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Category Archives: Sermons

The People’s Choice

Those of you who were here last week may remember that we heard the story of the child Samuel, who heard God’s voice in the night, as he served in the temple with the priest Eli. As we pick up today’s passage, many years have passed. Samuel has been a trustworthy prophet of the Lord, but he has grown old, and—as was the case with


Children of God

Hillary Bergman Cheek Children of God May 27, 2018   John 3:1-17: 1Now there was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2 He came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do apart from the presence of God.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Very truly,


“The Spirit’s Power”

Prefatory note: Scholars concluded long ago that the author of Acts was also the author of the Gospel of Luke. Together, these two books comprise almost a quarter of the New Testament. Acts 2:1-21 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled


Love that Abides

John 15:9-17 Rev. Elizabeth Michael Preached at University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, NC New Testament scholar Frances Taylor Gench offers this short description of Jesus in the gospel of John: “Wordy is the Lamb.”[1]  Indeed Jesus is a little loquacious in the fourth gospel.  We read today from chapter fifteen, the second of four consecutive chapters that together form Jesus’ “Farewell Discourse.”  Some 2700 words


The Making of Witnesses

The Making of Witnesses Margaret LaMotte Torrence Sixth Sunday after Easter May 6, 2016   Today, we hear the final words of the gospel of Luke. Jesus’ disciples are gathered together, and have just heard a report that Jesus is alive.   Luke 24:36-53 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled


What is Good About this News?

Matt Moorman Isaiah 53.7-12 Acts 8.26-40 April 29, 2018 Why does this story matter?  Is it simply an account of how the church’s membership and mission initially opened to Gentiles, or to people, like the eunuch, who were considered ritually unclean?  If that’s all it is, then the writer of Luke-Acts would’ve spent far less time filling the story with such rich, literary details.  Is


The Shepherding God

Psalm 23 Preached by Rev. Elizabeth Michael University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, NC April 22, 2018   The Reverend Doctor Sam Wells begins his book, The Nazareth Manifesto[1], with three scenarios, each of them quickly familiar to most people of a certain class who have attempted to celebrate Christmas in our modern world. First, he invites you to imagine shopping for a gift for the


After Breakfast

Margaret LaMotte Torrence John 21:1-19 pp. 115-116 Third Sunday of Easter April 15, 2018 “After Breakfast”   One of the gifts of growing up in the church is that each season becomes layered with memories. I cannot sing “Silent Night” without remembering every sanctuary in which I have spent a Christmas Eve. We begin to sing and suddenly I can feel velvet pew cushions, hear


The Marks of the Church

Margaret LaMotte Torrence Sunday, April 8, 2018 The Marks of the Church John 20:19-31 When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his


The Rhythms of Easter

The Rhythms of Easter Margaret LaMotte Torrence Easter Sunday April 1, 2018 Matthew 28:1-10   After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance