can see with those who can't. The irony is those who think they can see are blind, while those who are blind can see. This is good news for those willing to confess their ignorance. Only the self-assured and self-reliant need be concerned.

  • John 10:1-10 The Voice of the Shepherd (Strayhorn)

    As Hugh Redwood sat down, he noticed that on the table beside the chair was a KJV Bible--open to Psalm 59. When he came to the tenth verse he found these words underlined, "The God of my mercy shall prevent me." The word prevent as used in the King James Version of the Bible means "to go before."

  • John 10:1-10 The Good Shepherd (Sellery)

    Cowboys “drive” cattle. But shepherds “lead” sheep. The Good Shepherd does not stampede us towards salvation. He calls his flock. We know his voice. We follow him knowing that his way is the right way. It is God’s way and it leads to redemption, resurrection and eternal life.

  • John 10:1-10 What Door Will You Choose? (Wagner)

    When Johann Gutenberg invented the printing press, he began to print bibles. Until then, only Church officials had access to scripture and everyone had to rely on their interpretation. Now the common people could now read the Bible themselves.

  • John 10:1-10 The Good Shepherd (Kegel)

    Naboru Iwamura is a retired Christian missionary doctor who was in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945--the day the bomb fell. He was almost killed by a slab of concrete that fell on him--but it shielded him from the heat and radiation and saved his life.

  • John 10:11-18 I Am (McLarty)

    Here's the point: I AM is the holy name of God, and, throughout his gospel, this is how John refers to Jesus. He wants us to make no mistake about it: Jesus is the Word made flesh, God Almighty in human form.

  • John 10:11-18 Good Shepherds and Hired Hands (McLarty)

    Does this description of the Good Shepherd remind you of anyone you know? I wouldn't be surprised if you were thinking, "Hey, that sounds just like my mother!" Mothers are soft and warm and nurturing, but when someone threatens to hurt their children, they can be meaner than a junk yard dog!

  • John 10:11-18 Listen to the Shepherd (Hoffacker)

    What a great gift! Jesus knows us by name and calls out to each of us as though we were the only sheep in all the world. He knows us, and invites us to know him and to follow him. But a further step is necessary. It is necessary that we listen. The voice of Jesus goes unheard unless we listen.

  • John 10:11-18 The Good Shepherd (Kegel)

    The word "pastor" means "shepherd." This not only describes Jesus, but it also confronts Christian pastors and teachers. The Christian ministry is never really a profession but a calling. It is not a job but a service. It is at the same time protecting the flock and seeking the lost.

  • John 10:22-30 Are You Jesus’ Little Lamb? (Kegel)

    Our faith rests on what we believe but cannot prove, what we confess but cannot explain very well. And nothing is harder to prove or explain than Jesus, who and what he is or even why we have come to believe in him.

  • John 10:22-30, I Know Ewe (London)

    Jesus proclaims Himself a good shepherd, whose sheep know His voice. On closer examination we discover that the only reason the sheep know the good shepherd is because He knows them. Jesus initiates the relationship. Jesus knows His sheep. He knows you and He knows me — and that is why we are here today.

  • John 11:1-37 Waiting and Weeping (Anders)

    A memorial stands near the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, where 168 people died needlessly. At the heart of that memorial is a nine foot statue of Jesus--with his face in his hands, turned slightly away from where the acts of terror took place. The plaque reads, "And Jesus Wept."

  • John 11:1-41 Deconstruction (Bedingfield)

    Martha experienced Jesus’ power first-hand. Her faith was made rock solid because she witnessed God actively working in the world through Jesus, and she was transformed. But we also see God’s power at work in the world through Jesus every day.

  • John 11:1-41 Deconstruction (Bedingfield)

    Martha experienced Jesus’ power first-hand. Her faith was made rock solid because she witnessed God actively working in the world through Jesus, and she was transformed. But we also see God’s power at work in the world through Jesus every day.

  • John 11:1-41 The Raising of Lazarus (McLarty)

    An 18-month-old baby developed a croup and was taken to the hospital. She was put under an oxygen tent and given antibiotics, but died an hour later. A young pastor called the mother to get control of herself. The mother responded, "Don't take my grief away from me. I deserve it, and I'm going to have it."

