Showing posts with label discipleship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label discipleship. Show all posts

Monday, May 8, 2017

On The Road

Sermon based on Luke 24:13-49, the familiar story of the two disciples heading down the road to Emmaus on Easter morning, sure that all is lost. It has a lot to say about how Jesus comes after us when we lose hope. Check it out, especially if you find yourself muttering, "we had hoped" and feeling crushed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

City in Turmoil

Palm Sunday sermon 2017 based on Matthew 21:1-11. The question was who did the people of Jerusalem understand Jesus to be. That question remains for each and every one of us today.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Sea Salt & Bushel Baskets

Sermon based on Matthew 5:13-20, encouraging Jesus' disciples and us to not hide our faith away, but share it, being salt and light, savor and illumination, willing to mix into the culture in positive ways. Sermon delivered February 5, 2017.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fishers of People

Sermon based on Matthew 4:12-23, in which Jesus moves to Capernaum, gathers his first disciples, and we explore what discipleship means. Further, the sermon includes the discipline of non-violent communication as one way to be modern-day fishers of people. Are you in? How will you respond when Jesus asks you to "Follow me" and states, "I will make you fishers of people."

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Stewardship Challenges

Sermon based on 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 and Malachi 3:10, dealing with stewardship in its broadest sense. Dealing with issues of justice in our community through our faithful stewardship of our God-given talents and gifts. The broad reach of stewardship performed faithfully might surprise you.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Our Job Never Changes: Sermon for November 6, 2016

Sermon based on Matthew 22:36-40, the greatest commandments. No matter the situation (even in a contentious election season), Christians are called to love God and neighbor. Doing so transforms the lives of those who attempt this very tall order and those who are on the receiving end of that love. Give it a try. Jesus challenges you to do so.

One small correction: reference to a "Roman Candle" should be a fountain. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Walking Prayer Held at John Heinz Wildlife Refuge

A small group of us went on a walking prayer on Saturday, August 20th, at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, near Philadelphia International Airport. In this watery bird sanctuary we basically focused all our senses on the natural world around us. It was startling what happened in those quiet moments. Speaking from my own observation, standing out on a bridge over the wetlands, at first, as the mind settled, I became aware of the plant life, then the largest of birds standing out in the water. It did not seem like there was all that much going on and I was tempted to get back into motion, to move along, to stride busily off to the next location. Instead, I was still and began to see all the rest of the life that was there. Birds, large and small, flew and rested all over that wetland site, fish nipped at insects skimming over the water’s surface, a warm breeze blew past, the smells of nature became present, and all the songs and calls of the natural world came into my attention. It was surprising how abundant and diverse the life all around us was, when we took the time to notice. God was very much present in that quiet time. We had scheduled that walking prayer, and we did walk quite a ways, to last one hour. At the end of that hour, to honor our time, we called the walk officially to an end. Then we walked on together for another hour. It was a powerful experience. We left the refuge feeling refreshed.
Met some bird watchers who told us more about what
we were seeing

As Job 12:7-10 reads, “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.” 

The walking prayer did get us back in touch with God, drew our attention away from the busyness of our daily lives, and left us refreshed. Lansdowne Baptist Church will hold this experience again in the future for all adventurers who would like to go forth into nature and as Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God."
Next time, let yourself be in this location to meet God.

~Rev. Jeff Snyder

Saturday, July 9, 2016


Sermon for Children's Sunday combining Psalm 24:1-2 with Dr. Seuss's tale Horton Hears a Who. What's it all about? You'll have to watch to find out.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Who Was I?

Sermon based on Acts 11:1-18 in which Peter, minding his own business in Joppa has an extraordinary vision, challenging his understanding of what is clean and proper. After that shocking moment, he is called by three Gentile men (Gentile grossly defined as "not us") representing the Roman centurion Cornelius. Peter and his crew are called to Caesarea to confer and eat with Cornelius and his family. Back home in Jerusalem, a faction of Christians are angry with Peter and insist he explain himself. A powerful moment comes when Peter sums up with the powerful question "who was I that I could hinder God?"

An exploration of the power of the Holy Spirit and consideration of where the Spirit might be leading us today. Listen, pray, and consider making Peter's question your own.

Monday, April 25, 2016

They Follow Me

Sermon based on John 10:22-30, in which religious leaders in Jerusalem demand Jesus end their uncertainty and tell them once and for all if he is the Messiah. That demand and Jesus' response have ramifications for us today.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Who Will Believe

Sermon based on John 20:19-31, Jesus' resurrection appearance to the disciples, initially without Thomas.

Helping Others to Rejoice

The people of God, particularly the most fortunate, have a moral responsibility to ensure that everyone is able to worship and rejoice. 
~Christine Roy Yoder

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Amazed: Easter Sermon 2016

Easter sermon based on Luke 24:1-12 celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ and what that means for us today.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Making Jesus' Commission Our Own

In the early years of Christianity, believers were called Christians or "Little Christs" as a form of derision. Early believers sought to own the term as Christ followers. In Luke 4:18-19, Jesus reads in the synagogue in Nazareth verses from the scroll of Isaiah. The verses read:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
  because he has anointed me
    to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to
    the captives
  and recovery of sight to the blind,
    to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's
As Christ followers, we would do well to keep this passage before us as our own commissioning to ministry in this life. Seeking to bring good news to the poor (and all those considered outcasts in our society today), working hard to get captives released, seeking to clear the sight of those who are spiritually blind, and to help the oppressed (including those refugees who flee terrible violence in their homelands) to go free. Working toward the original concept of the Jubilee year wouldn't be such a bad idea either.

