Sunday I preached on 1 Corinthians 11, speaking briefly to women wearing hats but going on to focus on the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. You can listen to it at http://www.fpcsantarosa.org/2012/11/sermon-why-the-lords-supper-tim-stafford/
Archive for the ‘sermon’ Category
Here, after considerable delay, is the audio for my Palm Sunday sermon. I had a ton of very positive responses.
My main concern was the nature of royalty. In religious contexts we talk about “King” and “Lord” but those political realities are lost to history: all that survives are pomp and circumstance. It’s hard to fill out the meaning of “the kingdom of God” if “king” is a vague concept.
It clearly wasn’t for those who cheered Jesus into Jerusalem. Nor was it for Jesus.
In the sermon I try to recreate the meaning of “king” and then discuss what kind of king Jesus was. He wasn’t conventional, certainly.
Sunday I preached at my church. We’re doing a series on the Kingdom of God, and my topic was signs and wonders. If you’re interested, this is a good introduction to my book, Miracles: A Journalist Looks at Modern Day Experiences of God’s Power. Due in July. Amazon, B&N, Christianbook.com.
My favorite part is talking about the usefulness of signs–the kind you see along the highway, that is.
On Sunday I preached on Matthew 12: 15-37, which introduces what I call “the difficult Jesus.” So much of what we learn about Jesus in the gospels is attractive–wise, powerful, compassionate. But this passage portrays Jesus quarreling with the Pharisees, and it’s hard to stomach.
I don’t think Jesus was just cranky. When we encounter the difficult Jesus, it’s worthwhile to ask, “What is so important it’s worth being difficult about?” Listen if you want to find out.
I preached Sunday on Herod’s massacre of the children. (Matthew 2: 13-18) I didn’t choose the topic, and for the longest time I wasn’t sure how to preach it. But in the end, I came to believe that Matthew’s way of telling the Christmas story offers an important corrective to our culture’s Christmas. We often experience dissonance between the beautiful, high, lovely vision that Christmas offers, and our real world of difficulty, loneliness, anxiety, violence and hurt. In Matthew, those two come together.
You can listen to the sermon at http://fpcsantarosa.org/mp3_files/121309_TimS.mp3. It begins with a carol, but trust me, the sermon is coming.
I preached last Sunday on Matthew 3, and the audio is posted here: http://fpcsantarosa.org/mp3_files/092709-Tim%20Stafford.mp3
A brief summary: I talked about John the Baptist and why Matthew chose to start introducing Jesus through introducing him. John is an odd figure, the only person in the New Testament whose clothing and diet are described, a preacher who doesn’t preach where people live but in the desert.
The sermon discusses the historical impact of John, Jesus and the good news they preached. It talks about repentance as something meant to prepare us for Jesus’ coming into our world. Repentance is reorientation, turning from what interferes with or distracts from God’s purposes, and toward God to facilitate his entrance into our world.
I also talk about Jesus’ choice to be baptized, though he had nothing to repent of. I think Jesus shows himself as wanting to “join the church,” identifying with ordinary people at ground level. That is what pleases God so much, and it is Jesus’ consistent method for changing the world.