  • John 11:1-45 Who Gets the Last Word? (Hoffacker)

    No bones are too dry. No grief is too deep. No stone at a tomb entrance is too heavy. God can resurrect an executed man--revive a heartbroken family--restore a dry bones community! Sometimes what we must do is to stand back, and wait for God to work.

  • John 11:1-45 Lazarus, Come Out (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) Bill Wilson said his alcoholism was as if he was chained hand and foot to the back-wall of a very dark cave; and try as he might, he couldn't break free. But when his friend Ebby visited him – he saw his first little ray of light.

  • John 11:1-45 Big Deal (Sellery)

    From the perspective of two millennia, the fact that some guy named Lazarus gets to walk around Bethany an extra twenty or thirty years is no big deal. But the fact that Jesus has conquered death for all eternity is a very big deal… the biggest deal that ever was or ever will be.

  • John 11:32-44 Living Mysteries (Hoffacker)

    Emmanuel Suhard, Cardinal Archbishop of Paris in the mid-twentieth century, declared that "To be a witness does not consist in engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist."

  • John 11:32-45 A Voice You Can Be Sure Of (Wagner)

    Lazarus wasn’t the only one who received new life in this story. Both Mary and Martha received new life as well. They thought Jesus had abandoned them by delaying his trip to Bethany. Nevertheless they still believed. Their self interest died and was replaced by the good for the greater community.

  • John 11:32-44 The Final Word (London)

    So let us Call the Roll. With joy and thanksgiving let us faithfully acknowledge God’s greater reality. Let us give thanks to God for the living legacy of all the saints that make up the saving history of our God.

  • John 11:38-44 Life in Place of Death (Gerhardy)

    Like Dostoyevsky, Mary and Martha saw death as the "most dreadful anguish" to use Dostoyevsky’s words. That is, until the wandering rabbi came to their house. A word from him, and death let go of its hold on its victim.

  • John 11:38-44 More Powerful than Death (Gerhardy)

    A few years ago, a letter was sent to a deceased person by Department of Social Services. It read: "Your social security cheques will be stopped in March because we received notice that you passed away. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."

  • John 12:1-8 Freely, Freely (Hyde)

    "A little dab'll do ya." Brylcreem--remember? Back in the 1950's and 60's TV commercials let men know it didn't take much to get wavy, manageable hair. Just put on a little Brylcream, comb it in, and you were good to go. "A little dab'll do ya." The same goes with perfume.

  • John 12:1-8 Holy Extravagance (McLarty)

    Being Scottish, I am fiscally conservative. Moderation in all things. If a little will do, a little less won't hurt. Plus, I'm not very demonstrative. When it comes to the story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus, I find myself sitting uncomfortably in Judas' camp: A whole pound of costly nard? Get real!

  • John 12:1-8 Give God the Best (Kegel)

    In looking for a new congregation, they were most interested in a church intent on serving others. The key for a vital, growing congregation is to find the right balance between worship and service and to shift the focus from inside the church walls to outside.

  • John 12:3 Not Counting the Cost (Gerhardy)

    As Mary knelt at Jesus’ feet, she reminds us of another meal – the Passover – when Jesus was eating his last meal with his disciples. Out of true love and devotion to his disciples he knelt before them with a bowl of water and towel and proceeded to wash the disciples’ feet.

  • John 12:12-16 Sometimes You’ve Got to Shout (Leininger)

    A woman visited a Presbyterian Church for the first time. Periodically, she would shout. "Amen...Hallelujah...Praise the Lord." Finally, an usher asked her to please keep quiet. She responded, "I just can't help myself. I have found JESUS." To which the usher replied, "Well, you didn't find him here!"

  • John 12:12-43 Palm Sunday Confusion (Batchelor)

    For years, Jesus kept saying, "My hour has not yet come" (John 2:4; 7:31; 8:21). Now here in Jerusalem after this glorious parade up into the temple, Jesus finally states that his hour has come—and "his hour" refers to His death. How can death be glorious?

