Sermons

Rebellious prophet

Rebellious prophet

By Roy Stetler
January 21, 2024
When Jonah proclaims that God’s judgment is about to be unleashed on Nineveh because of its greedy, unjust practices beyond its borders, the king and people repent in sackcloth and ashes. Jonah’s glee is turned to frustration and rage with Nineveh’s new faith.  Then, God also repents, turns from the promised punishment, and forgives Nineveh.  Jonah rolls his eyes, and…
The Word of God

The Word of God

By Roy Stetler
January 15, 2024
Nathaniel is surprised (John 1:43-51) when he meets Jesus.  Despite his doubts that anything good might come from Nazareth, Jesus takes such notice of him (‘does he know my thoughts?’) that Nathaniel confesses: “Rabbi, you are the Son of God!  You are the King of Israel!”  Jesus assures Nathaniel he will see the fullness of God revealed in the “Son…
the re-dawning of creation

the re-dawning of creation

By Roy Stetler
January 7, 2024
In this season of winter darkness, we can return again and again to the light of God.  God’s presence shining on us, in us, and around us.  Advent’s journey in hope, peace, joy, and love.  The Christmas celebration of God-with-us in the light of Christ. Yesterday, Epiphany’s star led wise seekers to Christ.   Isaiah 60 reads “Arise, shine; for your…
God with us

God with us

By Roy Stetler
December 25, 2023
Angels proclaimed to shepherds that the birth of Jesus is a sign from God.  It’s good to be human, to have a body.  Emotions are a gift!   Really, they are. God loves all that God creates.  God with us. With this new mother and father, with the rough-around-the-edges shepherds, with the townies who have a little space to share, with the…
Mary

Mary

By Roy Stetler
December 24, 2023
In a casual conversation with the prophet Nathan, King David hints that he would like to build a temple for Yahweh, God of Israel.  Nathan sees no harm in that, but later has a dream about the conversation—the kind of dream you don’t forget.  He passes on the message to David that he is not to build a temple for…
Grief at Christmas

Grief at Christmas

By Roy Stetler
December 22, 2023
The joy of Advent and Christmas is our faith that God loves earthiness and the particular experience of each one of us.  That God took on our nature in one particular human being, in one time, and one place is the message of ‘God with us.’  God does not love us in spite of our humanity, but precisely as we…
Surrender for Joy

Surrender for Joy

By Roy Stetler
December 17, 2023
Today as we light the rose-colored Advent candle, we celebrate joy. To Isaiah, joy is good news for the oppressed, liberty for captives, and comfort for the grieving.  He anticipates gladness and praise replacing weariness and despair.  Joy is the weak finding strength.  Joy is a hand outstretched. Before Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist claims to be just a voice…
Advent Peace

Advent Peace

By Roy Stetler
December 10, 2023
In this season of Advent, we wait “in between.” Christmas is not yet here. We await Christ’s return. Yet all the while, Christ is within us. In all these realities, we long for a more complete awareness and experience of his presence. Plus, we do not always act as faithfully as we wish.  In this waiting, there is room for…

Advent Hope

By Roy Stetler
December 4, 2023
Advent Hope Advent begins the church year not with the beginning of Jesus’ life, but the end. Advent reminds us of the source of our hope. Jesus’ apocalyptic vision in Mark 13 grounds us in hope. In the vision, great suffering leads to the unraveling of creation. God intervenes, angels swooping with compassionate love into the chaos, gathering the beloved.…

Limiting Injury

By Roy Stetler
September 10, 2023
On Saturday evening during a storm, a falling branch several homes away made contact with the line that provides power to our street, causing the breaker at the corner (picture) to sever our power until it could be reset 16 hours later. Such safety precautions reduce the chance of a live wire on the ground injuring an unsuspecting person. Matthew…

The Long Term

By Roy Stetler
September 3, 2023
More trees will be turning colors this week as they respond to the heat and dryness. There is no decision for the trees. They just know. Chlorophyl gives leaves their green color and allows trees to use the energy of the Sun. But chlorophyl contains minerals that a tree cannot replace each year, so as the tree prepares to lose…

You Feed Them

By Roy Stetler
August 6, 2023
When we hear the story of 5 loaves and 2 fishes providing for a crowd of 5,000 plus people, we can be distracted by the numbers. Jesus and his disciples are grieving the recent execution of John the Baptist. They must have been exhausted in so many ways. They ask Jesus to disperse the crowd since they lack resources to…