Showing posts from 2016

"What Do You See? What Do You Hear? - Sermon from December 11, 2016

Community UMC, Quincy “What Do You See? What Do You Hear?” Pastor Andrew Davis December 11, 2016 Isaiah 35: 1-10 Matthew 11: 2-11
        Each time this time of year rolls around, it’s a feast for the senses.  All the smells, bells, sounds, tastes, and sights are in the air.  We see the beautiful lights on the houses and beautifully decorated trees in the windows, hear the songs of the season as radio stations have been playing nonstop Christmas music (even though it’s STILL Advent), bell ringing for The Salvation Army by volunteers (many from our church), and in a number of houses, smell the wonderful aromas of tasty things baking (or, just step into Midtown Coffee or Quincy Provisions and smell and see the tasty treats!).  Yes indeed, this is the time of year where the senses are fully engaged.  I can’t help but singing “do you see what I see?  Do you hear what I hear?”         In our Advent study this past week on Matt Rawle’s The Redemption of Scrooge, we talked about Christmas past and…

December Adventures

The people who walked in darkness Have seen a great light: Those who lived in a land of deep darkness – On them light has shined (Isaiah 9: 2, NRSV).
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.  What has come into being in him was life, and the light was the light of all people.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1: 1-5, NRSV). 
As it happens each year, once Daylight Savings Time ends in early November, darkness comes quickly and earlier in the day.  I’m not really sure what to think when my house becomes dark around 3:00pm when the sun goes behind the mountain, but this is a part of the cycle that happens each year.  The darkness comes early, but after the Winter Solstice, the light gradually returns until we Spring forward once again in March.
It comes as no surprise that the season of Adv…

Sermon, December 4, 2016: "What Are You Preparing For?"

Community UMC, Quincy “An Advent Question: What Are You Preparing For?” Pastor Andrew Davis Isaiah 11: 1-10 Matthew 3: 1-12 December 4, 2016
        How’s that preparation coming for Christmas?  Have you got your tree up yet?  Nativity sets?  Lights?  Presents?  I think it’s pretty safe to say that it’s really beginning to look a lot like Christmas around town now that we’ve had Sparkle, which I was definitely excited about and eagerly anticipating!!  Once we get into that first week of December, the hustle and bustle of the holidays is in full force, but not quite high gear quite yet.  Give it another week, though.  I do have to say there is something special about small towns and the holidays, as it seems like it’s extra festive here and reminds me of something we would see from Currier and Ives, Norman Rockwell, Thomas Kinkade, and others who love to use sentimentality to grab our attention.  I think some of the commercials we’ve been seeing on TV since Thanksgiving also do a good job at…

"An Advent Question: Will We Be Ready?" - Sermon, November 27, 2016

Community UMC, Quincy “An Advent Question: Will We be Ready?” Isaiah 2: 1-5 Matthew 24: 36-44 Pastor Andrew Davis November 27, 2016
        How many of you have started your Christmas decorating yet?  How about listening to Christmas music?  Even though we’re only a few days after Thanksgiving, it sure feels like we’ve already been seeing Christmas since Labor Day…maybe even since the Fourth of July.  Now, I know some people will lament that all things Christmas seems to appear earlier and earlier each year, as it sure feels like it comes up earlier.  Right after Labor Day or Fourth of July is a little too early, but the thought of Christmas stuff going up early brings me back to a series of books I loved reading as a child.  I particularly remember reading The Berenstein Bears series about the Bear Family written by the late Stan and Jan Berenstein, which was more or less based on their own family (kind of the same way the comic strip “For Better or For Worse” was loosely based on Lynn Joh…

"Towards a New Kingdom," Sermon for November 20, 2016

Community UMC, Quincy “Towards a New Kingdom” Pastor Andrew Davis November 20, 2016 Jeremiah 23: 1-6 Luke 23: 33-43
        I’m thinking that God has been trying to tell me that our services have been too busy these last couple weeks, so this week we get a little bit of a breather from so much going on before Advent starts.  This is also the time of year when I tend to get hit with a cold and unfortunately, this past week is when I happened to get hit.  ‘Tis the season, nevertheless.  So, if you enjoy the shorter sermons, this is your week!!  Plus, we have Thanksgiving on Thursday, meaning we are getting closer to jumping head-first into the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping and preparation season.  However, today also marks the end of the year for us in the church.  Not the actual end of the year when we watch the giant crystal ball drop in Times Square, NYC, but the end of the church liturgical year.  The church/liturgical year is divided up into the Christmas cycle of Advent, …

"Keep on Trusting Jesus" - Sermon, November 13, 2016

Community UMC, Quincy “Keep on Trusting Jesus” Pastor Andrew Davis November 13, 2016 Isaiah 65: 17-25 Luke 21: 5-19
Even though it has been a couple weeks since preaching a sermon up here, this morning is one where I feel like I really need to hear a good sermon after this week instead of preaching.  I feel like I need to hear some good news, in spite of everything we have dealt with in the aftermath of the election this past Tuesday.  Everything we have read in the editorials, or comments on various social media platforms have shown some strong reactions on both sides.  People who voted for Donald Trump are suddenly attacked as if they are now supporting hate, while there is real, almost paralyzing fear among those who did not vote for Donald Trump.  There have been words said on both sides showing the deep hurt that people are feeling right now and how deeply divided our society has become.  As I said in my pastoral letter on Wednesday, the result of Tuesday’s election may be seen by man…