  • John 12:12-43 Palm Sunday Misunderstanding (Batchelor)

    Jesus was buried like a seed in the ground. Three days later, the seed sprouted. Jesus rose from the dead, becoming the firstfruits of those who have died in Him. His new life would be only the first of many. Through the glorification of His death, He offers new life to all people.

  • John 12:20-33 A Six-Volt Battery in a Twelve-Volt World (McLarty)

    In the old days, cars came with a six-volt electrical system. That's all they needed. As cars got bigger and more powerful and loaded with all sorts of accessories, the old six-volt system couldn't handle the load. So, GM, Ford and Chrysler switched over to a twelve-volt system.

  • John 12:20-33 The Sprouting of the Unexpected Good Seed (Hoffacker)

    We feel the force of gravity--pulling us downward to the earth! We also feel a spiritual gravity dragging us downward into alienation and death. But by faith we recognize the power of resurrection, a spiritual force that draws us up from the dark soil of death, away from the grip of evil.

  • John 12:20-33 Jeremiah 31:31-34 The New In the Old (Hyde)

    Here’s the deal... Whenever you encounter kairos, whether it is in the Old Testament or the New, it is there you will find the deep and eternal love of God.

  • John 12:20-33 Onlookers or Followers (Robb)

    As this Lenten season comes to a close, we ask ourselves once again … and everyday … “Am I an ONLOOKER wanting to SEE Jesus; OR, Am I a FOLLOWER of Jesus DEDICATING my life to him?

  • John 12:20-36a We Wish To See Jesus (McLarty)

    To see Jesus is not simply to look at a historical figure,but to behold the Christ crucified for the sins of the world. Like Moses, placing a serpent on his staff and holding it high for all the people to see, Jesus is the signpost pointing us to God and to a life of self-surrender in love and service to others.

  • John 12:27-36 Cross Purposes (Sellery)

    Jesus was not lifted up on the cross so we could skate selfishly into heaven. Our salvation is not all take and no give. We are not just the beneficiaries of Christ's passion; we are the on-going instruments of his sacred mission. The purpose that brought Jesus to the cross is our purpose now.

  • John 13:1-17 The Christian Calling (Leininger)

    The world is full of people who are standing on their dignity when they ought to be kneeling at the feet of their brethren. When we are tempted to think of our dignity, our prestige, our rights, let us again see the picture of the Son of God, girt with a towel, kneeling at his disciples' feet.

  • John 13:1-17 What Are You Going to Do with Judas? (McLarty)

    Sure enough, the Synoptics agree, Judas doesn’t leave until the meal is complete. But, according to John, once Judas was exposed, he left the room in a huff. Ever since then, I’ve been wondering what to do with Judas. Is there room in the kingdom of God for a traitor, a thief, an unrepentant sinner?

  • John 13:1-17 True Love (Wagner)

    At this point Jesus had very little time left to teach his disciples. To leave the world with followers who would truly "get it" he had to demonstrate the importance of unconditional love. If the disciples didn’t love each other, how could they possibly build God’s Church? How could they possibly teach others how to love?

  • John 13:1-17 A New Commandment (McLarty)

    Edgar Guest got it right when he said: "I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way." Jesus' life was a living sermon. To know how to love one another is simply to walk in his footsteps and follow his lead.

  • John 13:34 The Hard Part (Sellery)

    There’s no wiggle room here. This is not a suggestion or a helpful hint. It is Christ’s commandment. Nobody said it was going to be easy. Some people are harder to love than others. Start with those labeled as life’s losers: The drunks, the addicts, the hookers and the crazies. Jesus knows and loves every one of them.

  • John 13:31-35 The Mark of Love (Kegel)

    Douglas John Hall of Canada's McGill University notes that the law of Christ makes tolerance not enough: "It may be good enough, legally and politically, but it is not good enough for the one who did not say, 'Tolerate your neighbor', but rather 'Love your neighbor.'"

  • John 13:31-35 Family Talk (Hyde)

    It isn’t odd that Jesus would tell his followers to love one another. What’s strange is that he told them this was his commandment. That’s a pretty strong word, “commandment.” In Latin, the word is mandatum, from which we get our English word “mandate.” “You will love one another. I command it!”

