NextSunday Worship

Author Archive

  • March 22, 2020

    “My Shepherd”

    Year A – Fourth Sunday in Lent

    Back in 2005, some Turkish shepherds were watching a flock of 1500 sheep. While they were taking a break to eat breakfast, one of the sheep went off the edge of a cliff, falling some 50 meters to its death. Another sheep followed. Then another. And in a matter of minutes, the shepherds watched in […]

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  • March 15, 2020

    “The Sequence of Suffering”

    Year A – Third Sunday in Lent

    “We also boast in our sufferings.” Let that sit in your ear for a moment. It’s so counterintuitive, so contrary to common sense, and so offbeat with the regular rhythms of human reason that we need a second to let it soak in. Paul has just declared that Christ brings us peace and we boast […]

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  • March 8, 2020

    “Heavenly Help”

    Year A – Second Sunday in Lent

    When I was in fourth grade, our class took a field trip to Camp Greenville, a lovely camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains near the South Carolina-North Carolina border. Camp Greenville’s trademark feature is an enchanting open-air chapel called “Pretty Place.” At the front of the chapel is a large cross, and behind it is […]

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  • March 1, 2020

    “Dumping the Trash”

    Year A – First Sunday in Lent

    One day, we were packing the car for a trip to North Carolina. A church I previously pastored had invited me back to preach their homecoming service, and we were going to visit friends in Winston-Salem, too. After we loaded the last suitcase, I noticed three sizeable bags of trash that I hadn’t taken to […]

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  • February 23, 2020

    “Jesus the New Moses”

    Year A: Transfiguration (Last Sunday Before Lent)

    Our Christian New Testament has four Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — each with its own distinctive approach in telling of the life and ministry of Jesus, climaxing with the crucifixion and resurrection. Luke’s Gospel begins by noting “many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been […]

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  • February 16, 2020

    “Mixed Metaphors”

    Year A - Sixth Sunday After the Epiphany

    The verses of the old gospel song, “Life is Like a Mountain Railroad,” compare human existence with a lifelong train trip. But then, the chorus seems to switch to riding on a boat in anticipation of reaching heaven’s blissful shore and singing with the angels. This is an example of combining two comparisons that don’t […]

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  • February 9, 2020

    “Pour Out Your Soul”

    Year A - Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany

    In the Blue Laws era of the 1960s, state laws in South Carolina tried to define certain businesses that should and should not be open on Sundays, but state officials gave some leeway for local governing bodies to enact their own laws. For example, the city of Anderson and Anderson County had some different laws.  […]

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  • February 2, 2020

    “Predictions for February 2”

    Year A - Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

    Many people approach today, February 2, with a superstitious outlook, anticipating certain things happening if certain other things happen. On Groundhog Day, tradition has it, if the namesake rodent comes out of his hole and sees his shadow, you can expect forty more days of wintery weather. February 2 marks the approximate midpoint between the […]

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  • January 26, 2020

    The Kingdom of Heaven is like . . .

    Year A - Third Sunday after the Epiphany

    “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” “The  Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” “The kingdom of heaven” is Matthew’s choice for the new creation the other evangelists call “the […]

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  • January 19, 2020

    "Being Known and Being Called”

    Year A: Second Sunday after the Epiphany

    In both Testament lessons and in the gospel of this second Sunday in Epiphany we sense a strong line running through them, like a rope that pulls us up to the realization that God calls us. We surface to the light of Epiphany and pray that this light will assist us in understanding the meaning […]

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