Browsing articles from "May, 2011"
May 29, 2011

Sermon Podcast: If you love me…

Are you ready for a leap of faith into a loving relationship with God?
Listen to a sermon by the Rev. Daniel Haas based on John 14:15-21.
It was delivered at Provo Community United Church of Christ on May 29th 2011.

If_you_love_me_2011-05-29.m4a Listen on Posterous

May 28, 2011

Written in our Hearts

Looking for the Pure Gospel? I preached on today’s reading Jeremiah 31:23-40 back in March 2009.

May 27, 2011

Mashup of an It Gets Better video and the Passion of the Christ

“Rachel is crying for her children” according to today’s reading Jeremiah 31:1-22.
“It’s been thousands of years now, but Rachel is still weeping for her children. She’s still refusing to be comforted. But she’s not in Ramah.” Today Rachel is crying all over America according to a sermon by Briallen Hopper.

May 26, 2011

Shout for Joy

In today’s reading Jeremiah 30:1-24, the Jewish people are told to expect both punishment and forgiveness. How is punishment described? How is forgiveness described? How do nations experience the consequences of their actions today?

May 25, 2011

Socialize is dead

Originally this blog was syndicated to twitter via twitterfeed and from there to facebook.
Because that was unreliable I switched to Socialize.
Well, guess what, it hasn’t updated for a few days so I am trying the next thing: NetworkedBlogs.
I’ll keep you posted about its performance.

May 25, 2011

Seek the Welfare of the City

Praying is an extremely political activity: Jeremiah brings a message from the Lord. He reminds the Jewish exiles that they are living in Babylon because the Lord brought them there. He says that rather than pining to leave, they should settle there, build houses, and create a life for themselves. When I was asked to give an invocation for a City Council meeting a month after coming to Provo, Utah, I used part of today’s reading Jeremiah 29:1-23:

“Listen for the Word of God in Jeremiah 29, Verses 4 through 9:
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord.
Let us pray:
O Lord, our Creator, by your holy prophet you taught your ancient people to seek the welfare of the cities in which they lived. Today we commend our city to your care, that it might be kept free from social strife and decay. Give us strength of purpose and concern for others, that we may create here a community of justice and peace where your will may be done; through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

May 24, 2011

Heavenly Mortality

Conventional wisdom has that one does not die in heaven. Well the biblical narratives are a little more complex than that. Today’s Reading Isaiah 65:17-25 describes the new Jerusalem to be full of joy, and her people will be happy. But they will still be people and they will still die: “Babies will no longer die in infancy, and all people will live out their life span. Those who live to be a hundred will be considered young. To die before that would be a sign that I had punished them.” It is just a better version of life not entirely unrelated to what we know and desire. Heaven is comprehensible!

May 23, 2011

Ancestors of Faith

Why does the prophet remind the people to remember their ancestors, Abraham and Sarah? What do you know about your ancestors? Have any of them had a significant influence on your life?
Today’s Reading is Isaiah 51:1-16.

May 22, 2011

Guest Sermon: Enduring Witness

Listen to a sermon by the Rev. Mirjam Haas-Melchior based on Acts 7:55-60. It was delivered at Provo Community United Church of Christ on May 22nd 2011.

Enduring_Witness_2001-05-22_Mirjam_Haas-Melchior.m4a Listen on Posterous

May 22, 2011

God is unfair

“Before I was born, the LORD chose me”, before I could relate to God’s will in any way, God had already chosen to love me unconditionally. That is totally unthinkable for human relationships and totally unfair by our standards. But hey, God gets to set God’s standards, right?

People have always struggled with this unfair love of today’s reading Isaiah 49:1-26:
– In the fifth century Pelagius needed to be straightened out by Augustine.
– In America the debate has continued ever since.
– In Europe it was settled by the Leuenberg Agreement, 16 March 1973:
3. Predestination
24. In the Gospel we have the promise of God’s unconditional acceptance of sinful man. Whoever puts his trust in the Gospel can know that he is saved and praise God for his election. For this reason we can speak of election only with respect to the call to salvation in Christ.
25. Faith knows by experience that the message of salvation is not accepted by all; yet it respects the mystery of God’s dealings with men. It bears witness to the seriousness of human decision and at the same time to the reality of God’s universal purpose of salvation. The witness of the Scriptures to Christ forbids us to suppose that God has uttered an eternal decree for the final condemnation of specific individuals or of a particular people.
26. When such a consensus exists between churches, the condemnations pronounced by the Reformation confessions of faith are inapplicable to the doctrinal position of these churches.