This is a collection of the transcripts and audio recordings of sermons from our staff pastors and guest speakers.
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 16: Table Manners

Table Manners Pentecost XVII (O. T. 24) Luke 14:12-15 Jesus had terrible table manners. I want to tell you a little more about the story you just heard and then we can see if you agree with me. Jesus was a dinner guest at the home of one of the leaders of the group known as Pharisees, strict keepers of the religious law. Luke says that the others w...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from September 9: A Place at Jesus' Table

A Place at Jesus' Table Pentecost XVI (O. T. 23); September 9, 2018 John 14:1-4 My colleague told me a story that has aspects that really bothered me at the time, and still bother me today, but I'm telling that part of my head to shut up and listen for a deeper point. He said that one Sunday they were having communion in his church and they had a g...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for September 2: Jonah

  Bible by Request: Jonah Pentecost XV (O. T. 22); September 2, 2018 Jonah 2:1-10 Jonah is, to my mind, one of the funniest (if not the funniest) stories in the Bible. Everything about it is overdone; it is filled with exaggeration and irony, and God constantly teases the prophet. I remember my pastor – when I was a teenager – suggesting that ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for August 26: Stephen

Bible by Request: Stephen Pentecost XIV (O. T. 21); August 26, 2018 Acts 6:8-15 Here's where most of us encounter Stephen: Good King Wenceslaus looked out On the Feast of Stephen, When the snow lay round about, Deep and crisp and even… The "Feast of Stephen" is the 26 th of December, and so we've made this song one of our Christmas carols. In the y...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 19: Esther

  Bible by Request: Esther Pentecost XIII (O. T. 20) Esther 4:12-16 This week I found myself wishing that there were more stories in the Bible of folks who just tried to get through life quietly, raising their children and paying their bills, doing their best to serve God and to love their neighbors. All these folks in the Bible are such heroe...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 12: Job

Bible by Request: Job Pentecost XII (O. T. 19); August 12, 2018 Job 42:1-6 I think of the Book of Job as an opera. It has a short prologue and a short epilogue, and in between a long series of arias and duets. The music may be by Wagner, or it may be by The Who or by Lin-Manuel Miranda, but to me the story makes the most sense when thought of as an...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from August 5 - Ruth

Bible by Request: Ruth Pentecost XI (O. T. 18) Ruth 1:15-18 The rest of the summer will focus on characters from the Bible that you wanted to hear about. This will give me a chance to say what I think is most important about the people in the Bible: that you are familiar with them. In each sermon I'll probably make comments about ideas and implicat...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 29: "Do not be afraid."

"Do not be afraid." Pentecost X (O. T. 17); July 29, 2018 John 6:1-21 Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and Jesus walking on the water: two amazing miracle stories. Some of you want me to give you a naturalistic explanation for both of them and some of you want to revel in the supernatural power of Jesus. Now, I can...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 22: That Healing Touch

That Healing Touch Pentecost IX (O. T. 16) Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 I guess it must be natural for us to look for a leader who will make everything all right. The Prophet Jeremiah expressed that wish in today's Old Testament reading (Jeremiah 23:1-6): he scolds the government of Judah for being shepherds who drive away the sheep, rather than gather them...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 15 - The Voice of John the Baptist

The Voice of John the Baptist Pentecost VIII (O. T. 15) Mark 6:14-29 The first time in the Gospel of Mark that we hear the voice of John the Baptist is when he is preaching and baptizing by the Jordan River and he announces, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from July 8: A Prophet Among Them

A Prophet Among Them Pentecost VII (O. T. 14) Mark 6:1-13 "The Prophet Martin Luther King, Jr." Probably none of you was offended by my saying that. But imagine it's April of 1967 and Dr. King has just delivered his speech against the Vietnam War in the Riverside Church in New York City. You've read in the newspaper or seen on TV these words:  ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for July 1 - Out of the Crowd

Out of the Crowd Pentecost VI (O. T. 13); July 1, 2018 Mark 5:21-43 Few are they who by faith touch him; multitudes are they who throng about him. – Augustine of Hippo I feel blessed to live in a time when so many are coming out of the crowd to be noticed, people who would have been told before to stay in the crowd, keep quiet, don't be noticed. In...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from June 10: Hard Words

Hard Words Pentecost III (O. T. 10); June 10, 2018 Mark 3:20-35 Roseanne Barr referred to her racist tweet against Valerie Jarrett as "unforgiveable" (@realrosanne tweeted on May 30, 2018). Then she deleted that tweet and replaced it with one appealing for forgiveness. Ms. Jarrett responded to her racist comment by saying, "I think we have to turn ...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon from Dedication Sunday


  "My name shall be there." Pentecost II (Dedication Sunday); June 3, 2018 Matthew 16:13-20 It's been a long road. Before our Presbytery met here last month, I prepared a time-line of our planning, fund-raising, and construction work. We had our first planning meeting over four years ago. And today we dedicate our building and dedicate ourselv...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Trinity Sunday

Three Holies Trinity Sunday; May 27, 2018 John 3:1-17 I used to get really annoyed with a colleague who used the word "triune" a lot. It's a perfectly good word; I just figured that most of the people listening to her didn't know what it meant. It describes God as three-and-one, as the word "Trinity" does. You've probably heard the word Trinity a l...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Pentecost: Spirit, Correct Us

Spirit, Correct Us Pentecost; May 20, 2018 John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15 There's a lot of brilliant theology in these words of Jesus, but I find myself stuck on one sentence: "And when the Spirit comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am g...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for May 13: I Am Matthias

  I Am Matthias Easter VII; May 13, 2018 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 This Sunday's sermon was a dramatic monologue; I removed my pectoral Cross and stole and covered my head to suggest a costume. I am Matthias. Until you heard the Scripture read a few minutes ago, you probably had never heard of me. My name means "a gift from the Lord," which tells yo...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for May 6: ...Now an Italian


First an Ethiopian, Now an Italian Easter VI; May 6, 2018 Acts 10:44-48 The framers of our cycle of readings – the Revised Common Lectionary – have selected for today a short reading which is the conclusion of a story. Although the point of the conclusion is important – the Holy Spirit is at work in the Church of Jesus Christ – I don't think you ca...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for April 29: Can Anything Prevent Him?

  Can Anything Prevent Him? Easter V; April 29, 2018 Acts 8:26-40 Let's do something a little different from my usual approach: with this Scripture, let's talk through the story and I'll make some comments as we go. The hero of this story is Philip; he was a Deacon. Just a little before this story, the Church people began complaining that some...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for April 22: By What Name?

By What Name? Easter IV; April 22, 2018 Acts 4:5-12 The High Priest's question strikes me as bizarre: "By what power or by what name did you do this?" If the priests had been paying attention at all, they had surely heard about what Peter said when he healed the man: "I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ...
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