Showing posts with label justice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label justice. Show all posts

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Angry Insulting Beware



Sermon based on Matthew 5:21-26, 33-37, discovering the "ground truth" behind these teachings. Curious? Just watch. Jesus is alway deep and profound.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sheep or Goats This Year, 2017



Sermon for New Year's Day 2017, based on Matthew 25:31-46, asking the question, will we be sheep or goats? What choice will we make in 2017. What does it mean to be sheep or goats?

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. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Powerful Statement from American Baptist Home Mission Societies Following Shootings of July 4 Week

The American Baptist Home Mission Societies have issued a powerful statement in response to the fatal police shootings of two African American men during the July 4th week, followed by the fatal shooting of police officers. It is a tempered statement insisting on justice and change while acknowledging the fine work of many upstanding officers. Please read and consider prayerfully: http://abhms.org/about-us/news/end-police-killings-innocent-black-lives/

Some highlights: 
“O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!” Jeremiah 9:1
We face a national crisis in the United States of America as concerns increasing violence and the growing threat to innocent Black lives from America’s police.
Daily in America, Black citizens are slain by police officers who are publicly sworn to protect the citizenry. This national crisis is well documented from Baton Rouge, LA, to Falcon Heights, MN; from Waller County, TX, to Ferguson, MO; from Chicago, IL, to Savannah, GA; from Cleveland, OH, to Staten Island, NY; from the mountains to the prairies, to the oceans white with foam. However, time and again when police brutalize and murder Black people, they escape criminal prosecution.
To be clear, violent confrontations with law enforcement and vigilante killings are not a remedy, but a dangerous diversion from our righteous struggle for justice and peace. We reject and condemn assaults on police officers with the same conviction with which we condemn the killings of innocent civilians. As we grieve the loss of innocent civilians we also grieve the loss of dedicated police officers and pray for their families and loved ones.
America’s current practice following the slayings of Blacks by police is a blend of cultural pathology on the part of prosecutors combined with racist urban mythology that quickly evolves into sympathy for the police officers without regard for the unjust killings of Black lives. Such gives dangerous credence to the notion that police are daily under fire from Black Americans—which, despite recent events in Dallas is historically untrue–and that the police are therefore justified in using deadly force against Black lives in order to protect their own lives, even when the use of deadly force was not justified.
Next, as we express honor, respect and appreciation for police officers knowing that most are decent people, the time has come for law enforcement officers to publicly affirm that “Black lives matter” in view of the glaring incidents of excessive force and brutality against innocent Black citizens. In the midst of hostility there is a real need to regain public trust and cultivate mutual respect.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

What Must I Do Jesus



Sermon based on Luke 10:25-37, the parable of the good Samaritan. This sermon also dealt with the deaths of two African Americans at the hands of police officers, the subsequent killings of five officers at the hands of a sniper or snipers, and how Christians respond in light of Jesus' teachings.

Please follow this sermon up with the powerful statement from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies: http://abhms.org/about-us/news/end-police-killings-innocent-black-lives/

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

One In Christ

Father's Day Sermon based on Galatians 3:23-29, dealing with the human barrier shattering that being a follower of Christ involves. In part, this sermon speaks out against the hatred and violence inflicted on various minorities, including the horrendous mass murder suffered by the LGBT community in Orlando, Florida's, Pulse nightclub.

For a statement from our denomination, see: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2016/06/powerful-statement-from-our.html

Friday, June 10, 2016

Give Judging Others a Rest

In this highly charged political season, let's follow some sound advice from Jesus and from theologian Henri Nouwen. Henri Nouwen writes in his devotional, Bread for the Journey,
Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence. We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our minds about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we only create more division. Jesus says it clearly, "Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge; ... do not condemn; ... forgive." (Luke 6:36-37)
If you have to evaluate, classify, and label, I hope you are in one of the sciences. Otherwise, along with judging and condemning, don't do it, please! Be friendly, be open, be hopeful, and offer a helping hand instead. And forgive others who have not yet learned this lesson and walk a darker, more difficult path. Pray that they will find this better way to live, and soon!  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

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

Monday, November 9, 2015

Have Mercy On Me



Based on Mark 10:46-52. Bartimaeus shows us it is not right to be quiet and passive when things go wrong for us or others. We are called to be bold, as you'll soon hear.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Putting Aside the Hateful Meme

I am growing increasingly disturbed with hateful "memes" abounding on social media of all sorts.  So many of those pithy pictures and quotes are designed to divide people. A great many memes essentially say, if you do not agree with me, you are subhuman. Making people into subhuman "others" is the first step toward violence against them. Before sending another hateful meme, we should all pause and ask ourselves, "Who do I know who is being unfairly tarred by the gross generalization here?" Ask, "Does this stand with or violate the two great commandments to love God and neighbor (everyone)?"

Let's all do what we can to stem the tide of divisive hatred leading to violence.

Thanks.

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.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Prayerfully Standing with Our Mourning Brothers and Sisters in South Carolina

"You, O God, have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." Psalm 90:1-2

We stand in sympathy and pray for our mourning brothers and sisters in Charleston, South Carolina, who lost loved ones and peace during the murder of nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church at the hands of a gunman during their evening prayer meeting. We have no words for this horror and depend on the Holy Spirit to convey our grief. We call on God to bring comfort and strength to all who lost loved ones and must go on.

