Sermon – November 19, 2017

Entrusted, by Rev. Tom Duley

The Word

Matthew 25:14-30

“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Sermon – October 1, 2017

The God Who Looks, by Rev. Tom Duley

The Word

Genesis 3:1-9

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

Sermon – June 25, 2017

Creed: God Has a Dream, by Rev. Tom Duley

The Word

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Sermon – April 2, 2017

BPUMC_Podcast_LogoDry Bones or Living Faith?, by Rev. Tom Duley

The Word

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The hand of the Lord came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry. He said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord God, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. I will lay sinews on you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live; and you shall know that I am the Lord.”

So I prophesied as I had been commanded; and as I prophesied, suddenly there was a noise, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. I looked, and there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.

Then he said to me, “Mortal, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are cut off completely.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: I am going to open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people; and I will bring you back to the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up from your graves, O my people. I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act, says the Lord.”

Sermon – November 6, 2016

BPUMC_Podcast_LogoFrom Now On We Must Remember, by Rev. Tom Duley

Leap of Faith Weekly Prayer

Prayer for the Communion of Saints

Almighty God, we thank you for those who have gone on before us. They are the pioneers in faith and ministry and we thank you for their example. Help us all as we run this race of life to know that we have a communion of saints that stand by us, who cheer us on and who pray for us. In the strong name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

The Word

Luke 22:14-20

When the hour came, he took his place at the table, and the apostles with him. He said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”

Sermon –August 7, 2016

BPUMC_Podcast_LogoIt’s Gritty Out There, by Rev. Tom Duley

Leap of Faith Weekly Prayer

A Prayer for a New School Year

God of New Life, You give us opportunities time and time again to become more fully Yours. At the start of a new school year, bless families and students and teachers alike that they will see each new day as an opportunity to learn and grow in grace, truth and love. Be with me at the beginning of this new season as well so that I may live each day in the glory of Your love. Amen.

The Word

Luke 12:32-40

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

“But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Sermon – June 26, 2016

BPUMC_Podcast_LogoTwo Mistakes… Two Sins – Part 1, by Rev. Tom Duley
Two Mistakes… Two Sins – Part 2, by Rev. Tom Duley

Jesus is very clear about the need for potential disciples to count the cost before making the decision to follow him. Yet few people do. Today’s sermon will help us to understand why Jesus encourages potential disciples to do so.

Leap of Faith Weekly Prayer

Summer Prayer 2

Compassionate God, help resolve the inner conflict within my soul. For daily, there are instances in which I do not reflect the desire of my heart in the content of my actions. As you draw my heart closer to you, draw the entirety of me to You as well and wash me from the inside out. Help me to become humble and obedient so that You can fashion me as you will. Amen.

The Word

Luke 9:51-62

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

Sermon – April 24, 2016

Encounters After the ResurrectionMoment of Recognition, by Rev. Tom Duley

The power of the resurrection is not trapped in a 2,000 year old rock tomb in Palestine. The power of the resurrection is on display throughout the world. It is available to you, to me and to all of creation. The power of the resurrection is simply God at work in the world. God did not start working in the world on that first Easter nor did God stop working in the world once Jesus had been raised from the dead. God was at work in the world before Jesus was raised from the dead and God is at work in the world today.

Jeremiah knew about the work of God in the world when God used him to promise that a new heart was coming for Israel; a heart with the Law of God written in it. (Jer. 31:33) Ezekiel knew about the work of God in the world when God used him to promise that God would make the dry bones of Israel live again. (Ezekiel 37:7-14). The Apostle Thomas also knew about the work of God in the world when Jesus invited him to place his hands in Jesus’ hands and side. God can do amazing things with people who know the power of the resurrection. Let us pray that we will always be those people.


The Word

John 20:24-29

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”

Sermon – March 6, 2016

Leap of FaithLeap of Faith: God Doesn’t Recognize Walls, by Rev. Tom Duley

There is an old Christian rock song by Randy Matthews that you can still listen to on YouTube. Isn’t everything still on YouTube? The name of the song is “It Took a Carpenter.” The line that gets repeated throughout says, “It took a Carpenter to tear down my walls. It took a better man than me.” There’s a good deal in that little line. Perhaps that’s why I still remember it all these years later. Of course, the carpenter is Jesus and the songwriter is astute in recognizing that Jesus is a wall destroyer. There are so many ways that we separate ourselves from God, from each other, even from ourselves sometimes. Jesus takes down those walls.

The line also recognizes that there is someone who knows us better than we know ourselves. There is someone who is better than we are; someone who is constantly working to get us to stretch beyond that which feels safe and makes us comfortable to our better selves. Of course that man is Jesus and one way he helps us to become our better selves is by moving us beyond the walls we build. Jesus helps us to realize that God doesn’t recognize walls…
God recognizes people.

~Tom Duley

The Word

Luke 15:1-7

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Sermon – January 17, 2016

Breaking Bad ReligionGod Loves Justice, by Rev. Tom Duley

One of the more famous verses in Scripture is Micah 6:8. In part it says:

“what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

God speaking through the prophet Micah wants his people to know that justice, mercy and humility are required for those who are walking with God. God expects his people to work for justice which is defined as the fair and equal treatment of all people.

Jesus picks up on this insight into what God requires when he proclaims the character of his public ministry from the synagogue in Nazareth (Luke 4:18-19). Using words from the prophet Isaiah (Isa. 61:1-2a) Jesus declares that his ministry is a ministry of justice. We seldom think of this aspect of Jesus’ ministry but it is one of the main characteristics of how Jesus conducted himself in his earthly ministry. Because justice was crucial to Jesus and required by God through the words of the prophet it must also be important to those of us who follow Jesus. This morning we will consider the pursuit of justice and hear again God’s call to be a people who seek justice for all.

~Tom Duley

The Word

Luke 4:14-21

Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country. He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to say to them, “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”