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Sermons

Copies of the weekly John Knox Sunday Sermons are posted below in chronological order.

Psalm 85:8-13
Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
for he will speak peace to his people,
to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.[a]
9 Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12 The Lord will give what is good,
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before him,
and will make a path for his steps.

Give the World the Best You’ve Got

Matthew 5:1-8

Rev. Dr. Tom MacMillan

On Thursday afternoon, a few of us gathered at Lakewood Park Cemetery to commit Bill King into God’s loving care.  Most present were from the deaf community connected with Lucy, Bill and Jean’s adopted daughter.  Bill and Jean (who passed about 7 years ago) cared for countless children and teens through foster care. They opened up their lives and their home to those who were deaf, those with mental illness, those who found themselves shut out.  They worked hard to learn sign language, set up trust funds, and made darn sure all their kids were loved.  Often Bill and Jean would come to John Knox and to St. Augustine's. In the Kings' home and in the Kings' care, so many found refuge. 

And so at the committal, we had a woman named Mary who interpreted.   I opened with prayer, read a few passages from scripture and then asked if anyone wanted to share something they valued about Bill.  After a few seconds, one of the aids from St. Augustine stepped forward. She signed her words with such movement and clear conviction.  She literally talked to God to Bill to Lucy.   She looked to the heavens and signed to God her great thanks for Bill’s life.  She knew Bill and she knew how he had been there for Lucy.  All the times that Lucy would try to run and all the struggles she had, Bill and Jean were there for her so she thanked God for Bill.  Then she spoke to Bill.  She signed to the casket.  You will be blessed in Heaven because of your goodness to Lucy.   You will be blessed by the host of angels who welcome you into glory.  Then she looked to Lucy.  Bill and Jean loved you so much and because of everlasting life, Bill lives.  He is with God but he is also praying for you.  He is praying for your protection and for your courage.

When Our Strength Fails
Matthew 5:1-5
July 30, 2017
Opening verses Psalm 73:25-26, 28
1. Full of Ourselves
A monk was being visited by someone who wanted to study the ways of silence. The prospective apprentice started talking about all the things that he had done, all the studies he had pursued, his profound internal work, all his achievements and where he wanted to go. As the student continues to chatter, the master takes a pot of tea and starts pouring into a cup, and the cup fills and fills, and starts overflowing everywhere.
“What are you doing?” exclaimed the prospective apprentice. The monk said: “By your chatter, I can see that your cup is full; there is no room for anything else!”
How often our cup is full with all our life experiences, with our perception of how things are, our expectations of how things should be, and because of that, we miss out on a lot of things that are happening all around us; and even within us.
“The unknown is the mind’s greatest gift, and for it no one thinks to thank God,” (Emily Dickinson).

This trip came unexpectedly. Ironically because we all seem to spend so much time focused on our expectations.  What will be next, where are we going, the time we need to get there, what’s materials are needed to take.   Its time consuming.  Recently I have been learning to slow down, have courage, stay in the present moment, let expectations go and most importantly BREATHE!  To let go and let God take the lead.

My name is Alexandria Eubank. This was my second time going to Nicaragua but my first time with John Knox. Let me give you some background on how I got here. Last year I felt God calling me to go on a mission trip. I was given information about a trip to Mesetepe, Nicaragua that a church in Medina was planning. While I was trying to discern whether that was the one God wanted me to go on, a woman, also known as Michelle Flauto, walked into the restaurant where I was working. She pulled out her change purse that had Nicaragua written across it and I almost jumped over the counter. I didn’t even know where Nicaragua was let alone know of anybody who had been there! After very quickly explaining that I was looking into going and I knew nothing about Nicaragua or mission trips in general, she wrote down her name and number and insisted that I call her. I knew God had orchestrated this meeting for a reason so I called her, and that was the beginning of a friendship seemed like it had always existed.