Seven Deadly Sins Series: Greed

It is so hard in this day and time and in every age since…to know how much is enough. We are bombarded everyday and myriad ways with the message that all we need is just a little bit MORE! Many argue that HOW MUCH MORE is relative. Indeed it is…but does that justify our greed?
Jesus sure didn’t have or take much with him on his itinerant ministry. Should that matter much to us? This morning we will talk about how worry is related to greed…and our desire for more.

Readings:   Matthew 6:19-24

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Seven Deadly Sins Series: Anger

Anger is a natural response to knowing certain things and relationships and circumstances are NOT as they ought to be. Is it ever right to be angry? (Paul says, ‘Be angry, but do not sin.”) We will just touch the tip of the iceberg here! But hopefully this morning’s sermon will help deal with this emotion that can be very destructive.

Readings:   Psalm 137:7-9   John 2:13-17    Matthew 5.21-26

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Seven Deadly Sins Series: Envy

This series, based on Will Willimon’s book Sinning Like a Christian, will explore “the seven deadly sins.” The 7 Deadly Sins are not directly ‘Biblical’ but as Jessica Miller Kelley puts it, they are “perhaps more incisive than the 10 Commandments in…their personalness.” Given that reality, it seems appropriate to engage, during Lent on a personal reflection of our brokenness.

So…what does it take for us to be able to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice?’ What makes it so hard for us to celebrate the goods and services that others receive?

ENVY…it is the emotional root of hatred. This morning we will look at how this sin is evident in our lives and how we might deal with it.

Envy is the emotional root and a subtle form of hate—resenting the good and rejoicing in the bad that occurs to one’s neighbor. It is a social sin, hurting our relationships (even to the point of murder, as in the case of Cain and Abel), and squelches joy in its tracks, as it maximizes others’ good fortune and minimizes the blessings we ourselves enjoy. Envy leads us to criticize others and to attribute others’ success to sheer luck, which makes us passive and (contrary to popular belief) unmotivated to work harder ourselves. A close cousin of Pride, Envy weighs and ranks and compares, making our neighbors into competitors, and our own blessings a prize to be boasted, rather than a gift to be shared.

Reading: Seven Deadly Sins Series: Envy

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What’s the Story

What movie comes to mind when you hear “apple, dwarfs and mirrors”?
Snow White, of course.
These elements tell the “Story” of Snow White.
What elements tell the “Story” of the Gospel?
Listen within to find the answer.
Hint, it’s in all 4 Gospels.   Enjoy.

We welcome Crystal Etzel today.

Reading: 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

 

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Words, Words, Words

In this “sermon” Moses suggests that even as God had spoken through him for many years, that it would be the same going forward. WORDS…or better, a spoken word would be critical to and for people of faith. As one scholar writes: “Very near the heart of the Christian experience is a person talking.”

Reading: Deuteronomy 18.15-20

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Pure Genius

Synopsis: Someone I know says “there are different kinds of smart.” She is SO smart and that is so true! And so one wonders what kind of “smart” Jesus had in mind when he chose the kids no one really wanted on their team…the ones who smelled like salt water and fish, to be his disciples.

Reading: Mark 1.14-20

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Road Rules

Reading: John 1.43-51

Synopsis: No, not the old MTV reality show, but the reality of what it means to be on the road with Jesus. When he calls Philip here to a life of discipleship, Jesus gives some road rules that are little more forgiving than other “driving laws’ that exist in the United States!

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Beautiful in the Broken Places

Reading: Act.19.1-7

Synopsis:  The note in my study Bible says that the 12 disciples there in Ephesus received the Holy Spirit and therefore the same FILLING WITH GOD’S POWER AND PRESENCE THAT THE DISCIPLES HAD RECEIVED ON PENTECOST.

The reality of our lives is that many of us are in need filling too…especially in the areas of our lives that are broken and cracked. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the can be great beauty in the broken places of our lives.

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Snow on Palm Trees?

Reading: Psalm 147

Synopsis:
The Buffalo NY 2014 winter storm gets up to 7 feet of snow.  Syracuse NY being one of the snowiest cities in the country raises the question, will we continue to keep the Golden Snowball award?  I mean, Syracuse and snow go together like Beer, Blues and Dinosaur BBQ.  So, what does all this have to do with the sermon and the Title?

Well, Let’s start with Psalm 147.  Verse 16 –  He sends the snow like white wool; he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes. Verse 17 – He hurls the hail like stones. Who can stand against his freezing cold?

As for the sermon and Title, the correlation is…well…Surprise!  You need to listen to find out.

Check it out.

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The Gift Of Jesus.

Date 12.24.14

Reading: Matthew 1.18-2.12

Synopsis: We celebrate the greatest gift of all tonight…God with skin on. God in such a small package! Might this influence our giving this season in some fashion?

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