Seekers recognizes that any member of the community may be called upon by God to give us the Word, and thus we have an open pulpit with a different preacher each week. Sermons preached at Seekers, as well as sermons preached by Seekers at other churches or events, are posted here, beginning with the most recent.
Feel free to use what is helpful from these sermons. We only ask that when substantial portions are abstracted or used in a written work, please credit Seekers Church and the author, and cite the URL.
October 18, 2020
Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
In case you’ve somehow missed all the announcements we’ve been making and had no idea what we were doing a few minutes ago when Dave, Erica, and Judy lead us in the commitment statements for children, Members, and Stewards—today is Recommitment Sunday. We’ve had a long series of sermons about commitment, in which Peter, Michele, Elizabeth, John, Marjory, and Dave each gave us a different view of what commitment at Seekers Church means to them.
So here I am, standing at the virtual pulpit, wrapping up this sermon series and this season with a call to joyful commitment.
Today’s reading from Exodus follows immediately after the story of the golden calf. He’s been in conversation with God, but it’s not clear who is more upset about the people’s faithlessness—Moses or God. While God thunders vengeance, Moses melts down the idol and makes the people drink the dregs, and then tells the Levites to kill all those who bowed down to the false god. Then Moses goes away from the camp to sit in the Tent of Meeting, where God’s presence hovers like a pillar of cloud at the doorway.
When God tells Moses to take the people on towards the promised land of milk and honey, Moses complains to God that he doesn’t know who will help him lead the people. God replies that the very presence of the divine will be with him, but Moses asks for a sign. And then, when God promises to do exactly as Moses asks, Moses asks for more, saying “ok, but show me your glory.” It seems that no matter what God offers, Moses keeps asking for something else. Finally, out of patience, God says, I will show my grace to whom I will show my grace, and I will show my compassion to whom I will show my compassion, but nobody—not even you—gets to see my face. Now, go stand on that rock over there, and when I’m about to pass by, I’ll put you into a hole in the rock and put my hand over the top until the only part of me you can see is my back.
October 12, 2020
Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Next Sunday is Recommitment Sunday. I hope you have taken some time in silence to engage with the questions that Celebration Circle has posed, and I hope you have sent an email or text message to Ken Burton letting him know whether you are recommitting as a Steward or member, or if you’re committing for the first time. This year they posed two new questions: “How has the pandemic demanded changes in my personal life this year? How does that affect my faith?”
The pandemic has changed parts of my life a great deal. Usually I spend most of my spring, early summer, and autumn days and evenings guiding busloads of students or senior citizens to the D.C. monuments and memorials. Since January I’ve done exactly two tours and the last one was on March 6. The company I guide for has bookings for next spring, but we’re not optimistic. So, one change is that I’ve been around the house a lot more. Also, instead of taking a two-week trip in mid or late summer with Sharon, this year I’ve made only one daytrip. I long to dine inside a restaurant. I haven’t hugged, shaken hands, or given a high five to anyone outside our family and I’ve reduced contact with our grandchildren. I wear a mask and try to maintain appropriate social distance. Teaching on Zoom has changed the way I prepare for and teach a class in the School for Christian Growth.
October 4, 2020
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Recommitment season offers us a chance to think seriously about who we are, as individuals and as a community. It creates a yearly invitation for questioning our lives, pruning away what doesn’t work, and attending to what does. It’s an invitation to consciousness, clarity and choice.
At Seekers, it may also be a time for stepping out of a mission group or stepping into deeper commitment to the community, for examining our level of giving — and receiving – all in preparation for Recommitment Sunday on October 18.
September 27, 2020
Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
Our theme for this recommitment season is “The Mind of Christ in Us.” That is quite a concept! It’s very challenging to think about, and a bit hard to know where to start.
As I struggle to understand a difficult idea, I sometimes imagine I’m trying to explain it to a curious 10-year-old. What could I say to such a child, to make clear what I’m talking about? Maybe something like this: “Well, if you had the Mind of Christ it would be as if you were still yourself but also different, in a really good way. You would still see everything from your point of view, and hear the same birds, and smell the same bread baking, but it would all seem richer and more fun somehow, like it came to life all of a sudden. And the really big change would happen when you started hanging around with your friends, and even with other kids you don’t like very much. They’d still be the exact same people they were before, but now you’d want to help them out, and forgive them when they get stuck and do stupid stuff, and not worry so much about getting your own way.”
September 20, 2020
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
I started coming to Seekers Church in 2008, and made my first commitment probably the following year. I haven’t recommitted every year since then, but most years. And, occasionally, I’ve preached the sermon. I can’t recall a sermon that has been more difficult for me to get a handle on than this one. I have plenty to say, but somehow the message just kept slipping out of my grasp. It might become apparent, in what I say to you this morning, why this was happening.
My focus is on the parable we just heard from Matthew’s gospel, and I’m going to ask three questions:
- What is Jesus saying to us, today, through this parable? Or, as Peter asked in a recent mission group meeting, “What is the Creator putting out there for us to learn?”
- What is the good news, for us, today?
- What does this have to do with commitment to Seekers Church?
I will share some possible answers, and I encourage you also to listen for your own answers, because yours might be different from mine.