Sermons

  • Isaiah 2:1-5 King of the Mountain (McLarty)

    Isaiah promised that, when the Messiah comes, the house of the Lord will be established as the highest of the mountains. We believe the Messiah has come in the person of Jesus Christ. In him, we see a new way of living, by serving people in his name.

  • Isaiah 2:1-5 The Lessons of Christmas (Wagner)

    Isaiah proclaimed that hope was coming soon. He described a time when God would reign and the world would be in peace. The world was in shambles, but Isaiah called his people to hope. That hope however, required them to do something.

  • Isaiah 2:1-5 Walking in the Light (Wagner)

    Isaiah told the Israelites that God had ordained them to practice justice and righteousness. Primarily that meant they were to be neighborly––agents of compassion for others and advocates for the underdogs in society.

  • Isaiah 5:1-7 Let the Vineyards be Fruitful, Lord (Kegel)

    The Song of the Vineyard seems to begin as a love song. But then comes a discordant note––the grapes are sour, the juice undrinkable. The prophet asks his hearers to judge between the farmer and his vineyard. Just who is at fault here? What has happened?

  • Isaiah 5:1-7 The Unexpected Harvest

    What are God’s expectations of us? There are many ways to approach this question. Isaiah points to one such way. It describes the vineyard owner’s displeasure with sour grapes. Yes, God expects from us a good and bountiful harvest.

  • Isaiah 6:1-6 Marching Orders (Butler)

    Isaiah’s job was to bring a word from God to God’s people Israel. A prophet was like a barometer to gauge what he or she saw going on in society, checking to make sure that the people were faithfully following the law of Yahweh. Isaiah did that with vigor.

  • Isaiah 6:1-8 Partners with God (Donovan)

    When I read a newspaper, often I feel helpless. Isaiah felt much the same way. His nation had suffered a succession of evil kings, but King Uzziah had been a notable exception. Now he was dead, and Isaiah felt lost.

  • Isaiah 6:1-8 Are You a Leader? (Kegel)

    I guess it is fair to say that less than one in ten Protestant ministers are leaders––people with a vision for ministry. How about this for a vision—to so preach and teach and witness that people will come to know the Living God.

  • Isaiah 6:1-8 Four Letter Words to God (Kegel)

    A pastor remembers meeting Jews for Jesus with clever brochures. One was entitled, “Four Letter Words to God.” It said that when one comes before the Lord the only appropriate response is ”Hineni”––“Here I am”––only four letters in Hebrew.

  • Isaiah 6:1-8 and John 3:1-17, Bold Enough to Tell the Truth (Trinity) (Hoffacker)

    When does it happen? “In the year that King Uzziah died.” The death of the monarch brings insecurity to the land and its people. There has been this death. Will there be no life? Isaiah sees another king seated on a throne, the Lord God of Israel who cannot die.

  • Isaiah 9:1-7 For Unto Us a Child Is Born (McLarty)

    Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, all right, but that’s only the beginning. What we celebrate at Christmas is actually the beginning of a new way of life made possible by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

  • Isaiah 11:1-10 The Voice of Hope (Wagner)

    Where is a reliable voice to reassure us? The voice of Isaiah was such a voice. He spoke to a people who had little hope. They were desperate. Isaiah proclaimed that God would send them a leader who would guide them through their hard times.

  • Isaiah 11:1-10 The Peaceable Kingdom (Bedingfield)

    Isaiah wrote about the peaceable kingdom almost 3,000 years ago. We’re no closer to making it a reality today than the people of Israel were then. But let’s look for a minute at what Isaiah said would happen before the peaceable kingdom came.

  • Isaiah 11:3 The Perfect World! (Gerhardy)

    Wouldn’t it be great to live in a perfect world––where there were none of the imperfections, troubles and worries that we have at the moment? In a perfect world people who are 50 would feel as good as they did when they were 16.

  • Isaiah 12 In God We Trust (Wagner)

    She said, “Now this is the first turkey I have ever cooked. If it isn’t any good, we’ll just get up from the table and go to a restaurant.” When she returned to with the turkey, her husband and son were seated at the table with their coats and hats on.

  • Isaiah 25 Funeral sermon: Death Never Has the Last Word (Hoffacker)

    Why? Why did this happen to a gracious, man who had so much to live for? Why did this happen as it did to Angela and Eddie, to Nancy, to all of us? It is natural to ask this question. That we do so testifies to the weight of our loss.

  • Isaiah 25 Funeral sermon: Her Generous Life (Hoffacker)

    The final months of Kay’s life were hard. Company was sparse. Opportunities for connecting appeared few and far between. Still this period was pregnant with a future. For the one seated on the throne announces: “See, I am making all things new.”

  • Isaiah 25:6-9 Monumental Faith (London)

    A “Far Side” cartoon has God standing in front of one of a gigantic shopping mall map. He is pressing the “where are you” button and the map lights up and says, “You are here, and here, and here, and here, and here.” As Christians we believe that about God.

  • Isaiah 35:1-10 Roads to Joy (Wagner)

    For 36 hours, George Mason was locked in a vault with no way out. There was no doorway to freedom, no window, no road to lead him from his personal darkness. Just so, there was no road for the people of Isaiah’s day. They were in a desert wasteland.

