2011 Sermons

Baptism of Our Lord January 9, 2011

Isaiah 41:1-9                                                                        

Acts 10:34-43                                                                      

Matthew 3:13-17

 If you’ve driven down 114 in the past few weeks, you may have noticed the message on the sign board at Christ Community Church: Christmas is not a day; Christmas is God with us. We might expand on that thought: Christianity is not a religion; Christianity is God with us.

That’s an almost impossible idea for us human beings to get our minds around, and it must be said that in two thousand years we’ve never really succeeded. We want a religion. We want a God who is comfortable, understandable; a God who fits nicely into our lives, a system that suits us, that works for us; a church that meets our needs, that comforts us with certainties and never challenges us or confronts us with the awesome mystery of the living God.

2010 Sermons

Baptism of Our Lord January 10, 2010

Isaiah 43:1-7                                                                       

Acts 8:14-17                                                                        

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

A friend writes to say he has “lost his faith.” This can mean different things for different people, but for him, he explains, he “can no longer believe in the doctrines of Christianity.” What doctrines? He doesn’t say. The Incarnation, the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection? I don’t want to put him on the spot by asking, nor do I want to put myself in the position of doctrinal expositor.

But it does seem odd to me. Doctrines, I think, really come last rather than first in faith. First comes a sense of wonder, the asking of questions about the meaning of life, if life has meaning. And a close second comes some sort of personal contact, experience of a person of faith that makes one want to have what they have. I suppose it’s not coincidental that this friend of mine grew up as an only child, has never married, never had children, and has led a life sheltered from the ordinary interactions with other people – the daily ups and downs – that most of us enjoy (or suffer through).