Sunday’s Sermon: Serve God

A little over a year ago, Abbi, Noah, and I came to visit with the people of Claylick UMC for the first time. It was our scheduled covenant meeting – the meeting where the Pastor Parish Relations team meets with the new pastor – and we were excited about the work that awaited us.

In the time since, we have seen a lot of great things happen here. Many of you have told me of the stories of where you have seen God at work. I want to say thank you for how you have shared with me the things where you have experienced God’s work and the excitement many of you are feeling. To God be the glory for all of those moments. Continue reading

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Sunday Sermon: By Growing in Faith

Growing up many of my classmates and friends wanted to “be like Mike.” They tried to soar in the air like Jordan. They tried to play defense like him. They mimicked everything about him. 

Not me. I wanted to be like Mickey … Mickey Furfari. Now, that name will mean nothing to you, but back in West Virginia, he is a legend. Mickey is known as the dean of sports writers and has been covering West Virginia athletics for longer than any other journalist. I wanted to do what he did. I wanted to cover the same sports as him. I wanted to be in the same interview rooms like him. I wanted to be just like him. 

Now, I am sure many of you have people in our lives that you admired and who you wanted to emulate your lives after. We all have had people who we thought lived a life worthy of modeling our own life after. Maybe it is a family member. Maybe it is a friend. Maybe it is someone we worked with. Whoever this person may be, they have something about them that we want to be known by. Continue reading

Sunday Sermon: Living the Resurrection – By Our Love of God

Another Easter has come and past. Many of us have put away more than our fair share of candy and ham over the last few weeks. Likely the bunnies, baskets, and eggs have been stashed away ready to come out again in March.

Even some of the celebrations have ended, in reality, Easter has not. Easter is never finished. Easter is not a one-day celebration. It is not even a 50-day season focusing on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter is more than that. It is a way of life.

Easter, and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is the grand announcement of God doing something new. It is not something that can be contained in one day or season. The Resurrection is a truth that defines everything and calls us to live with the hope of the Living God every day. Every day is a celebration of the good news that Christ is alive and is with us all today. Continue reading

Sunday Sermon: Living Out the Resurrection

We all have stories we love to tell. Stories that have been passed down from generation to generation. Stories of memorable times with our family and friends. Stories where we were able to experience something that changed our life. Stories that must be told again and again. 

My guess is that few of us have a story anything like the stories Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome could tell their friends and family. They were among the followers of Jesus who went with him as he traveled throughout Galilee. They saw his miracles of healing and the moments of great teaching that he did. They were there. 

More than that, though, this group of women were the first to witness some of the events that have changed the world. They were present at Golgotha when Jesus was crucified. A moment that changed the world as Jesus gave of his life for humanity’s sin. They were present later that Friday afternoon as Joseph of Arimathea and Niccodemus buried Jesus in a tomb located in a garden near where Jesus died.  Continue reading

Easter Sunrise Message: It’s No Longer Dark

It was still dark that Sunday morning. An appropriate way for John to begin his account of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. One of the things to appreciate about the Gospel of John it is that word choice means everything. A word like “dark” or “darkness” carries with it a meaning that is deeper than what it may seem. 

On one hand, it was literally dark in Jerusalem and at the tomb where Joseph of Arimathea and Niccodemus laid Jesus following his death on the cross three days earlier. The morning sun had not broken through the darkness of the night as a new week began. Darkness filled the skies much like the darkness that greeted us, this morning, as we gathered for this sunrise worship. Continue reading

Good Friday Homily: It is Finished!

When we think of the word “victorious,” our mind goes immediately to celebrations that take place in life. We think of what transpires following a basketball or football game when the victorious team celebrates. We think of what takes place when a new born child arrives to a family that has struggled to get pregnant. We think of the celebrations that occur when someone is declared cancer free.

Those are victorious moments, filled with glorious celebrations, and moments of triumph.

Nothing, my friends, about this moment that we have arrived at tonight seems victorious. At first glance, nothing about that moment on Golgatha’s hillside seemed like a victorious moment.  Continue reading