  • Isaiah 35:1-10 A Vision of Christ’s Coming (McLarty)

    In Odessa we’d go for weeks and months without rain. The land would be so parched and dry you’d think nothing would ever grow again. Then it’d rain. Almost overnight, green grass would sprout up. It was as if the creation itself was singing God’s praise.

  • Isaiah 40:1-11 Road Work Ahead (Anders)

    Pikeville was a very interesting place during the gigantic earth-moving project. It must have been fascinating to watch as they literally removed a mountain on the edge of town and then rerouted the river and the railroad around the city.

  • Isaiah 40:1-11 Scanning the Horizon (Butler)

    They were unhappy, discontented; their surroundings were unfamiliar. Perhaps this is why Isaiah begins this portion of his writings with what sounds . . . like the steady, comforting beat of a drum, the constant call to look to the horizon and notice the coming of a Savior.

  • Isaiah 40:1-11 The Highway of Our Lord (McLarty)

    The purpose of the game was not to win, but to have fun. And if the score got overly lopsided, we’d line up and choose sides all over again. As Isaiah put it, “Make a level highway in the desert for our God…”

  • Isaiah 40:27-30 Rising on Wings Like Eagles (Gerhardy)

    The Los Angeles Police Department showed rookie officers the value of bullet-proof vests shooting into the vests. The rookies were asked to see if any of the rounds had penetrated the vests. Invariably the vests would pass the test with flying colors. Vernon would turn to the rookie officers and ask, “So who wants ...

  • Isaiah 42:1-9 Lighting The Way (Wagner)

    God made a covenant with God’s people to be “a light to the nations.” God does not expect us to use force. God expects us to provide light. The light Isaiah describes is not a searchlight like you find at an airport. It is a small, flickering flame.

  • Isaiah 42:1-9 What God Is Up To? (Anders)

    Did God spare the boy and not the rest of his family? The question a lot of people are asking is, “Why did God do this?” This is particularly tough question.

  • Isaiah 43:1-7 Yeah, But We’re Precious (Molin)

    The drive home was dreary. I would have to face my parents. They had invested a lot of money in my education, and I’d messed up. But when I got home Mama wrapped her arms around me, and with a smile said, “Welcome home, Franklin.”

  • Isaiah 43:1-7 Whose Are You? (Bowen)

    We live in a culture where the prevailing gospel is: go for the gold, in every sense of that word. The problem is with the confusion of all these desires on the one hand and what we truly need to become truly happy and fulfilled human beings on the other.

  • Isaiah 43:16-21 Holding on to Hope (Entrekin)

    They had a good boat, but the journey got long and arduous. Winter came sooner than expected. It rained, the canned food got old, the engine died, they were dirty, and it was boring. By the end, it wasn’t fun anymore. This is what life does sometimes.

  • Isaiah 43:18-25 Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Kegel)

    George Barna, the sociologist of religion, notes that most people form their religious identities by the time they are thirteen years old. For many people true worship is what they experienced as children. Think back on what church was like when you were thirteen.

  • Isaiah 50:4-9a Called to Remember (Bedingfield)

    Here is what Isaiah had to say to the exiled Israelites, to the people living under Roman domination, to the suffering Jesus and to those who suffer today. "The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near."

  • Isaiah 53:6 Were You There? (Gerhardy)

    As you came into the church this morning you were given a nail. There is nothing special about this nail –an ordinary nail like the ordinary nails that were used on the first Good Friday. This nail is a symbol of our involvement in the death of Jesus.

  • Isaiah 58:1-9 When All Else Fails, Follow the Directions (Wagner)

    I am sure you have heard the phrase, “When all else fails, follow the directions.” We make mistakes and sometimes choose the wrong path because we fail to follow the directions.

  • Isaiah 58:1-12 Shared Any Bread Lately? (Wagner)

    Isaiah says that social justice issues are a given. They deserve a greater priority than ritualistic fasting. It doesn’t take much effort to cut back or reduce our consumption for a short period of time. Besides most pig-out prior to Lent and party after its conclusion.

  • Isaiah 61 Funeral Homily: Work and Love (Hoffacker)

    The word “unexpectedly” has had to bear a heavy burden among us these last four days. Ray’s passing from us was, as we say, “unexpected.” It is for us a shock, a stab in the heart, an emptiness and a grief.

  • Isaiah 61 Funeral Homily: A Rumor of Resurrection (Hoffacker)

    Here it seems that you’re connected with everybody else in at least one way. The Christian faith takes this a step further. It goes on to assert that all our stories have their place within one great story, which is the life of God and his people.

+ Funeral Homilies

  • Isaiah 64:1-12 Waiting for a Sign (Butler)

    Today begins the season of Advent. We start with darkness and waiting, and we ask the unlikely question, “Is God far away?” So, here we are on this first Sunday of Advent. Waiting for a sign.

  • Isaiah 64:1-9 The Hidden God (Anders)

    Our family once attended a church that refused to sing Christmas songs until Christmas Eve. We found it very difficult to “get in the Christmas spirit.” I never thought that was a battle worth fighting. I see no harm in singing Christmas carols whenever you want to.