Sermons | Eldersville United Methodist Church
Began Again

Began Again

Matthew 2:1–12 (NRSV) In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’” Then Herod secretly called for the wise men and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.” When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense,...
2018 Year in Review

2018 Year in Review

This past year has been full of grief, tragedy, and confusion. Yet, it has also been a year filled the knowledge of God’s abiding presence with us. Take a moment to reflect on God’s goodness to us in Eldersville this year. Share with others ways that God has spoken to you through worship and service. Thank you to all who gave of their time, talent, and treasure that we might worship God together and grow in the love of God and our neighbor. God bless you all. – Pastor Joel Peterson Most Viewed Sermons Online Do “All Dogs Go to Heaven?” Get in the Boat! The War to End War – Veterans Day Witnesses of the Resurrection – Easter The Good Shepherd Becomes a Sheep Offering the Real Jesus A Juice Box Faith If you missed some of the sermons in our “Focus” series, now is a great time to catch up! We’ll be building on this solid foundation in 2019 as our Church Council leads us in making new places for new people, doing ministry with the poor, dismantling racism, improving health, and developing principled...
Sunday After Christmas – Put the Dragons Back in Christmas

Sunday After Christmas – Put the Dragons Back in Christmas

Scripture Reading: Matthew 2:13-18; 14:1-12 I appreciate the dedication that has brought you to worship today, even on the Sunday after Christmas. The Sunday after Christmas is a time for us to consider the consequences of the Christmas message. On Monday and Tuesday we celebrated the good news that a child has been born to us! The King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Word on which all creation was spoken into being has come into the world. Hallelujah! It’s appropriate for our celebrations to continue. After all, the Christmas season continues all the way up to Epiphany on January 6th. Don’t put your Christmas decorations away yet! Today is only the 6th day of Christmas! Yet, as we worship in reduced numbers on this awkward Sunday between Christmas an New Years when many people are still traveling and thinking about everything except church, today is an appropriate day for a little reality check. What did Jesus’ birth at Christmas really accomplish? How did the world react to the good news we’ve been spending our week celebrating. We all know what ultimately becomes of this little child born in a manger—he’s baptized, he teaches and heals, he calls 12 disciples to participate in his mission, and then… he’s killed by the Romans on a cross. Not exactly what we would expect to result from the grand entrance at Christmas. This baby is, after all, the prince of peace, the mighty God himself! But anyone who has spent any time with Matthew’s verison of the Nativity knows that death doesn’t even wait that long to rear its ugly head...
Christmas Day: Coming Home

Christmas Day: Coming Home

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 52:7-10, 62:10-12; Revelation 21:3 John 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh and made his home among us, and we have seen his glory. After a long season of waiting, Christmas is finally here! During these twelve days of Christmas, many will gather with family and friends, exchanging gifts, sharing food, and spending precious time together. In their annual report, AAA forecasts that one-third of Americans will travel this holiday season. That’s 112.5 million of us clogging the nation’s roads and runways. Mallory and I will join in the procession, visiting our families and spending time just being with those we love for a few days. Christmas is a season of going home, remembering who we are and who our God is. Yet, all this travel betrays the fact that we can’t actually go home. Sure, the home where we grew up may still be standing. Many of our family members are still around to share life with. But others have gone to eternal glory. My Christmas travels no longer include the treks to my grandparents houses because they have gone to their eternal homes. I can’t go back to the physical homes where I celebrated Christmas with family during my childhood because other people live in those houses now. At another level, we can never really go home because we have changed. We’re different people now then we were even last year. The places have changed even if we have gone nowhere. In the current of time, we can only go...
Christmas Eve – The Best Gift

Christmas Eve – The Best Gift

Scripture Readings: Genesis 3:8-19; 22:15-18. Isaiah 9:2-7; 11:1-9. Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-16. On December 21, 1968, three astronauts launched from Cape Canaveral atop a Saturn V rocket. It was only the third manned Apollo mission, following the deadly Apollo 1 lauchpad fire and the successful Apollo 7 Earth-orbit flight only two months earlier. The original plans for Apollo 8 called for another Earth-orbiting mission to test the lunar and command modules, but when it became apparent that the lunar module would not be ready, a more ambitious goal was set. Apollo 8 was to boldly go where no human being had been before—into the orbit of the moon. It had been a tumultous year, and humanity was in need of hope. The Vietnam War continued to wage abroad. Martin Luther King Jr. had been shot dead in Tennessee on April 4th. In June, Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed. Each of these events led to protests and division within our country. Apollo 8 was tasked with orbiting the moon, but the biggest “discovery” of that journey had nothing to do with the moon. On December 24, 1968, the three astronauts had become the first humans to witness the rise of Earth from lunar orbit. Suddenly, three men saw with their own eyes, and the rest of us saw through photography, an image of earth that had previously only been known to God. The heavens and the earth were put into perspective for the first time. Humanity began to grasp the fragility of our common home and its place within the vast universe. From their rocket ship, propelled into space by...
Advent 4: Let it Be!

Advent 4: Let it Be!

Scripture Reading: Luke 1:26-38 On this, the fourth Sunday of our waiting for the appearance of Christ, we finally get to the parts of the story that we associate with Jesus’ birth. After trudging through Gospel lessons on the last judgment, Jesus’ thievery of our sins, and trusting God in silence, we find ourselves at the beginning of Luke’s gospel with the familiar stories of angels, Mary, promises, praise, and soon the baby Jesus himself. We’ve been waiting a long time for this, but the celebration of Jesus’ birth is coming. Over these next three days various subsets of us will gather to celebrate this good news for the world, that Jesus comes and makes a home among us. But before we can celebrate, we have to spend some time dwelling on the one whose obedience set this whole celebration in motion. She waited a lot longer than we have. For nine months, Mary carried the Messiah in her womb before that day when he was finally evicted from his temporary dwelling and was born as a child in a manger. Mary is a fascinating character in this great drama, and it’s a shame we don’t get much time to reflect on her contributions to God’s work. We talk about Abraham, Moses, Peter, and Paul all the time. We think about their faith and the ways that they paved the way for our faith. If we talk about Mary at all, it’s on this fourth Sunday of Advent when we’re trying to hurry the story along and get to the birth of Jesus! If we hear about Mary at all...