Sermons

Read recent sermons delivered by Pastor Donnelly.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sermon: “In Your Name”
Scripture: John 17:6-19

There is a lot going on in this morning’s Gospel reading. It is Thursday of Holy Week and Jesus is preparing himself for what is to come. He is focused on the next day, when he will be tried and executed by the occupying Romans forces and on what will become of his followers after his death. John’s gospel account of this moment brings us into the intimacy of Jesus’ own personal prayer before God. Jesus is not addressing the disciples in our reading this morning. He is not addressing them or us in what to do once he is gone. Instead, Jesus is praying for his disciples. These verses from scripture this morning allow us to overhear that prayer and in so doing, better understand both who Jesus is and what he wants for us. (read full sermon [PDF])

 


 

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Sermon: “Divided Tongues”
Scripture: Acts 2:1-21

Happy Birthday everyone! Among the several significant aspects of Pentecost is the fact that today we mark and celebrate the birth of the church. Fifty days after the beginning of Passover, as other Jews from around the Mediterranean were gathering in Jerusalem for the Jewish harvest festival of Pentecost, Jesus’ followers were given the gift of the Holy Spirit and became the church. Pentecost as we celebrate it today in our church and as a Christian feast around the world, derives its name from that original feast day in Judaism when these events took place. Perhaps many of us primarily associate Pentecost not with the church’s birthday but with the giving of the Holy Spirit. Both associations are of course correct. The point of highlighting each—the birth of the church and the giving of the Holy Spirit—is to proclaim clearly that from our perspective as the spiritual descendants of those original disciples we hear of today, the two go together. The church is born on the day that the Holy Spirit is given to Jesus’ followers. The church lives in so far as the Holy Spirit is welcomed and received in the community of Christ’s followers, then and now. Before that first Christian Pentecost, the disciples were just former followers of Jesus trying to figure out what to do next. Beginning that morning, about seven weeks after the life altering events of Christ’s death and resurrection, at about nine o’clock in the morning, as our text somewhat humorously details, that band of disciples was graced and commissioned with the Holy Spirit and became the church.(read full sermon [PDF])