Worship. Serve. Grow.

Sermons by The Rev. Sarah Phelps

Persistence in Prayer

Luke 11:1-13
The last few years that I was living in California, I belonged to a group of ministers who met twice a month to do Bible study as we prepared for upcoming sermons. When this passage from Luke about prayer came up in the lectionary, one of my colleagues who serves as a hospice chaplain told us about a woman he had worked with a few months ago. He said that as they talked about her faith and prayer life, she had told him that she didn’t feel like God was listening to her prayers.

A New Creation Is Everything

Galatians 6:7-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Spend any length of time in waiting rooms at the doctor’s office or the hairdresser and pick up the piles of magazines around you. You can easily come away with “5 new ways to find your passion in life and unlock your life’s true purpose.” Self-actualization is a multi-billion dollar industry in this country. But when I read today’s lesson from Galatians, I’m reminded that for Paul there’s only one thing that gives life real purpose, and it’s pretty much the opposite of self-actualization.

Judgment and Grace

Luke 7:36-8:3; 1 Kings 21:1-10, 15-21a
Over the course of 18 years in ordained ministry, it’s remarkable how many times in the midst of adult education classes I’ve heard people say that they much prefer the New Testament to the Old Testament, because the Old Testament God is a God of punishment and vengeance, they say, where the New Testament God is a God of forgiveness and love…

Good Friday (2016)

John 18:1-19:42
One of the best-known hymns of the American South is a hymn for Good Friday, and it begins with both a declaration and a question:

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

This and most of our Good Friday hymns call the crucifixion of Christ both a dreadful curse and an act of unfathomable generosity and love…

David and Goliath

1 Samuel 17:1a, 4-7, 32-49
The David and Goliath story is one of those biblical references that’s crossed over into secular culture in a big way. An unranked sports team takes on a national championship winner…