May this young gunman, twisted and maddened by hate, be caught before he can kill again.

May Isaiah 41:10 give all who mourn strength: "Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious hands."

May we take hope for the fallen from John 11:25-26: "Jesus said, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die."

Finally, may we look to the promise of Revelation 21:3-4, "The home of God is among mortals. God will dwell with them and they will be God's peoples. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away."

Again, we of Lansdowne Baptist Church stand with you in this terrible time and pray for you.

For prayers from the Minister's Council of American Baptist Churches, USA, see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2015/06/18/the-ministers-council-abcusa-offers-hopes-and-prayers-following-emanuel-ame-church-killings/

For a sermon dealing with these awful events and challenging us to decide what kind of world we will live in together, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2015/06/why-are-you-afraid.html

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Letter Carriers' Food Drive

On Saturday, May 9, our postal carriers are asking people of good will to set out bags of non-perishable food donations by your mail box. The postal carriers will then deliver these much needed groceries to local food banks for prompt stocking and distribution. There are far too many people in the United States currently suffering under conditions of "food insecurity," especially children. These children and their families simply do not have enough food available and, given their stressed circumstances, often do not know where their next meal is coming from. You can help food banks address this dire situation with your donations.

In Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on Saturday, May 9, the Interfaith Food Cupboard at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne, PA, will be looking for strong volunteers to help bring in the donated groceries as they arrive from these dedicated postal carriers. For more information about the Interfaith Food Cupboard, see: http://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2014/10/interfaith-food-cupboard-of-lansdowne.html

Thank you for your support. God bless you and your family.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hosanna



When Jesus rode into Jerusalem at Passover, many were looking for a conquering Messiah to save them from the Roman occupation by force. Jesus had other ideas ... as we shall see in this Palm Sunday sermon.

If you should find yourself in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, this Easter, you are most welcome to join us as we celebrate our risen Lord. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

God Loved the World



When the gospel writers spoke of salvation from God, consequences to humanity of accepting or rejection God's action was always a secondary issue. Primary in the authors' minds was that God did what God had done out of love for humanity, love for all the world. It is a message of good news that has, sadly, often been misused. Please pay particular attention to the message concerning human judgment on the salvation of others found near the end of the sermon. May you have peace. If you like what you hear and find yourself near Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on a Sunday morning, please stop in for the worship service. You will be warmly welcomed.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Choosing as Jesus Chose

In Mark 1:40-45, Jesus chose to help a leper, a real outcast in his society, a person others would neither approach nor touch. The man knelt before Jesus in humility and faith, saying, "If you choose, you can make me clean [to have leprosy was to be ritually unclean as well as ill]." Deeply moved by the man’s plight, both his illness and his social isolation, Jesus reached out. Jesus rejected all that society used to separate themselves from this sufferer. Most individuals in Jesus’ day would never have touched a leper, in part because that would have made the person touching the afflicted an unclean outcast as well. Jesus breaks through that isolation, touching this pleading victim. Jesus reached out in sympathy and compassion, something he would do time and again throughout his ministry. I wonder when the last time was that this sufferer had actually received a gentle touch? Jesus responded to the sufferer directly, stating, “I do choose. Be made clean!” The leper became clean.

Today, we Christ followers are supposed to be like Jesus. We too are to reach out to the outcasts of our time, the people who are seen as taboo for one of any number of reasons in our society. We are to choose to love, to help, to heal as we are able. By the way, "Christian" originally meant "little Christs," and was a derogatory name for Jesus' followers given to us by those outside the faith. The name was designed to ostracize us, but we have since made it our own. As the scholars of the Interpreter's Bible wrote, we are to live with "outstretched hands and outstretched lives." Let's choose to be those "little Christs" today and always.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How to Help During a Code Blue Alert in Philadelphia

When the weather outside is truly frightful (twenty degrees or below with combined temperature, wind chill, and precipitation), the city of Philadelphia initiates a Code Blue Alert. The homeless are encouraged to leave the streets on nights when such weather conditions occur. Emergency shelters are obtained (some within police stations), hours are extended, and every effort is made to see the homeless have a warm, safe place to weather the storm. 

For more on the Code Blue system, see: http://www.phila.gov/codeBlue.html

If you see someone you believe needs help, you can call the Project HOME hotline number: 215-232-1984

For more on Project HOME, see: https://projecthome.org/


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good News



There is surprisingly, wonderfully good news for you coming from a long ago prophet who appeared long after the age of prophets was thought to be done. He brought news of the coming of one who the people of Israel had longed for over many generations. We live in a different world because of this news.

Monday, December 1, 2014

What Is Advent?

Welcome to the season of Advent, the beginning of the new church year. Advent, comprised of the four weeks prior to Christmas, is a season when we remember all God has done for us. We look back to the newness God brought into the world with the First Advent, the birth of Jesus. How Jesus’ entry into our world changed everything! It is the season when we look ahead to Jesus’ return and the reign of peace and justice that will come in that much anticipated Second Advent.

Over these four weeks, we light the candles of the Advent wreath. The evergreen wreath reminds us of God’s eternal love for us all. The four candles around the wreath represent hope, love, joy, and peace. The central candle, the last to be lit, represents Jesus Christ, who was sent by God to bring us hope, love, joy, and peace. It is a beautiful reminder of all Jesus has done for us and all that will yet be done. God bless you in this wonderful, meaningful season of Advent.