Sermon – October 29, 2017

Questions God Asks Us: Do You Understand What I Have Done For You?, by Rev. Mike Holly

The Word

John 13:12-17

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

Sermon – January 3, 2016

Breaking Bad ReligionWhere Bad Religion Begins”, by Rev. Mike Holly

This is the start to a new year as we begin 2016 together. You may have already made a new commitment or resolution a few days ago. My wife and I have committed to eating extremely healthy for thirty days. Another member told me that she and her husband are doing a daily devotional together every evening after the children go to bed. What do you have on your mind in the new year in terms of getting your physical, emotional and spiritual self in order?

Today in worship, we will celebrate Holy Communion together. In preparing to come forward to receive the bread and the cup today, I offer you the words from celebrated author C. S. Lewis to read and consider in your hearts or quietly with your neighbor in worship:

I don’t know and can’t imagine what the disciples understood our Lord to mean when, His body still unbroken and His blood unshed, He handed them the bread and wine, saying they were His body and blood…I find ‘substance’ (in Aristotle’s sense), when stripped of its own accidents and endowed with the accidents of some other substance, an object I cannot think…On the other hand, I get no better with those who tell me that the elements are mere bread and mere wine, used symbolically to remind me of the death of Christ. They are, on the natural level, such a very odd symbol of that…and I cannot see why this particular reminder – a hundred other things may, psychologically, remind me of Christ’s death, equally, or perhaps more – should be so uniquely important as all Christendom (and my own heart) unhesitatingly declare…Yet I find no difficulty in believing that the veil between the worlds, nowhere else (for me) so opaque to the intellect, is nowhere else so thin and permeable to divine operation. Here a hand from the hidden country touches not only my soul but my body. Here the prig, the don, the modern , in me have no privilege over the savage or the child. Here is big medicine and strong magic…the command, after all, was Take, eat: not Take, understand.

As you come forward to receive Holy Communion, do you feel the hand from that hidden country of heaven reaching out to your heart, mind and soul through the bread and cup? Christ our Lord is present at the table. And he is present in you as well. Thanks be to God.

~Mike Holly

The Word

Matthew 23:1-12

Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.