Bask in the Light

We celebrate the shortest day of the year by reminding ourselves to pass on the light of Christ and bask in the light that came in the darkness.

The real sermon text is “The Shortest Day” by Susan Cooper.

Joined in the Light

Lighting Up the World

Preached by Nathan Willard on January 5, 2014 in Ankeny UCC
Sermon Text John 1:1-18

We get uncomfortable with the myths and mysteries of our faith, the things that go beyond our facts. With the incarnation, we are reminded that Jesus remains bigger than the worldview we can imagine. Here, we are able to transcend social boundaries and access the great narrative of God’s creation. We just need to bring the light to the borderlands of our society and remind them that they, too, are loved.

What Are You Waiting For?

This was, again, a bit different. We were off the lectionary for the day as I collaborated with an old friend and mentor, Pete Knapp. Pete had been my confirmation mentor, and had an amazing career doing research into Agricultural safety issues that led to much safer working conditions all over the world. In retirement, he dedicated his life to further helping farmers in the third world. It was on a mission trip to Honduras that he suffered a stroke in 2001, curtailing his efforts. When he asked me to help him deliver a sermon to the congregation, it was my honor to do so. Our question is this: what are you waiting for? How much time do you have left to do the things you need to do and show the love you need to show?

Sermon texts are 18:1-15 and John 12:27-36

A New Light for a New Year

In my third year in Divinity School, I was given the wonderful opportunity to work with Rev. Alan Froggatt, Rev. Angie Menke Ballou, Mary Jane Clark, Bob Lague and Karen Mouton at Second Congregational Church of Beverly . This church does a wonderful job of honoring tradition while making space for new forms of worship, and I found the congregation up for pretty much anything. So in this sermon, I tried to stretch a little, and had people go diving for bibles in the midst of things. Turns out I’m not Rob Bell. 🙂 I also think this sermon probably could have been broken up into a two-part series very easily, but it was my first sermon at the church and I didn’t know how many opportunities to preach I would get.

The context for this sermon was both the start of the church year and the introduction of the new church vision for adoption.

Main text is Luke 21:25-36, though also some reference to the prologue of John and Jeremiah 33:14-16

A New Light for a New Year