NextSunday Worship

Dr. Noel Schoonmaker

  • May 18, 2014

    “Heavenly Hospitality”

    Year A – Fifth Sunday of Easter – May 18, 2014

    In this part of the United States – the South – we are famous for many things. We are known, of course, for our accents. We are renowned for our “home-style country cooking.” And we are especially famous for our hospitality. People all over the U.S. are familiar with the term: “southern hospitality.” Southern hospitality […]

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  • December 29, 2013

    “The Threefold Significance of Christ’s Humanity”

    Year A – First Sunday after Christmas Day

    As Christians, we affirm the divinity of Jesus Christ.  Yet we often become so enthusiastic about his divinity that we diminish his humanity.  Jesus was God, yes, but God in the flesh, God in human form, God incarnate.  To deny Jesus’ divinity is to deny the incarnation.  But to deny Jesus’ humanity is also to […]

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  • December 22, 2013


    Year A - Fourth Sunday of Advent

    Did you know that right now in Japan, there are Christmas lights up all over the place and signs that say “Merry Christmas?”  I find this intriguing because Japan is only about one percent Christian.  Their celebration of Christmas is mostly cultural and not for reasons of faith.   If we think about it, we can […]

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  • December 15, 2013

    “The One to Come”

    Year A – Third Sunday of Advent

    This time of year it is not uncommon to encounter major magazine features and special television programs that feature scholars debating the identity of Jesus of Nazareth.   Some regard him as an intriguing Jewish rabbi.   Some regard him as an excellent moral philosopher.   Some, such as the author of a recent New York Times best […]

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  • December 8, 2013

    “Opening Act”

    Year A – Second Sunday of Advent

    To understand the ministry of John the Baptist, we need to flip back to the book of Malachi.   Malachi 3:1 says, “See, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me.”   Malachi 4:5 says, “Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.”   The […]

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  • December 1, 2013


    Year A – First Sunday of Advent

    William Miller was a nineteenth century preacher from New York.  He interpreted certain biblical prophecies, especially from the book of Daniel, and calculated that Jesus would return to earth around 1843.  He preached his end-times message in tent revivals and developed a large following.  He had charts that displayed his complex calculations, as well as […]

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  • August 26, 2012

    “Suited for Battle”

    Lectionary Year B - Proper 16 (21) – Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

    “Suited for Battle” Ephesians 6:10-17 In 2001, I was the youth minister at First Baptist Church of Greer, SC.  That summer, I led a mission trip to Salem, MA.  Modern-day Salem is close to where the Salem witch trials occurred in 1692.  An ominous spiritual atmosphere still pervades the city.  There’s a satanic church on […]

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  • August 19, 2012

    “Sacramental Songs”

    Lectionary Year B - Proper 15 (20) – Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

    According to Ephesians 5:19, one result of being filled with the Holy Spirit is singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Psalms are ancient songs of Hebrew faith recorded in the Old Testament book entitled “Psalms.”  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”  “Create in me a clean heart, O God.”  “Bless the Lord, […]

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  • August 12, 2012

    “Filling Up the Hugger”

    Lectionary Year B - Proper 14 (19) – Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

    One day, when my daughter, Maggie, was two years old, we were talking about hugs and kisses.  I said, “I love it when you hug me, Maggie.”  She shook her head side to side, poked her lip out, and said, “I don’t have any more hugs.”  I said, “Oh, no.”  Then my wife, Dayna, said, […]

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  • August 5, 2012

    “A Biblical Approach to Church Growth”

    Lectionary Year B - Proper 13 (18) – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

    When some people think about church growth, they think about building projects.  They focus on getting newer, bigger, better facilities.  Sometimes building projects are necessary, and church architecture can be inspiring.  First Baptist Church of Huntsville, Alabama has the tallest prefabricated steeple in the world.  All 229 feet of it point toward the Most High […]

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