  • John 13:34-35 To Love as Jesus Loves (Gerhardy)

    Real love forgets self. Real love knows no danger. Real love doesn't count the cost. The Bible says, "Many waters can't quench love, neither can floods drown it" (Song of Solomon 8:7). The gospel text today is about this kind of love. And how fitting it is that we have this text on Mothers’ Day.

  • John 13:1-7, 34-35 A Further Humbling (Hoffacker)

    One of the great questions of life is: Why is there anything at all? Or to put this question in religious terms, why does God create? Why should God bring about reality other than himself, reality in the form of angels and stones, people and plants, galaxies and atoms, animals and oceans?

  • John 14:1-8 Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled (Howard)

    In your most severe crisis--the hospital waiting room or the funeral parlor--the last thing you can hear is often the one thing you need to hear. "Let not your heart be troubled, Jesus says, "Believe in God, believe in me."

  • John 14:1-14 The Way Home (Sellery)

    Jesus tells us he is the way for an obvious reason. He wants us to get up and follow him. His way is simple: Love God and neighbor. That’s Christ’s great commandment, not some sweet, bumper-sticker sentiment. Make Christ’s way your way home.

  • John 14:1-14 I Go To Prepare a Place for You (Strayhorn)

    Dawne finished typing, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God." She hollered into the kitchen above the noise, "Would somebody PLEASE be the peacemaker?!" There was a moment's silence and then Garret, 6, piped up, "I'll be the piece maker, Mom!" He said: "Here's a piece for you and a piece for you--and one piece for me."

  • John 14:1-14 Speaking of Death (Molin)

    One woman walked up to her pastor following her husband’s funeral and said “Thank you, pastor, for conducting my husband’s service, but who were you talking about in the sermon today?” Why do we do that? Why do we pastors sugar-coat the truth in times such as that?

  • John 14:1-14 I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) When I was in the second grade, a nun said, “Well kids, you see, God is sort of like your own father--only he’s bigger and he knows everything that you do.” And from the back of the room I shouted, “Holy Shit! … I’m dead!”

  • John 14:1-27 Don’t Be Afraid (McLarty)

    Luther Bridgers' house burned to the ground. It not only destroyed all of his earthly belongings, it claimed the life of his wife and three little boys. In the face of such a devastating loss, he wrote, "There's within my heart a melody, Jesus whispers sweet and low."

  • John 14:8-17 Promises, Promises (Hyde)

    Jesus actually makes it sound like it will be to their advantage that he is gone, and that he will send the Spirit in his place. And maybe it was. You see, Jesus knows something they don't know. He knows that God cannot be seen or explained. God can only be experienced.

  • John 14:15-21 If You Love Me . . . (Strayhorn)

    My fondest memory of my mother will always be Christmas and underwear. Mom always checked to make sure we had put on clean underwear, "in case we got hit by a bus." Don't ask me how that could help but it was one her rules. At Christmas, Mom always gave us underwear and socks.

  • John 14:15-21 Truth and Beauty (Sellery)

    In this gospel, form follows function. If your purpose and your practice are the sublime beauty of Christ’s love, you will reject the ugliness of sin. If you are guided by the Spirit of Truth, you will not be false. Truth and beauty: These are the gifts of the risen Christ. These are the presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • John 14:15-21 What Difference Does It Make? (Strayhorn)

    A religious cynic once said, "God made humanity on the last day of creation. When God realized what He'd done, He took off and went into hiding." Wrong answer! When God created humanity, God said it was "Very good." God didn't take off and go into hiding. God made Himself totally accessible to man.

  • John 14:15-21 Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide (Kegel)

    Pinocchio needed someone to keep him on the straight and narrow. Jiminy Cricket was Pinocchio's conscience. It was his song that most of us remember best from the Walt Disney film, "Give a little whistle, give a little whistle and always let your conscience be your guide."

  • John 14:23-29 The Home Inside Us (Hoffacker)

    Americans are growing more and more preoccupied with their homes. We have gone from simply cocooning in our homes to burrowing into them, and thus shutting out the world far more successfully. No longer is our home just our castle; it has become our fortress.

