Showing posts with label God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label God. Show all posts

Friday, April 20, 2018

Easter Bouquets and Earth Day

While looking at the beautiful flowers adorning the sanctuary for Easter, it was easy to remember who created everything and gifted us as stewards of that loving creativity. May you find this Earth Day and every day an opportunity to help the rest of God's creation flourish. Plant trees and flowers, pick up trash, recycle all you can, walk lightly on the face of the earth. God gave us the minds and talents to do just that.

Further, take some time to get out and admire the natural world up close. Marvel in all that God has done. Also, remember that God deems all of creation, including all of us, to be very good indeed.

Join us Sunday, April 22, 2018, for our Earth Day reflection during the Sunday service. You will be most welcome.


Tuesday, April 17, 2018

On the Road



Sermon based on Luke 24:13-21, in which two disciples of Jesus walk away from Jerusalem, knocking the dust of the town off their heels following Jesus' crucifixion, and heading out for the town of Emmaus. The meet a stranger on the road and life changes forever. Come and see. It's a powerful story. It also has much to say on how we ought to share our stories. Intrigued yet?

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Live Stream Bible Study Coming Soon

We are called by God to try new things, to follow where God (our great and glorious change agent) leads us. I am heading in one such direction where God is leading.

At this point, I have all the technology and programming to offer up an evening live stream Bible study, filled with applications for modern life, with Bible verses read in the biblical storytelling fashion. Lansdowne Baptist Church members, friends, and all seekers anywhere interested in participating will be invited to join in.

There are a couple of experiments needed to work out the finer details and then we will jump in with both feet. At that point, we will announce when the first meeting will take place (day and time), along with the YouTube channel through which you will be able to join in. If it is set up as I envision, chatting will be possible. There will be a few Bible-based rules for those conversations, but that will come later.

As one very astute individual who is jumping in early remarked, "We won't go for perfection at first, but we will walk toward it over time." Too true. Join us early and watch the changes happen.

Through it all we'll learn together what our loving God through the Bible, that amazing library of 66 books, has to tell us about living modern life well. We will equip ourselves with that knowledge. Then we will encourage each other to act on what we've learned to help others and grow in our faith.

Watch this blog for more news soon.

Until then, walk with God.

~Reverend Jeff Snyder

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Late to the Party



Sermon for April 8, 2018, the week after Easter, based on John 20:19-29, the story of Thomas, who arrives late to the party, so to speak, after Jesus has visited the disciples after his resurrection. Thomas has a lot of trouble believing what his friends are trying to tell him and expresses his feelings strongly. Watch and see what this means for all of us today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

I Have Seen the Lord



This Easter morning sermon for April 1, 2018, is based on John 20:1-18. This sermon focuses on the powerful experience Mary Magdalene has first thing in the morning, heading out to the tomb to honor Jesus at his grave. The stone sealing the tomb has been removed and human history will never be the same.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Feasting with Friends 2018: Basic Information Provided


At this year’s Feasting with Friends community dinner, I decided it was time to get down to brass tacks—as my grandparents used to say. With a great deal of misinformation swirling around about who we are as American Baptists, why we serve the community we serve, and who we human beings are, I felt it necessary to get back to basics. The information was well received, which warmed my heart. The meal was also fantastic as always, well received, and well staffed by dedicated volunteers from our church family and friends. 

Who Are We?
       We’re at Lansdowne Baptist are part of the American Baptist denomination. As American Baptists, we believe Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior and that the Bible is divinely inspired. That Bible is our reliable guide to Christian life and faith. We believe all Christians are called to approach God directly, free of any human go-between, and that as Christians we all have free will.
       All of us have been given special gifts by God, gifts that are intended to strengthen and improve our community as we share our unique gifts with each other. God does not intend for us to hoard these gifts, keep them “mint in the box,” or set them aside and play with that box.
       American Baptists believe in religious freedom for everyone. It was Baptists pushed out of Massachusetts who created the Rhode Island colony and declared everyone was welcome there.
       We American Baptists also believe in sharing the good news with others, both locally and internationally. We do this both in the words we speak and the actions we take. To share the good news well, we acknowledge that it is the duty of all believers to equip ourselves with knowledge and train with each other on Sunday morning, so we can live out our faith all week long.
       We American Baptists also agree that we are called to cooperate with other churches. We at Lansdowne Baptist work with Lansdowne’s First Presbyterian Church with the Interfaith Food Cupboard. As the pastor, I have also helped with their Sonrise Service early Easter morning and we at LBC have fed our Presbyterian friends breakfast afterwards.
       American Baptists also very strongly believe we are called to be Christian witnesses for justice and wholeness in a broken society, following Jesus’ excellent example. Since the movement to abolish slavery prior to the Civil War, American Baptists have been involved in every justice movement in the United States. Among them have been supporting women’s rights, including the right to vote, adopting women ministers roughly 100 years ago, supporting the civil rights movement, care of our planet and much more.
       We American Baptists also celebrate the fact that we are the most culturally and theologically diverse of all the US denominations. We embrace people from all around the globe.

