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 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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Robert Keefer

Sermon from April 8: Great Power, Great Grace

Great Power, Great Grace Easter II; April 8, 2018 Acts 4:32-35 Our Associate Pastor began a long sabbatical this week. The Session placed her on sabbatical in order for her to attend to a number of matters; during the next nine months we will be without her service. The congregation learned of it through a letter, which most had received by the tim...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Easter: No Fooling

No Fooling The Resurrection of the Lord; April 1, 2018 John 20:1-18 Three folks were waiting for admission at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter welcomed them, but said they had to answer one question before they could enter. To the first, he said, "What is Easter?" And the first person said, "Well, this big guy in a red suit comes down the chimney and gi...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for March 25: The Sword of the Spirit

The Sword of the Spirit The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) #6 Palm Sunday; March 25, 2018 Hebrews 4:12-13 Most folks who have been around awhile enjoy the hymn "Onward, Christian Soldiers." I remember one church supper that included some hymn-singing; when we sang that hymn we marched around the room. It's really fun to watch a bunch of Pre...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Lent 4: The Shield of Faith



  The Shield of Faith The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) #4 Lent IV; March 11, 2018 Hebrews 10:37-11:3 The line from our theme passage in Ephesians is this: "Take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one." The preacher's temptation is to focus on the evil one and those flaming ar...
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Robert Keefer

Sermon for Lent III: Shoes of Readiness

  Shoes of Readiness to Proclaim the Gospel The Whole Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17) #3 Lent III; March 4, 2018 I Peter 3:13-22 Today we had a "hymn Sunday," so the service music was hymns and there was a lot of extra music. Consequently, I kept my speaking to a minimum and included hymns as part of the sermon. The First Letter of Peter was ...
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