Sermons from Redlands 1st UMC

Sermons from Redlands 1st UMC

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Redlands 1st UMC aspires to be an Invitational, Nurturing and Inclusive faith community. We are committed to serving the world in the Spirit of Jesus.


The Road Less Travelled
Sep 24 • 25 min
So much of our life is defined by the choices we make. Our ability to build bridges or destroy community lies at the basic level of how we choose to face what lies before us. This is, at once, both the great possibility and the great pitfall of the human…
Dimensions of Forgiveness
Sep 19 • 5 min
Forgiveness is hard. It requires something of us. It is more than words. It is even more than actions. Forgiveness is a change in our heart. We can utter the words and even take cursory action to forgive someone who has harmed us, but if our heart isn’t…
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
Sep 19 • 21 min
In Scripture we see that some of the largest and most striking examples of God’s life-giving work are done with great fanfare. God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush. God saved the Israelites through the parting of the sea. Jesus came to the disciples…
It Shouldn’t Be That Hard
Sep 3 • 26 min
When the world sees so much as transactional, conditional and malleable in the face of compromising pressures it is important that we stay rooted in the values, attitudes and actions that define who we are. Both as individuals and has communities drawn…
We Are Supposed to Be Different
Aug 27 • 26 min
There is great pressure in our culture today to conform to certain images. The widespread use of social media has increased the pressure on all of us. While there is not any one image that is the goal of conformity, when it comes to the affirmation of a…
Voices from the Edge
Aug 20 • 27 min
Sometimes the strongest prison we could ever know is our own opinion. There is a well-worn path in the human community to take one’s own experience and normalize it for everyone. To say, in the midst of conflict or controversy, that our experience should…
Faith Is Meant to Be Stretched
Aug 11 • 26 min
If you want to walk on water, you first have to get out of the boat. An obvious fact, to be sure, but no less daunting a task. To accomplish something exceptional often requires us to stretch our self beyond what is known, what is comfortable, and what is…
Origin Stories: Endgame
Aug 6 • 24 min
Seeking out a face to face encounter with our own shortcomings, mistakes and choices is not the easiest thing to do. Even though there are some of us who seem better disposed to do this hard work, I don’t know anyone who actually looks forward to the…
Origin Stories: Navigating the Moment of Crisis
Jul 30 • 22 min
In every good hero story, there is a moment of conflict and crisis where it seems like the hero’s mission sits on a knife’s edge. It is usually portrayed as a moment when there doesn’t seem to be a good or easy way out. To navigate that moment of crisis…
Origin Stories: God Doesn’t Just “Show Up”
Jul 23 • 25 min
In times like this, we draw strength from the consistent Scriptural promise of God’s providential presence in our life. It is like a warm blanket on a cold night. It is a source of comfort and strength. This message is the core of most every witness to…
Origin Stories: In the Mirror
Jul 15 • 28 min
Where do we fit into God’s ongoing work of bringing justice and restoration to creation and the human community? The need is obvious these days. We know that there are many who have been called to specific aspects of this work. They are carved into…
What Now?
Jul 9 • 22 min
As the pace of change accelerates it would be understandable to feel swept away by them. To many, these fast moving currents might feel like social or political rip currents. Into the maelstrom of these currents God infuses the grace that redeems us and…
Your Welcome
Jul 6 • 20 min
The small acts of attentiveness have always made a difference. In these difficult days, these small acts of generosity shared with our neighbors can change one person’s day. This small act can change the world. This is the core of the Gospel witness.…
Working without a Net
Jul 6 • 28 min
In times of great crisis and upheaval we lean on the witness to the many ways that God’s grace sustains us through the fire and flood. When we find ourselves with our backs against the wall, from where will our relief come. When our days are the darkest,…
Holy Patience
Jun 18 • 28 min
You very likely have said it at some point in your life: I want patience…and I want it now. This statement usually brings smiles, the stray giggle and/or the knowing wink. It is almost as if this is the worst kept secret in all of human history. We…
Peace WITH Justice
Jun 10 • 24 min
In the last few weeks we have been immersed in images of the toxic and corrupting influence of power exercised for its own sake. We know the proverb, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The exercise of unrestrained power and the…
Who Are We…Really? We Are the Church!
Jun 2 • 23 min
These are challenging days to be the church that was born to bear witness to God’s grace through Jesus, the Christ. The scourge of systemic racism, the stain of economic inequality and the corruption of institutions that are supposed to safeguard the…
Who Are We…Really? The Wesleyan Way
May 28 • 22 min