Have a blessed day.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November Work Days at LBC

Saturday, November 7th and 21st there will be two work days at Lansdowne Baptist Church.  The work begins at 9 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Any contribution of time and talent you can make will be greatly appreciated.

Exterior work will continue, as it did during the successful October 10th and 24th work days. There will be leaves to remove and railings to sand and paint and other jobs awaiting. Plenty of opportunity for involvement will be available to all who take part in these opportunities.

The previous work day teams accomplished a great deal, cleaning up the grounds, planting new chrysanthemums in the beds, fixing cracks in the sidewalk and securing a stone step tread. It is amazing what the people of God can do when they offer up their gifts in service of the church. Thank you to all who have served in this important work so far and to all those who will come in the days ahead. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

What Must I Do

Sermon based on Mark 10:17-31, in which the "rich young ruler" as he has so often been called asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus' response is a call to us all to a new way of living in the here and now. Jesus also messes with the social order, as you will see.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


Based on Mark 9:30-37, this sermon explores Jesus' redefinition of what it means to be great. Are we up to Jesus' challenge to be great as defined by Kingdom values? Watch and see.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Christian Clowning: One Pastor's Experiences

Sometimes, you get into this gear and
start to wonder ... especially when
you can't find the right hat.
I started Christian clowning years ago when asked if I would perform for a Vacation Bible School session.  I am an outgoing person. I enjoy performing for others. I really enjoy presenting a positive message of faith and joy to people. So, I agreed to give it a shot. Library research came next and I was impressed by the long, colorful, and meaningful history of the clown. Did you know that the fool, the court jester of the Middle Ages, the clown walking on the knife's edge, was the only person who could tell a king his plan stinks ... and would be listened to if skillful enough.

So, I became Joyful Noise, one very amateur but enthusiastic Christian clown. I have performed sporadically over the years. In recent years I have begun to question whether to continue. I've reached a point where when only the white face is applied and I smile the laugh lines so highlighted look a little terrifying. I question my judgement as a middle aged pastor about continuing to carry on in this way.

Then I hit the boards, see kids and adults light up with smiles and laughter and I'm hooked all over again. A clown, Christian or otherwise, has a grand total of about ten seconds when the face paint and costume will give the clown a little grace. After that, the clown needs to make sure to present an appealing invitation to play to the audience ... or leave. Skits come quickly, one after the other, with the clown keeping true to the character developed and, in the case of Christian clowning, to love for God and neighbors (especially those neighbors in the room at that moment).

Why the colorful face? Excellent question: it is symbolic. For the Christian clown, the white covering most of the face is symbolic of death (ew, right?)! The colors added represent laughter (inspired by faith in God and God's promises to us) in the face of death. It's powerful, really.

One pastor who clowns far more regularly than I do states that often people in hospitals will give up concerns to his clown that they would never share with their pastor. It's true. That is the power of the clown, when the clown is well done, open, and friendly.

Clowns allow us to recognize our own humanity. Clowns allow us to admit how often we make mistakes, how often we fall down, and they show us that, yes indeed, we can get back up and try, try again. Clowns also allow us to present truths in a wonderful way that is creative, memorable, and fun. It really is an invitation to play that leads to some pretty wonderful and blessed interactions both in churches, hospitals, out in the community, and elsewhere. It's a great responsibility as well.

One of the most wonderful things about clowning is getting to learn from your audience. The other day I had children learning to practice juggling with me (a little playful practice at discipline) using a single wiffle ball tossed from hand to hand. At the end of that little time together I gave each child one of those balls as a little reminder of our time together. One child came up to me and solemnly shook his head. He handed the ball back to me and said seriously, "It would only get broken at home." Each child quietly nodded and returned those balls to me. To me, those were simply really inexpensive tokens to use once and give away. To those children, they meant far more. It's hard to continue when so moved. You can't dab your eyes wearing that face paint, ya know.

So, for now, I'll continue to use the costume and put on the face paint. I'll go on being Joyful Noise and making one as well, as long as God wants me to do so. Who wants to join me?

For more, you might like to see:

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Of Bread and Water

Exploring the significance of Jesus' miracles of the feeding of the 5000 and walking on the water for today's people. Based on John 6:1-21. Also, the video begins with a gaff ... the projector was not working properly with my remote and I had to make adjustments before I could continue. I considered editing this short gaff out, but emphasize in services that we are not perfect people. While we strive to do well as Christ followers, we do not expect perfection from each other and we accept when things go wrong and move on. Hopefully, you will do the same and be gentle with yourself when you are less than perfect. Wishing you all a blessed day.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Celebrating Weakness

Sermon focusing on Paul's weakness and God's use of that weakness from 2 Corinthians 12:2-10. If you stick with it, toward the end is a call for Christians to come together against injustice, letting Jesus' love shine through us and God's strength use us.