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Sermons

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

Healing Prayer –Kay Beavan

The Second Sunday of the Month, is a healing prayer Sunday when 2 teams will be waiting at the end of the service to pray with you at the front of the pews.

What concerns might prompt you to ask for prayer?  a physical problem? a troubling diagnosis; maybe the anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis.

An important decision needs to be made; you want guidance.

Maybe a co-worker or friend is suffering and you want prayers for them.

You might want to pray for an improved relationship with a relative or friend.

Perhaps a life stage is giving you grief:  The honeymoon phase of your marriage has passed.  Now what do you do.  You are a parent, who doesn’t need help with that; maybe you are the child of an aging parent.  Maybe you are aging.

Life is Hard.  I think it’s designed to bring us to our knees in front of the Lord.

Outline testimonial on 3/12/17

Many of you here today have joined us since 2012. The following will provide a little background to a small, but important, part of John Knox’s history.

Many of you know that, when you retire, folks want to know what you are going to do. My answer was and still is, it will find you. With God’s providence, here’s how John Knox found me.

• My wife, Lee, and I became members in Feb 2008 and I retired the next month. It should be noted that at that time, the DJIA was about 12,750 and the Fed Funds rate was about 4%.
• Shortly after joining, we were invited to join the FAW group led by Ralph and Judy Rothfusz.
• I went on Session in Jan 2009, and was assigned to the Membership and Evangelism Committee that was chaired by Tony Flauto.
• Ralph, chair of the building expansion committee, invited me to join his committee in early 2009. They had already selected the design/build team and were ready to select the best floor plan options. The centerpiece of the expansion was what is now called Trinity Hall.
• In March 2009, the Dow Jones hit 6,500 and the Fed Funds rate had fallen to .25%, reflecting an economy that was in a free fall.
• On June 28, 2009, the congregation courageously voted 82% to proceed with detailed plans and campaign to raise the necessary funds to complete the project.
• I was then asked to be on the Capital Campaign Committee because of my involvement with the building expansion committee. With Session and 3 committees I now knew what retirement was like.
• It was at this point that the emotional roller coaster began.
• Ralph called one day, said he was battling a serious health condition and asked me to be Interim Chair of the building expansion committee until he could return. I agreed to do it because I respected Ralph and I believed in the project, but I had some concerns:
o How would the committee feel about a new member being in this position?
o Would the congregation trust someone they hardly knew? Years of work had been completed by a previous task force that determined the physical needs of the church. The expansion was to address these needs, so it was important to honor that work.

Encounter
Genesis 12:1-4a and John 3:1-17
March 12, 2017
Repair Work
A few years ago, a friend of mine was in a car accident. Fortunately, no one was hurt. In fact, he was hit while sitting idle at a stop light! But, as anyone who has been involved in an automobile accident can tell you, the experience leads to endless documentation and telephone calls with insurance agents and claims adjustors and body shops. And so it was with my friend. The at-fault driver's insurance company called, came out, took pictures and then noted, "This car has surely been in other accidents! There are numerous dents that were not caused by this accident." My friend was not really aware the other dents. He'd kind of grown used to them but really couldn't recount how or when they occurred. After much discussion, it became clear that the insurance company would not pay for what they called "prior damage" and, therefore, would only approve a partial repair of the damage from the accident.
Can't say my friend was all that surprised but the whole concept made me think about "prior damage" and "partical fix-ups".
Nicodemus at Night
I'm not sure what brought Nicodemus at night to Jesus. I'm not sure if he was tired of partial fix ups and sought a whole new repair. I'm not sure if prior damage was caused by such high standards of legalism and if he sought grace. But it was a night-time meeting, a secret, private meeting away from the crowds that hovered around Jesus during the day. It was a safe place to ask a question, to ponder the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven with one who appeared to know. Nevertheless, when Nicodemus came to Jesus, Nicodemus did not bring a question. Instead, Nicodemus brought his own announcement of who Jesus was. Nicodemus, with his credentials as a Pharisse, a leader of the Jews, a teacher in Israel, came to Jesus and said, "I have seen your miracles, your signs and wonders, and I know that you are from God. I know who you are." And it's almost as if Jesus answered him, "No, you really don't. You saw me supply wine for the wedding feast. You saw me cleanse the temple of those who were making a business there, but there's a lot you're missing." We've been there. We sometimes make evasive pronouncements, hollow claims and rigid judgments to avoid the questions we've got clamoring around that need to be reckoned with (go back over that statement and see if rings true).

Youth Service

Luke 10:25-37

Destiny Remy 

Good morning!  As you all may know, my family has three new additions to the Remy pack and their names are Larry, Steven and Aurora. These past couple of months has been a little difficult for me due to the many changes in our schedule and the addition of new responsibilities for me due to me being the older child. My mom continues to tell me that our family is doing a good deed by taking these children in. They need us and God needs us to help these children out because they need love and a home just like everybody else. In Luke 10:25-37 a man was stripped of his clothing, beaten and was stolen from; a priest and a Levite saw him but kept going down the road not even stopping to make sure the guy was ok. Than a Good Samaritan came where the man was and he picked the man up, put him on his donkey, and brought him to an inn to take care of him. In my case this is like what we did for the children. They were stripped of their parents and many families couldn’t take them in, but when they came around, my parents took them into our home. We picked them up, we put them into our car and brought them to our home to take care of them and show these kids the love, care and respect that they deserve. Jesus gave them to us for a reason; just like Jesus gave the Good Samaritan to the man. He knew the struggles that these kids were going through so all he wanted was a good place where he knew these children would be cared for. Little Aurora is so enthusiastic, sassy and a really big headache, but she is unique in her own special way. Steven is a migraine he can be wild at times but once he is focused and calm, he is ok to deal with. Larry is calm, can be quiet and he is a caring person. Each of the three stooges is special in their own way; it took them a little while to open up and once they did it was insane how much of a difference their attitudes were. Jesus trusted us like he trusted the Good Samaritan with these kids’ lives and I am thankful to have them as a part of our family. They have made a huge impact on me, overtime, and I have become much more understanding, patient and tolerant as a result of their presence.

Deepening of God's Life in Us
II Chronicles 7:14-16
Ash Wednesday
March 1, 2017
A Jewish saying counsels that each person should have a note in each pocket. In one pocket, the note should announce “For you the universe was created.” In the other, “You are dust.”
We like the first part. We like that the universe was created for us. That we are precious and honored in God's sight.
But the second is hard. Oh, we feel it. We feel our limitations, we feel our back aching, our knees creaking, our eyes squinting, our energy lagging and sometimes our faith failing. We are dust.
So today we face the brevity and uncertainty of life. In one sense we're relieved at naming together our shared humanity, our common brokenness, the particular battles that each of us face, every day. Together we come to a place of relief that this season of Lent, this season of penitence, self-examination, simplicity, generosity, reconciliation has finally found us wanting, and waiting, and grateful for God's work in our life, a slow and real and patient work.
Patient Trust
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ
excerpted from Hearts on Fire