  • John 14:23-29 Christ in Our Home (Kegel)

    John Wesley was one of the best-read eighteenth century Christians, yet he always said that he was a man of one book. The people of Israel in ancient days were called people of the book. We Christians are people of God's book. We are Bible Christians and we will grow in our faith as we are grounded in the Bible.

  • John 14:27 Peace I Give to You (Gerhardy)

    "Sir", the pilot said, "Would you like to get off and stretch your legs?" The blind man replied, "No thanks, but my dog would like to stretch his legs." Everyone in the gate area came to a complete stand still when they looked up and saw the pilot walk off the plane with a guide dog! The pilot was even wearing sunglasses.

  • John 15:1-8 Stay Connected! (McLarty)

    Often when kids strike out on their own, they quit going to church. They cut themselves off from their faith family. Lacking a support community, they become vulnerable to the temptations of the world. So, graduates, I’d like to offer these simple words: STAY CONNECTED!

  • John 15:1-8 The True Vine (Anders)

    One of our church members noticed that I had twisted the wires together and loosely wrapped the connection with black tape. He showed me how to attach the wires with tubes crimped tightly on the wires–followed by tubes of heat shrink rubber. Now that my connections are good, my trailer lights work great!

  • John 15:1-8 The Vine and the Branches (McLarty)

    As Christians, we don’t believe God would harm us. At the same time, we don’t expect God to give us immunity either. A tornado is just as likely to strike your house as your neighbor’s. What we believe is that God will use both the pleasures and the pain of life to strengthen us and ...

  • John 15:1-8 Cut to the Quick (London)

    This is a day of thanksgiving for the love of mothers. Mother’s Day isn’t a high holy day, but maybe it should be. Mother’s Day not only affords us the opportunity to give thanks for our mothers, but it’s also a time to reflect on the “mothering” attributes of our God.

  • John 15:1-8 Branches on the Vine (Gerhardy)

    The pilot announced: “A third engine has failed. Don’t be alarmed. We can make it to the airport on one engine. However, we will arrive an hour late.” One passenger turned to another and said, “Boy, I hope that fourth engine doesn’t fail, or we will be up here all night!”

  • John 15:9-17 Fruit of the Vine (Wagner)

    While hiking in the Smokey Mountains, we came upon a huge vine. Imagine if it could talk. It could tell you of the civil war, the revolutionary war, and countless stories of people who had passed by on the trail. Jesus said to the disciples, “I am the vine.”

  • John 15:9-17 Jesus’ Friend (Leininger)

    A Middle School English teacher asked her class to write imaginative definitions of a friend. One student said, “A friend is a pair of open arms in a society of armless people.” Another said, “A friend is a warm bedroll on a cold and frosty night.”

  • John 15:9-17 The Commandment of Love (Kegel)

    From the earliest days of the Church, love was a mark of Christian believers. Pagans described Christians this way, “They love one another. They never fail to help widows. If they have something, they give freely to those who have nothing. They consider themselves brothers and sisters through the spirit of God.”

  • John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15 A New Spirit (Kegel)

    Carl Braaten noted, “Without the primitive Spirit of Pentecost we are way down in the valley of dry bones and the breath we use to chant the liturgy or preach the sermon will not have the power to make those dry bones live again.”

  • John 16:12-15 To Tell the Truth (Wagner)

    Today we are honoring our graduates. The church recognizes that in life there are many "rites of passage", such as baptism, confirmation, marriage etc. Graduation is also significant since it means change, both for the graduates and their families.

  • John 16:12-15 He Will Guide You (Kegel)

    On this Sunday of the Holy Trinity, the one God is inviting us into the house of love to commune with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to love and be loved, to believe and be guided into all truth and beauty and peace.

  • John 16:23-33 Prayer to the Father; In Jesus’ Name (Batchelor)

    We should recognize that the word father has mixed meanings. Some of us had fathers who loved us and sacrificed for our benefit. Others had abusive fathers who made their lives miserable. This means that there can be wildly different reactions to the teaching of God the Father.

  • John 17:1-11 So That We May Be One in Christ (Strayhorn)

    At first it was just a family squabble. One group put Scripture above Church structure and called for change but they were rejected, so they protested. So, then the one family became two--Protestants and Catholics. But once the squabble started, it snowballed.