Why Do We Serve?
       Why do we at Lansdowne Baptist go to all the effort to support Feasting with Friends and the other programs we are involved with to help our community and the world, people we know and those we will never meet? What is in it for us, people might well ask. Let’s turn to our reliable guide, the Bible, for some answers.
       We are called to serve by Mark 10:43-45: “whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
        We are instructed to love everyone in Luke 10:27: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” The parable of the good Samaritan, which follows this verse, illustrates our neighbor is everyone and we do whatever we can for neighbors in need.
        We are informed by Jesus that we will be held to account for our service to others, or our lack thereof, in Matthew 25:33-40: [Jesus] will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
       Finally, 1 Peter 4:10 calls us all to serve others out of the gifts God has given us: 10Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received. It is amazing what the use of our gifts can draw out in others. During Feasting with Friends, our efforts draw out gifts from our own church community and from local businesses to make for a wonderful, meaningful day. We are grateful for all the blessings and mercies and free gifts from God and that gratitude makes us generous. We want to share. To quote from A.A. Milne’s character Piglet in Winne-the-Pooh: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” Or, as Psalm 23:5 puts it: My cup overflows.

Who Are We All?
       Finally, there are many folks who are ready and willing, eager even, to define us negatively. The world, or society if you like, defines us by our jobs, our credit scores, social status, skin color, gender, age, diseases, or addictions. I could go on. Needless to say, today’s world judges humanity harshly.
       But the good news is that is not who we are. We American Baptists, we Christians, work hard to see humanity as God sees us, as Jesus taught us, as the Holy Spirit guides us.
       We see everyone as a beloved child of God, one so loved God sent Jesus to tell and show all just how much they are loved. Jesus came to rescue us all from terrible, harmful ways of living that are against God’s plan and intention for humanity. God’s plan is the way of love and hope, a way filled with generosity, service, and devoid of fear. The ways in which we stray from God’s plan are referred to as sin.
       We are taught that humanity is made in God’s image and has God’s characteristics. Sadly we stray.
       However, from the very beginning God loved us and called us good. We are not the labels society applies to us. We are the beloved children of the Creator of the universe. Please remind one of your neighbors of this fact sometime today. That will be a wonderful way to love God and neighbor alike.
      
Open Invitation
**If this sounds good to you, you don't have a church of your own, and you would like to come by and worship with Lansdowne Baptist Church to see what it is like, you will be most welcome. Consider this an open invitation. God bless you on your journey. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Lifted Up and Drawing



Sermon based on John 12:20-33, in which Greeks and "the world" come to visit Jesus. His success, the attention his mission is drawing, is see as dangerous to some in power, a threat that will bring down death and destruction for many from Rome. They propose a solution, "lifting Jesus up." Little do they know what this will accomplish. Listen, watch, and see for yourself. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Rich in Mercy



Sermon based on Ephesians 2:1-10, delivered during the season of Lent, 2018. If you want to know what a Buick Skylark and a Ford Pinto have to do with Paul's letter to the Ephesians, you'll have to watch. Good news provided about love, grace, and mercy. Room for reflection on how to react to that as well.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Setting Our Minds



The sermon for February 25, 2018, based on Mark 8:31-38, sets our minds on divine things rather than human. Jesus redefines Messiah for his disciples and discipleship as well, for his original disciples and all disciples who have followed since. These definitions are based on divine understanding rather than human. Jesus gives us a significant challenge to reset our minds this Lenten season and always.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Whole City Gathered



