The Reverend Dr. Eric C. Smith
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
The story of Israel begins with the story of Abram and Sarai, two wandering migrants who found favor with God and became the source of a nation. This passage narrates God’s covenant with them, and God’s promise: to make them the ancestors of a multitude of nations, and the ancestors of kings. But implicit in that promise was another message: that others (including Hagar, who we had met in the previous chapter) was to be less blessed. Over the centuries, different groups of people have appealed to this story as a way of explaining why they are the ones truly blessed and called by God–and not someone else. In our world today, many different people and groups claim to be God’s people, and to speak for God, and they appeal to the Bible for their authority. How can we read scripture without excluding others?
The Reverend George Anastos
Commissioning of the Ministerial Transition Team
Service of Holy Communion
Our church Council has put together an amazing process to choose First Plymouth’s next minister(s). By forming an oversight committee and four sub-committees they have successfully involved more members of the congregation than in the usual structure of only one committee, and moreover they are ensuring that no one gets burned out in this intense, time-consuming process. Today, in the context of Holy Communion, Lent, and the reading of the Ten Commandments, we will commission these church members in their work to lead this congregation deeply into the 21st Century.
The Reverend Dr. Reo Leslie
Genesis 37:12-20, John 3:16-21
“Loving, Dreaming, and Living the Dream.”
The Reverend Doctor Reo Leslie, Jr., a member of First Plymouth, holds three mental health licenses in Colorado. He teaches counseling at his own School and on the masters and doctoral level at Argosy University. His sermon will focus on the Incarnation of God’s Love in Jesus and the call to live, love, dream, and incarnate as the mandate of Christians. How the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was able to do this will be one focus of the message.
The Reverend George Anastos
The Fifth Sunday in Lent
During this Lenten season we have been exploring many of the great covenants of the Hebrew Scriptures—with Noah, with Abraham and Sarah, with the people of Israel and the Ten Commandments. This Sunday’s is one of the most startling:
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Have ‘those days’ arrived? come and gone? yet to come? I would offer that they have come, are here now, and will continue to come. How do we look into our hearts and see the covenant written there?
Today we will begin our service by recognizing Jesus’ triumphant, and politically dangerous entry into Jerusalem. We shall wave our coats and jackets and sing the victorious and glorious music of that morning: All glory, laud and honor, to you, redeemer king! And then abruptly, as happened nearly two millennia ago, our joy will descend into perplexed sorrow as we read the passion narrative and hear of Jesus’ arrest, trial and crucifixion. It is not the easiest of Sundays, but then again, who ever said worship was to be easy or entertaining? It is to be challenging and transformative.