The Progressive Christian Voice
Summary: Listen to sermons that connect spiritual teachings to the relevant issues of our day. Featuring sermons at Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C..
As the interim period comes to an end for Western Presbyterian Church, Pastor Leslianne was asked what words of wisdom she wants to leave the congregation before she departs. In her final sermon at Western Presbyterian Church, she tells the story of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
Conformity is not the expectation we have for anyone in this church – rather, we all have the opportunity to confirm our faith again in a loving and diverse God. Amazingly, each one of us is created in God’s image – and each one of us is absolutely unique, reflecting God’s diverse being and creation. Each one of us a full member of this community of faith, sharing our unique gifts for the betterment of all of us and to further God’s work in the world. As the body of Christ, what new traditions will we create together?
Sermon on John 15: 9-17. Braunstein
Jesus is the true vine - the base from which all of life grows from. We, his disciples, are only branches while Jesus offers the sustenance of life.
The prison system in the US is broken and the cracks spread deep into communities. As Christians, how do we faithfully respond? How do we advocate and show our call to seek restoration and reconciliation, not simply retribution?
The disciples had the gift of community to come to belief - as do we. When we come together as a community of faith to testify to the evidence of the risen Christ in our midst, we are encouraged all the more to believe in the reconciling power of God at work in the world. Where are the places we are most aware of the resurrected Christ in our midst?
In the resurrection, life triumphs over death, redemption triumphs over brokenness. Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection is the greatest gift from God to the world to help us understand that God’s justice is oriented towards healing, towards mercy for the purpose of restoring right relationship, restoring shalom – restoring peace between us and God and us with one another. Through Jesus we understand that God’s love is steadfast and endures forever and not even the tomb of sin and death can separate us from the love of God.
Members of Western Presbyterian Church participate in a readers' theatre style reading of the The Cry of the Whole Congregation for Palm and Passion Sunday.
Western Presbyterian Church welcomes the Rev. Laura Cunningham to the pulpit. Rev. Cunningham preached this sermon as a candidating sermon - meaning, on this day, the congregation also voted to call Rev. Cunningham as their new lead pastor. Her sermon speaks to the ways that we sin, or separate ourselves from God. But, the prayer of Psalm 51 reveals the joy that comes from being filled with the forgiveness of God.
Lent is a season to wake up and open our eyes to be totally astonished. It’s a time to discover the shocking ways that God is in our lives and be amazed that God comes this far to be with us. We come to church because in the rituals of worship - hearing the Word, partaking of the sacraments - we have an opportunity to perceive God’s grace most clearly. But then, our worship does not stop here. We are then sent out to look for God, and even more, to partner with God in our various roles and venues to love and bless the people and world God loves so much.
To take up your cross, you have to put something down - most likely, that is the self-centered and self-important life. In doing so, one is freed to live with a self-giving love.
We need not be afraid of God's work in our lives. It might cause us to do things that make us uncomfortable and God's work in our lives might take us to places unknown. But, we need not be afraid because God's work in our lives takes us to places where all might discover healing and nourishment.
There is something fascinating about the juxtaposition in the Gospel of Mark of Jesus’ baptism and Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. This text encourages us to engage our spirituality and shatter our carefully constructed faith worlds. It reminds us that we are freed from the shackles of practicality to make room for spirituality.
We are enough for God.
Sermon on Mark 1:40-45. Braunstein