As many congregations have scrambled to respond to the needs of people in this pandemic there has been an interesting consensus emerging. In the many interactions that I’ve had with colleagues there is a realization that the lessons we have learned about…
Who Are We…Really? Spirit Empowered
May 21 • 21 min
In the era of interactive GPS in our cell phones it has never been easier to get from Point A to Point B. An equally valuable part of this technology is the ability to get un-lost. Neither do we need to panic anymore if we take a wrong turn. Siri is very…
Who Are We…Really? Living Stones
May 13 • 20 min
The call to radical hospitality is the basis of Jesus’s work toward the beloved community, the Kindom of God. Jesus demonstrated time and time again that welcoming the stranger, restoring the wounded and including the marginalized is essential if we are…
Who Are We…Really? Our Core Identity
May 13 • 20 min
When our sense of self or our identity as a community of faith is premised on recreating some version of the past, we can easily close ourselves off to new possibilities of faith. When we find a pattern of living, believing and serving we have tendency to…
It Helps When We Open Our Eyes
May 2 • 23 min
With everything we’ve endured in these last weeks, I suspect that most of us have dealt with feelings of dejection, defeat and maybe even some depression. Being so abruptly separated from our routines and physical connections took a good deal of…
Reconciling with Creation
Apr 23 • 29 min
There is no doubt that we have had great success in using science and ingenuity to shape our world. We have mapped the human genome and put a human on the moon. And yet, with all that has been accomplished there is one fact that we too often forget: At…
Where Faith Begins
Apr 21 • 18 min
These weeks of physical distancing remind us of our need for resurrection. The Easter miracle that we celebrate isn’t an event relegated to the dusty annals of history. Thankfully the power of resurrection continues to ripple through creation. We are the…
When the Community Speaks
Apr 11 • 21 min
The experience of physical distancing has begun to yield a powerful community dynamic. Our hearts are warmed by the sounds of New Yorkers opening their windows and going to rooftops throughout the city to thank hospital workers and emergency medical…
Can These Bones Live?
Apr 1 • 19 min
In the era of physical distancing as the community responds to the COVID 19 infection we are enduring challenges that would have been previously inconceivable. While most of us recognize that the long-term health and well-being of the community will be…
Is This the New Normal?
Mar 30 • 21 min
When we are caught in the middle of an impossible situation, one for which we have no experience and no road map, we can often lose heart. It is especially easy to feel stuck and discouraged. In these moments, the paralysis we feel can limit our view of…
Come & See, Come & Drink
Mar 20 • 23 min
In the time of social distancing, the experiences that are immersed in community become difficult to sustain. This time of crisis calls us to expand our understanding of worship. It would be easy to say that it isn’t worship because we don’t feel the…
Everyone Needs a Fresh Start
Mar 19 • 24 min
Do you ever feel like you want to hit the reset button on life? It would be nice when we feel painted into the corner to reboot life like we reboot our devices. Sometimes these reboots overcome personal mistakes. At other times they give us a fresh start…
Re - Centering Our Story
Mar 5 • 26 min
Periodically we hear the heart-breaking stories of people who struggle with a lie told to them by someone that should have been the source of support rather than pain. Unless we have experienced it our self, or know someone who has, it is sometimes…
When God Shows Up
Feb 25 • 31 min
As the modern church seeks to do its part in reflecting and building God’s beloved community there is a spiritual reality with which we must reckon. Too many people today have been inflicted with a toxic theology that leads them to be terrified of God.…
New Year, Same Promise: Freedom
Feb 11 • 19 min
While different leaders in the world would use partial truth to divide us as a way to maintain their own power and/or wealth, God’s promise and presence speaks a different vision of the world. The witness to Jesus’ life and teaching stand as a…
New Year, Same Promise: Kindom
Feb 8 • 22 min
This is the fourth sermon in our series New Year, Same Promise. It is based on Micah 6:1-8 and Matthew 5:1-12. In this sermon we celebrate God’s promised experience through Kindom, the beloved community.
New Year, Same Promise - A Place At Jesus’ Side
Jan 29 • 20 min
This is the third sermon in our worship series, New Year, Same Promise. It is entitled A Place at Jesus’ Side and is based on Isaiah 9:1-4 and Matthew 4:12-23.
New Year Same Promise God’s Faithfulness
Jan 20 • 22 min
January 19, 2020 Isaiah 49:1-7 John 1:29-42 This is the second installment in our worship series New Year, Same Promise. It celebrates the strength and power of knowing and experiencing God as abiding with us, co-habitating with us.
New Year Same Promise: New Life
Jan 16 • 23 min
This sermon explores God’s eternal promise through our experience of new life. God’s grace poured out in our life opens the door for us to experience transformed lives. More than simply changing belief, changing habits and changing practice, God’s grace…