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..
Janet Guyer, a mission co-worker whom Western has supported for many years, will be with us at Western this Sunday. She will talk about her work focusing on women’s and children’s issues in four African countries - Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Matthew 13:24-30 Jesus tells a parable of dangerous weeds growing among good wheat.
Matthew 13:1-9 This summer we’ll hear from many of the parables, considering not just what they mean, but how they mean. Jesus used this story method as a way of letting his teaching take root. What kind of soil are you? How might God be sowing seeds in your life?
1 Corinthians 15: 1-26; 51-58 The resurrection is a hot topic for debate in theological circles -- but, what does it mean to us as faithful people today? How does the resurrection inform your understanding of God's power in your life and in the world?
This Sunday we welcome to the pulpit Kurt Esslinger and Hyeyoung Lee, PC(USA) mission co-workers in South Korea, who will be in town for Ecumenical Advocacy Days. While they serve as a couple, coordinating the Young Adult Volunteer program in Daejeon, Kurt works with the National Council of Churches in Korea for peaceful reconciliation in Korea, and Hyeyoung works with Hannam University’s Global Multicultural Leadership Program.
For Jesus's earliest followers, the resurrection wasn't an abstract concept, nor was it a one-time event. The disciples began to see and participate in all kinds of resurrections, to the point that it became a sign of their life together. What does resurrection look like today, for you, in our world? How might we learn to see the possibility of new life where no one thought it was possible?
We know the story that after Jesus rose, he visited the Doubting Thomas and invited the disciple to touch his wounds and know he is alive. But, what happens next? This Sunday, we’ll explore Jesus’ ascension into heaven. We’ll put ourselves in the shoes of those who watched him be lifted up and we’ll ponder how we might be his witness in the world today.
The original ending of Mark’s gospel and account of the resurrection ends mid-sentence. No one sees the risen Christ. Nothing is resolved. Yet the words of the messenger at the tomb remain good news for the women and for us. What if the story continues, just not in the text? How does it read, if the best parts of the story are yet to come?
A Palm Sunday Sermon
Jesus was in the Temple and he was asked by a curious scribe, ‘Which commandment is first of all?’ Jesus responds with a two-fold answer – to love God and to love neighbor. As people of faith, how might we embody confidence in this two-fold mandate?
A common refrain in the scripture passage for this Sunday is Jesus asking, “What can I do for you?” How might you answer his question?
In the spiritual culture of the British Isles, a thin place is where heaven and earth come close, where time slows down and we experience the sacred in the midst of the secular world. After being told they had to pick up their own crosses, three of the disciples had just such an experience with Jesus. Where have you had such a time, specifically in the midst of serving others or working for something much larger than yourself? How might Western continue to be such a thin place? We'll also hear from Lisa Delity of Heeding God's Call to End Gun Violence as we prepare to install the memorial for those who lost lives to gun violence in 2014.
Two women need Jesus's healing. One is an outsider, considered unclean because of her illness. The other is a daughter of a leader in the community. Jesus heals them both, a dramatic sign for them and their communities. Where do you see signs of healing - of body, mind, and spirit - of the wholeness God is still working through Jesus's ministry today? In individuals? In our church?
This week we hear from Jesus's parables in Mark as we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King. In parables, Jesus retold every day events to evoke a change of mind and heart, for the sake of God's kingdom, what King called the beloved community. What contemporary events might become today's parables - ordinary tales for the sake of change in God's direction?
The Scripture text for this sermon tells the story of a group of friends so desperate to see Jesus, they get on his roof, dig a hole through it and lower their friend suffering from paralysis into the room with Jesus. I marvel at the hope and faith those five friends possessed to have taken such a bold action. What paralysis experienced among us would motivate us to act so boldly, would compel us to think so creatively, would make us so anxious for change that together we would seek out healing so aggressively?