Sermons by Paul Demotte

Out pastor.

The Other

Text: Luke 24:28-35              At the risk of sounding “mystical,”  I’d like to suggest that the very heart of our Christian life depends upon how we experience God.  Is it more cognitive?  If so, then we will read a lot of books and endlessly study our Bible.  Is it more behavioral?  If so, we will place great emphasis on “doing” the faith rather than “talking” about it.  Is it more affective?  Then we will highly value music, ceremonies, or other…

Feeding the Enemy

Text: Romans 12:9-21 “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;  if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” (verse 20) The above quote is a real head scratcher.  First Paul urges us to feed our enemies out of compassion and then to motivate us, he adds that this will really hurt them—like burning coals.  Say that again! Our text this morning about caring for our enemies is easy…

Towels and Ladders

Text: Philippians 2:4-11               Philippians 2:4              “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”              It’s one thing to admire the words of scripture and quite another to live them.  Our sermon this week is all about climbing the ladder of success versus taking a towel and washing feet. In my first year of parish ministry, when I was young and foolish, I decided it would be great to have a…

Do We Want To Be Right—Or Healthy?

Text: Ephesians 4:25-27            John 2:13-25              Our Gospel lesson is about Jesus cleaning out the temple with a whip, and our theme is:  anger.   Yes, anger is one of the seven deadly sins and yes, we know how destructive it can be in organizations and personal relationships.  Violence, the physical acting out of anger, is seldom justified but when Christians want to justify it we usually dip into the Old Testament, which, of course, is filled with wars and…

Hiding Behind the Bull

Text:  Luke 7:31-50               Our theme this morning is playing Hide and Seek with God.  The title comes from my childhood memories of playing that game on my Uncle Red’s farm.  The girls were terrified of the Holstein bull (which indicates how much smarter they were than we boys), and so behind the bull became our favorite hiding place. Our text describes a Palestinian children’s game, and even though the Psalmist in 2:4 describing God says, “He who sits in…

Giving Up Our Pacifiers

Sunday            02 –21-21               First Sunday in Lent Sermon:  “Giving Up Our Pacifiers” Text:  Luke 4:1-13

Faith, Devils, and Thunderstorms

Text:  Mark 9:2-9            At the risk of revealing the narcissistic part of me, I must say I really like this sermon!  Each week I attempt to write a sermon that speaks to me and hopefully to others, but some speak more than others.  On this Transfiguration Sunday we’ll be looking at how we, as somewhat scientifically trained people, address Bible stories of the miraculous and how we strike a balance between thinking about the natural versus the supernatural. Believe…

At the River

Text:  Luke 4:14-29            I know that occasionally I say things from the pulpit that irritate folks, but that reaction is quite minor compared to what we see in today’s text.  Our text recounts one of Jesus’ first preaching assignments after being baptized and it is in the synagogue of Nazareth, his hometown.  Usually preaching in your home church is a source of joy and pride for all involved, but after Jesus concludes his sermon, our text describes the reaction…

Falling Sparrows

Text:  Matthew 10:29-31 Today we are looking at the subject of natural evil.  When you kill someone, that’s moral evil.  When a hurricane kills you, that’s natural evil.  Natural evil covers many subjects like, “Why do I have cancer?”  Where is God in all this?  We’ll be examining Jesus’ saying about God and falling sparrows.  Does God send  suffering, permit it, know about, or something else?  Below are several translations of our text. (RSV) For only a penny you can…

Kiss Today Goodbye and Point Me Toward Tomorrow

Text:  1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Today’s sermon sounds suspiciously like an Easter sermon because our text  is a strong affirmation of Jesus’ resurrection and the power of that resurrection to bring people together. It’s also a promise to deacons and elders that God will be their strength and wisdom.   Our sermon title comes from a line in the long-running Broadway musical, “Chorus Line.”  And kissing today goodbye is exactly what the disciples do.  Jesus’ last days had devastated them.  His amazing…

Community Without Walls

Text:  Nehemiah 13:1-3 This Sunday precedes our national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and we will be looking at a very racist text in the book of Nehemiah.  It concludes with the words, “When the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent.”  That strategy would be difficult today given that most of us, with the exception of Native Americans, are of foreign descent.  I heard a story the other day about a…