To Thine Own Self Be True

Zechariah 9:9/Luke 18:1-12

There is a familiar passage in Zechariah chapter 9 verse 9:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.

There is a familiar passage in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” that goes like this:

This above all: to thine own Self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Jesus of Nazareth was the Servant of all, but he was true to himself, and true to the vocation that God had given him.  Nowhere is this better seen than in the story of his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on the back of a colt, the foal of an ass.  As the typical traveler approached Jerusalem, he would dismount, and lead his beast into the city, so that no one in Jerusalem would suppose that he was bold enough or foolish enough to enter Jerusalem the manner that Zechariah prophesied for the coming of the Great King. Jesus did just the opposite.  He sent his disciples to find an animal just like the one described by Zechariah.  And, then, placing himself upon it, he entered the city in the manner that Zechariah had prophesied. And his disciples went before him, strewing his path with their garments. Then as Jesus drew near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples remembered all the might works they had seen him do, and they began to cry out saying,“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”  Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”  “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!”

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We Know Who Holds Tomorrow

James S. Stewart taught Preaching at Edinburg University in Edinburg, Scotland and often lectured at Yale Divinity School, here in America.  Stewart was one of the best known preachers of the 20th century. He was born in 1896. In 1980, when he was 84 years old, I wrote him to thank him for a book that he wrote about the life and theology of St. Paul, entitled, “A Man in Christ”, more than 20 years before. Much to my surprise, Stewart wrote me back, saying that my letter, coming in as it did, when he was more than a decade deep in retirement, was like “a bright light in the gloaming to a weary traveler nearing home.” I treasured those words, and for the next 38 years, I kept that letter on display in my study. I treasure something Stewart said in one of his Yale Lectures on Preaching even more.  In his lecture, “A Faith to Proclaim,” Stewart wrote:

The central business of preaching today is to tell men and women (and boys and girls) that the same power that took Jesus Christ out of the grave is available to them right now, not just in the hour of death, but in the midst of life.

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The Word of God Written: Part 1, 2 in a Series

This morning I am continuing a short series of sermons on the Word of God. In the Bible the Word of God appears in three forms: 1) The Word of God Spoken, 2) The Word of God Written, and 3) The Word of God Incarnate or Made Flesh in Jesus Christ.

Last week, we talked about the Word of God, spoken.  We saw that when God wanted to Speak to his people, he spoke through one of his prophets. More than 109 times in the Hebrew Bible we read, “The word of the Lord came to” one of God’s prophets, male and female.  Thus God spoke to Isaiah saying, “I have put my words in your mouth.” And God spoke to Jeremiah saying, “If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you will be as my mouth.” Continue reading

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Lent on Hawthorne Road

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We have a very excited Lent beginning with Communion in the Sanctuary between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Ash Wednesday, and ending with Holy Week and Easter.

Shrove Tuesday March 5th

Pastor’s Tea from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. in the Downstairs Library.  Ladies only.  Arrive 15 minutes early to greet your friends., and expect the tea to be over precisely at 3:00 p.m.  Contact the pastor if you want to attend and have not been contacted.  Pastor’s Email: frieschurch6@gmail.com

Wednesday March 6th

Drop by the church sanctuary from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The pastor will be serving the Holy Communion to individuals and small groups every 15 minutes.  You are invited to read scripture, pray and meditate until you are ready to receive the Lord’s Supper.

Sundays

Most of our Lenten Programing will take place on Sunday night at 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  We will gather at 6:30 p.m. for fellowship and refreshments.  Special programing will follow at 7:00 p.m., and we will be out by 8:00 p.m.

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The Word of God Spoken: 1 in a Series

The Word of God Spoken

This morning I am beginning a short series of sermons on the Word of God. In the Bible the Word of God appears in three forms: 1) The Word of God Spoken, 2) The Word of God Written, and 3) The Word of God Incarnate in Jesus Christ. Today, I am going to talk to you about the Word of God, spoken.

109 times in the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament we read that “the word of the LORD came to” one of God’s prophets.

God uses a prophet to make God’s Self heard. Thus God spoke to the prophet Isaiah saying, “I have put my words in your mouth.” (Isaiah 51) And God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah saying, “If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth.” (Jeremiah 15)

The prophet of God speaks the Word of God to the people of God in times of trial or crisis.  Thus, in the days of Ahab the king,  the prophet Elijah spoke to the people of Israel when they were flirting with the worship of Baal saying: Continue reading

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