  • John 17:1-11 That We May Be One (Sellery)

    A Nigerian boy recounted how his father was murdered by terrorists. They made one demand: Renounce Jesus. Fighting back his fear, the man explained that he could never do that because if he renounced Jesus, then Jesus could not commend him to the Father. His declaration of faith was answered by fatal gunfire.

  • John 17:1-11 Jesus’ Prayer for Us (Kegel)

    What works on a Grand Canyon backpack and for each human body, also works in the Christian Church—but sometimes forget this. If one part of the Christian family suffers, we all suffer. No one is expendable. There is not one person here this morning who has not received gifts given for the good of all.

  • John 17:6-19 Jesus’ Prayer for You (Canada)

    As Parents' Weekend approached, tavern near the campus posted a sign that said, "Bring your parents to lunch. We'll pretend we don't know you." One of the local churches countered with a signboard that read, "Bring your parents to church. We'll pretend we do know you."

  • John 17:6-19 In a Different World (Wagner)

    Graduation is a rite of passage where our young men and women are leaving one world and entering a new one. This new world is quite different than the one they are leaving. Now they will be expected to build a career, find a mate, thus separating themselves from their families.

  • John 17:6-19 The Story Is Enough (Kegel)

    In spite of two thousand years' time, different languages and cultures, people believe in Jesus Christ. Through the Scriptures, through the waters of baptism, the bread and wine of the Lord's Supper, through people gathered together in the Lord's Name, we have come to know the Savior.

  • John 17:11-19 Aliens Anonymous (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) Bill said that something happened to him INSIDE on the day Ebby showed up in his kitchen. Ebby was 60 days sober and Bill knew that he was every bit as bad an alcoholic as he was – and yet there he sat – telling how he’d gotten sober.

  • John 17:20-26 One (Hyde)

    Evidently, Jesus knew how hard it would be for his disciples to be of one heart. That’s certainly been borne out through history, hasn’t it? You got your Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and Orthodox. You got your Assemblies and Agapes.

  • John 17:20-26 What Jesus is Praying For (Hoffacker)

    As Jesus himself indicates, only by our unity, our no-nonsense embrace of one another, will the world come to believe.

  • John 17:20-26 Unity in Christ (McLarty)

    It’s important to note that Jesus’ longest and most fervent prayer was for the unity of the church: “… that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21). Unity in Christ. What is the secret to Christian unity?

  • John 18:1 – 19:42 A Moral Portrait of Jesus (Hoffacker)

    "It is finished." "Woman, behold your son.... Behold, your mother." "I am thirsty." "It is finished." These simple sentences offer us a moral portrait of Jesus. See how he demonstrates compassion, and accepts pain, and crosses the finish line of life triumphant.

  • John 18:33-37 & Revelation 1:4b-8 The Alpha and the Omega (Leininger)

    Jesus dolls - packaged in a box that looked like the Bible - were probably the biggest doll flop in American toy history. Why? Because he is "the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." That is not doll house stuff!

  • John 18:33-38 The Truth (Hyde)

    On this Good Friday, as you seek the truth, look into the faces of those who couldn’t bring themselves to believe in Jesus’ truth. And know, even in our betrayal, there is his grace and forgiveness. And that, my friends, is indeed the truth.

  • John 18:28-38 What Is Truth (McLarty)

    We tell little white lies: “I’d love to come, but I have a prior commitment … Send me more information, and I’ll get back to you … the check’s in the mail.” At best, it’s a way of being courteous; at worse, it’s a way of being dishonest. Truth, pure and simple, is rare.

  • John 18:33-37 Royalty Stoops (Anders)

    Americans find it difficult to imagine that we once had a king. We think of kings, queens, princes and princesses as something foreign--not something most of us can relate to. But Pontius Pilate knew what a king was. It was not a far-off, fantasy image for him.

  • John 18:33-37 The Royal Triumph (Hoffacker)

    The newly baptized is marked with the sign of the Cross, addressed by name, and told, "You are sealed by the Holy Spirit in Baptism and marked as Christ's own for ever." This anointing recalls how kings were made in the Old Testament, only now this happens to all God's people.

