NextSunday Worship

Dr. Noel Schoonmaker

  • March 27, 2016

    “The Empty Tomb”

    Year C – Easter - Resurrection of the Lord

    The women who arrived at the tomb on Sunday were navigating their way through a period of profound grief.  They had witnessed as their beloved Jesus was crucified the previous Friday.  After watching him die slowly, shamefully, and painfully on a heinous cross, they were probably in shock.  Adding to their trauma was the perfunctory […]

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  • March 20, 2016

    “Pressed, but Pressing On”

    Year C: Liturgy of the Passion; Sixth Sunday in Lent

    The Jerusalem sun greeted us early one morning back in 2000.  It was the first full day of our study abroad, and we college students were jet-lagged but wide-eyed, eager to see the sites of the Holy Land.  Our first stop was the Mount of Olives, just outside Jerusalem.  We took what is called the […]

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  • March 13, 2016

    “The Finish Line”

    Year C: Fifth Sunday in Lent

    Every runner strives for it.  If you are in a footrace, it is your goal, whether you run 100 meters, 800 meters, or a 26-mile marathon.  If you leap hurdles along the way, it is your destination.  If you are a relay runner, it is your team’s ultimate objective. The finish line—on one side of […]

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  • March 6, 2016

    “New Creation”

    Year C: Fourth Sunday in Lent

    At a church where I formerly ministered, there was a member named Ray.  He was 75 years old and a real salt of the earth kind of guy.  One day, Ray told me about his father.  He said that when he was growing up, his father was normally drunk.  He would drink white liquor like […]

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  • 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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