Sermon Blog

Christmas Day Worship, 2022

Judges and Kings: Politics, Power and the Kingdom of God

Beginning June 3 – throughout the summer, we will follow the story of Israel and its leaders from the days of the judges until one kingdom becomes two after King Solomon. There are some GREAT stories in these pages, some familiar (like the anointing of King David), some pretty darn unfamiliar (like the left-handed warrior who killed a very fat king with a double-edged sword in the bathroom.) How was God at work through these colorful leaders in these chaotic times – and what can we learn from them about how God is at work in our chaotic world today?

Past Sermon Series

Unworthy Disciples

What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus? In the Gospel of Mark, disciples are called, equipped for ministry, and sent out into the world to do God’s work. They also doubt, fear, miss the point entirely, and sometimes completely mess everything up. For those of us who might identify with them a little too closely, can we still call ourselves disciples – even when we may not be worthy of the title?

Lent 2018: One Week in Jerusalem

Holy Week, the week between Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and his resurrection on Easter, is the most sacred time of the Christian year. But we often miss most of it as we go from Sunday to Sunday and skim over many of the events in between. This year we stretch the days of this fateful Week out over the six Sundays of Lent, beginning with Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey and continuing with his cleansing of the Temple, anointing for burial, Judas’s betrayal, the Last Supper and Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion. What lessons does Holy Week hold for us about the love of God and the powers of this world – and what good news awaits us at the end?

Advent 2017: Making Room

During the season of Advent, we will have four special services during regular Sunday worship around the theme of “Making Room.” We will make room for Jesus in our hearts and worship space with a Hanging of the Greens service;
make room for the stranger with a service inspired by the Mexican Las Posadas; make room for the darkness (grief, loneliness, and/or stress) that often accompanies the season with a Blue Christmas/service of healing; and make room for hope with a Christmas Eve morning Service of Lessons and Carols.

Fall 2017: The Kingdom of Heaven is Like…

As we move toward the end of the Christian year, which culminates at the end of November with Christ the King Sunday, we’ll take a look at four images Jesus gave for God’s Kingdom: The Kingdom of Heaven is like…a man who sowed good seed. A mustardseed, or a bit of yeast hidden in some bread dough. Buried treasure, or a pearl of great price. A man who hired workers for his vineyard. What does Jesus want us to understand about what kind of kingdom – and what kind of king – this is?

Fall 2017: God’s People in the World

“The mission of Arlington Temple UMC is to be a welcoming community called by Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit, and equipped to be God’s people in the world.” Throughout the month of September we’ll explore those different aspects of our mission and what it means for us to be the church. We’ll also hear from church members each week about how they aspire to be “God’s person in the world.”

Summer 2017: Acts: Church on Fire

Beginning on Ascension Sunday (May 28) and taking us through the summer, we will follow Peter, Paul and the people of the early church as they go about their adventures in community, continuing the ministry of Jesus, and spreading the good news (and get in a lot of trouble along the way.) How can these first followers of Jesus provide a model for what Christian life looks like for us?

Lent 2017: Questions Jesus Asked

What are you looking for? Why are you afraid? Do you want to be made well? Do you love me? Jesus was a man of many questions, and even though they are directed at people within the Gospels – the disciples, for example, or people Jesus healed – many of them are directed at us as well. So how would you respond to Jesus’ questions?

Winter 2017: Stories Jesus Told

Jesus was a traveling preacher who preached, most of the time, in stories. His parables range from the familiar (the Prodigal Son) to the genuinely strange (God is like a landowner who commends his servant for cheating him?) But they all have something to teach us, and we might even be surprised at what. What do we do with these more complex and enigmatic teachings of Jesus?