  • John 20:1-18 Escaped Prisoners (Hoffacker)

    Jesus' enemies were not successful! They could not -- did not -- hold Jesus as a prisoner! He kept escaping, and he saved the best escape for last. He left his tomb behind because he was alive, never to die again. He pulled off the greatest escape of them all. Only divine power can do this.

  • John 20:1-18 Passion, Proof, and Purpose (Molin)

    Thomas needed proof that Jesus was alive. The next week, Jesus appeared to Thomas, and he did believe. Jesus made a significant remark: “Do you believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me? Blessed are those who do not see me, and yet believe.” That’s us, isn’t it?

  • John 20:1-18 Easter Joy (Kegel)

    "Mrs. Hayes showed me through her home," Phil Williams recounts, "a small ordinary house." Why the tour? "Mrs. Hayes' husband had died and she wanted me to know what he had been and done. She also wanted to share her loneliness without calling it by that name."

  • John 20:1-18 What I Learned at Sam’s (Amon)

    For over 2000 years we have celebrated Christ's resurrection. We paint Easter eggs; Christ comes from the tomb as a chick from the egg. We don new clothes, signs of a new Easter life. We decorate with flowers; they tell of spring's rebirth. But the ideal celebration takes place at the altar.

  • John 20:1-18 When Is Easter This Year? (McLarty)

    When will Easter come this year? Easter will come when God calls your name, and you hear his voice and respond in faith. Which leads me to ask, has God called your name? Have you heard God's voice? Have you responded in faith? Has Easter come for you?

  • John 20:1-18 The First Sunday after the First Full Moon (Hyde)

    “What shall I read from the Bible this afternoon?” she asked. The commotion lessened enough for one old woman’s broken voice to be heard. “Tell us a resurrection story,” she said. Her words settled over the room and the sleepers opened their eyes. “Yes,” someone else said, “Yes. Tell us a resurrection story.”

  • John 20:1-18 Easter Sunrise (Donovan)

    The sun, S-U-N rises every day, but we come to watch it only on Easter morning. We are here this Easter morning because the Son, S-O-N has risen—the Son of God, who was dead, but who burst the bonds of death—the Son of God, who rose only once, but was "the first fruits of those who are asleep."

  • John 20:1-18 Called by Name (Butler)

    Putting on my pastor hat I sat down as she recalled her first semester of high school, when she had been caught cheating on a test. She was in big trouble. It felt like her whole world was falling apart. She said she was seriously thinking about committing suicide. “Then,” she said, “you saved my life.”

  • John 20:1-18 In the Bulb There Is a Flower (Kegel)

    Bob was planting his garden when he ran out of labels to mark the rows. Then he thought “The seeds know what they are. Who needs labels! ” He covered the seeds, patted the beds, and said, “Go ahead and sprout. You know who you are.” God knows who we are and what we were made to be. God knows what we will become.

  • John 20:1-18 Life Beyond Life (Entrekin)

    Finally, when Hilda had stopped crying Pastor Linn asked her to look into God's eyes and watch what God wanted to do. And she saw God step down from the throne and embrace her son. And the three of them, Hilda, her son, and God, cried together and held one another.

  • John 20:1-18 The New Eyes of Easter (Wigmore)

    (This sermon was delivered to a group recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.) I don’t know if you’ve seen the Sunday Statesman – but our little service has made the front page. The story’s about “the Easter Resurrection of the drunks & druggies,” but it tells some of my own personal story too.

  • John 20:1-18 Called by Name (Bedingfield)

    Jesus called each of the sheep by name. Jesus called Mary by name and she knew His voice and followed Him. On the road to Damascus, Luke tells us the Jesus called Saul by name and thereafter He followed Jesus as the Apostle Paul. Jesus calls each of us by name.

  • John 20:19-23 The Breath of God (Bedingfield)

    In The Wizard of Oz, a powerful wind, God’s ruah if you will – a tornado – comes into Dorothy Gale’s drab life and lifts her out of her place, spins her around, and drops her smack in the middle of a new world. In this new world, nothing is the same as it had been before the wind came.