Sermon from February 4, 2018, based on Mark 1:29-39. In it we review Jesus' healing of Simon/Andrew's mother-in-law and Jesus' desire to leave the safe and known town of Capernaum and its friendly crowd. Jesus calls us to leave the cozy equivalent of Capernaum and head out to be about Jesus' mission. Listen and discover the details. Have a blessed and adventurous day!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

God Provides



Sermon for January 28, 2018, based on Deuteronomy 18:15-20. The sermon explores God's provision of prophets for his people. It takes a hard, honest look at how one tells the difference between a true and false prophet. You might be surprised how useful this information is today.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Plain Talk



This sermon from January 21, 2018, covers Jonah 3:1-5, 10, technically. In actuality, the sermon covers the entire book of Jonah, one of the most readable books of the Bible. Yes, it is done in roughly 20 minutes. You may be surprised who the plain talker actually is in this book full of surprises. This is an uplifting message for anyone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Worthy or Not, Here We Go!



Sermon based on Mark 1:4-11, the baptism of Jesus. John the Baptist, despite his many accomplishments, did not think of himself as worthy of untying the thong of Jesus' sandal, much less of baptizing Jesus. Jesus saw things differently and found John worthy. Jesus sees us differently than the world sees us or we see ourselves. Discover the good news.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Adopted Children



Sermon for the first Sunday of January 2018 based on Galatians 4:4-7. Paul warns the Galatians about backsliding, placing works of the law and other worldly distractions above faith in Jesus. Instead they, and we, should accept and embrace the most wonderful gift ever offered. Listen and discover the gift offered. Wishing you all a blessed 2018.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Nothing Impossible: Christmas Eve 2017 Sermon



Sermon delivered on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2017, based on Luke 1:26-38. The angel Gabriel assures Mary, when delivering the message that she will be Jesus' mother, that "For nothing will be impossible with God." Discover what that means for us today.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Coming Light



During this busy Advent season, with Christmas fast approaching, a voice cries out, making a way straight, and pointing us all to the true source of enduring joy, to a light that the darkness cannot overcome, or understand, for that matter. I pray we may all heed the call and turn toward the light and joy this Christmas and always. The sermon is based on John 1:6-8, 19-28 and was delivered on December 17, 2017. Merry Christmas and may God's blessings be upon us all in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols 2017

On Christmas Eve this year, we at LBC have a special treat for everyone who wishes to celebrate Jesus' birth. At 7 p.m. on Sunday, December 24, we will offer a variation on a service of lessons and carols. We will be singing, reading much-loved scripture passages and responses to those scriptures, hearing a brief meditation from the pastor, and closing with a beautiful, candlelit singing of Silent Night. During this simple service, all who attend will be offered the opportunity to slow down, pause, and remember why we celebrate Christmas. It will be a time of worshipful release from the tension, the expectations, and the anxieties that so often accompany this Christmas season. Together we will experience the joy of Jesus' birth once again. All are invited to join us that evening. 

Merry Christmas to you all!  

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Strong Foundation



Sermon for November 19, 2017, on the 130th anniversary of Lansdowne Baptist Church's 1887 founding. The sermon is based on Luke 6:47-49, Jesus' parable of the wise and foolish architects. One builds on a strong foundation and weathers all storms. Jesus' teachings and example and salvation are that strong foundation. Worthwhile consideration for all churches today.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Celebrating Our 130th Anniversary: 1887-2017


This Sunday, November 19, 2017, Lansdowne Baptist Church's congregation celebrates our 130th year of service to God, following the two great commandments to love God and neighbor. It has been an honor to serve our Lansdowne community and to spread the good news far and wide of Jesus, who came to save us and to show us God's profound and abiding love for us all. We will have special memories from some of our members, wonderful hymns accompanied by an equally wonderful pianist, a sermon reflecting on where we have been and looking forward to where we shall go, following obediently where God leads. Through it all, we will enjoy the warm company of our Lansdowne Baptist Church members and friends. Consider yourself invited. See you Sunday morning, at 11 a.m. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Love As God Loves



Sermon for Sunday, November 12, 2017, based on 1 John 4:7-21. The sermon addresses how Christian churches and individuals respond in an age of fear and the senseless violence of terrorism. Please listen and consider.