Sermons

Our Jesus Is Too Small (January 13, 2019)

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Sermon January 13, 2019: Our Jesus Is Too Small Reverend Mark Longhurst Colossians 1:15-19 Christ is not Jesus’s last name. His last name would have likely been, following the custom, Jesus bar Joseph as in, Jesus “son of Joseph.” But if Christ is not Jesus’ last name, what does it mean to call Jesus, Christ? Continue reading …

Many Ways to God (January 6, 2019)

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Sermon January 6, 2019: Many Ways to God Reverend Mark Longhurst Matthew 2:1-12 There are many ways to God, and the Magi from the East inspire me. Like many Westerners in our day, I’ve been powerfully impacted by the physical and spiritual practice of yoga. But it takes an open mind and heart to step Continue reading …

Subversive Joy (December 24, 2018)

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Sermon December 24, 2018 Subversive Joy Reverend Mark Longhurst   Joy to the world. Joy to our world. The angel tells the shepherds:  “do not be afraid; for see, I am bringing good news of great joy for all the people” (2:10) Christmas returns, with its assurance – as Howard Thurman puts it – that Continue reading …

Of Spirit and Fire (December 16, 2018)

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Sermon December 16, 2018: Of Spirit and Fire Reverend Mark Longhurst Luke 3:7-18 Sometimes fire is beautiful. Fire contains endless depths. Anyone who has sat by a campfire, and spent hours staring at the flickering orange, knows this. There’s holiday spirit in fire, too: I’m not really sure what roasted chestnuts are, but apparently they’re Continue reading …

Getting Ready (December 9, 2018)

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Sermon December 9, 2018: Getting Ready Reverend Mark Longhurst Luke 3:1-6 Getting ready is gleeful, is it not? Who didn’t have a marvelous time at the holiday walk? Who doesn’t break into a smile after watching reindogs-dogs dressed as reindeer-parade down Spring Street? Even the most secular of us are still stirred by Lessons and Continue reading …

Contemplative Worship (December 2, 2018)

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Sermon December 2, 2018: Contemplative Worship Reverend Mark Longhurst Luke 21:25-36 Advent starts the beginning of the liturgical year, the season in which we anticipate Christ’s coming. Advent always starts off with a bang, with a dramatic passage about Christ’s so-called Second Coming. From a contemplative perspective, though, the emphasis is always on Christ’s arrival Continue reading …

When Power Replaces Truth (November 25, 2018)

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Sermon November 25, 2018: When Power Replaces Truth Reverend Mark Longhurst John 18:33-38 Pilate’s question may be authentic. He may really want to know, “What is truth?” Perhaps this Roman governor faces a philosophical dilemma; Jesus’s presence causes him to stare into the existential abyss and ask “What is truth?” Or, what’s more likely, given Continue reading …

Thanksgiving-A Festival Holiday (November 18, 2018)

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Sermon November 18, 2018: Thanksgiving-A Festival Holiday Reverend Mark Longhurst Deuteronomy 16:13-15 There Moses stands, in the riveting (once you get to know it) Book of Deuteronomy, at the threshold of the Promised Land. It’s Moses’s last will and testament, framed by editors as this liberation leader’s goodbye speech to the Israelites. The great tragedy Continue reading …

Full of Grace and Truth (November 11, 2018)

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Sermon November 11, 2018: Full of Grace and Truth Reverend Mark Longhurst John 1:9-14 Brothers and sisters: The universe is trustworthy! How’s that for a grand post-election claim? And I don’t mean that the universe delivers our personal candidates to office, because the arc of divine justice or righteousness is longer than an election cycle. Continue reading …

The Earth Is the Lord’s (November 4, 2018)

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Sermon November 4, 2018: The Earth is the Lord’s Reverend Mark Longhurst Psalm 24:1-6 The earth is the Lord’s…it’s not ours to wreck, says the Psalm implicitly, says the 2017 UCC General Synod Resolution of Witness explicitly. I had the honor of attending the national gathering of our denomination, the United Church of Christ, in Continue reading …