  • John 20:19-31 Other Resurrections (Hoffacker)

    The refusal to believe gives way to a bold confession of faith: "My Lord and my God!" There is no better statement of who Jesus is than these words from Thomas the Believer. Thomas moves from being dominated by doubt to being set free by faith. This is his resurrection.

  • John 20:19-31 What the Wounds Reveal (Hoffacker)

    We must not grimly pursue some media-inflicted notion of human perfection, but instead open ourselves to the fulfillment God wills for us. Better Franklin Roosevelt in a wheelchair than Joseph Stalin on his own two feet! Better the wrinkles of Mother Teresa than the plastic profile of Michael Jackson!

  • John 20:19-31 Honest Doubt, Honest Faith (Hoffacker)

    Often we compartmentalize people. We designate some as living, others as dead. Some as good, others as bad. Some as believers, others as skeptics. But what matters is not as simple as "Do you believe or do you doubt?" The quality of doubt or belief must be considered.

  • John 20:19-31 Thomas (Sylvester)

    here is the Good News. God would rather we were honest with our doubts than pretend we don’t have them. He doesn’t want a shallow response from us. He wants our minds as well as our hearts. He wants us to wrestle with our faith. He knows that’s what makes faith stronger.

  • John 20:19-31 Elated… Deflated (Molin)

    The conductor said, “Dr. Einstein, don’t worry. I know who you are. You don’t need a ticket.” Einstein arose and said “Young man, I too know who I am; what I don’t know is where I am going.” The good news of Easter is that we know where we are going.

  • John 20:19-31 The Doubting Thomas in Us All (Wigmore)

    Faith isn’t knowing for sure that something will happen – Faith is really just the opposite! Faith is Not Knowing that something will happen – It’s not being sure at all - but going ahead and taking that step anyway.

  • John 20:19-31 Your Brother, Thomas (McLarty)

    Do you like to work crossword puzzles? If so, here's an easy one: What's a six-letter word beginning with the letter, T, whose clue is, "doubter?" Piece of cake, huh? It's Thomas, of course, the "Doubting Thomas" of the New Testament.

  • John 20:19-31 Breaking the Chains of Fear (Hoffacker)

    Jesus breathes the Holy Spirit on his disciples, and tells them to forgive sins with his authority. This action is a second creation, an early Pentecost, a commissioning for ministry. Their business is to be forgiveness. The prototype for their work is to be the forgiveness he has given them.

  • John 21:1-14 Do You Enjoy Your Work? (Kegel)

    When Dr. Donald Hagen paid the toll for the Bay Bridge, he heard loud music from inside the booth--and saw the toll-taker, a young man, dancing wildly inside his little booth. "What's going on in there?" he asked. "A party," came the answer.

  • John 21:1-14 Come Break the Fast (McLarty)

    They caught fish, not because they got lucky, but because they listened to the Lord. The question each of us must ask ourselves is this: Am I willing to listen for the voice of God and act on faith alone? Well, by now, you can see that this story is not about fishing at all, but trusting in the sovereignty of God.

  • John 21:1-17 An Installation Sermon (Donovan)

    Tom, this is a special day for you. Today, we install you as the shepherd of this flock—the pastor of this congregation. You aren't the only shepherd here. Each of us is a shepherd. But your role as shepherd is special. God called you to be a clergyman. He called you to go to seminary and to devote your life to ministry.

  • John 21:1-19 Mixed Metaphors (Anders)

    The two stories might be seen as mixed metaphors, but they provide a healthy challenge for our church. Shepherding and fishing - that's what the church is all about. Let's covenant together to "fish for sheep" and "shepherd the fish."

  • John 21:1-19 Rehabiliation by God (Brettell)

    We torture ourselves believing that our behavior makes us unfit to be loved by God. We search for ways to make ourselves worthy. If you have ever felt this way, you are in good company. Martin Luther used to torture himself with the words, “Have I done enough!?”

  • John 21:1-19 Living the Promise (McLarty)

    “They immediately went out, and entered into the boat. That night, they caught nothing" (John 21:3). When it comes to living the promise, this is LESSON NUMBER ONE: Seek God’s will for your life; otherwise, you’re sure to come up empty-handed.