NextSunday Worship

Dr. Noel Schoonmaker

  • March 29, 2020

    “Jesus Wept”

    Year A – Fifth Sunday in Lent

    Author James McBride tells a story about a little boy named Billy who had to recite an entire Bible story in front of the church on Easter Sunday. He walked to the front of the sanctuary wearing his little suit and tie and said, “When Jesus first came to…” He blanked out completely. A deacon […]

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  • 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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  • 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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