August 24, 2018 @ 5:42 am

08.19.18 Flesh & Blood


Sermon title: Flesh and Blood 

Scripture text: John 6:52-58


Sermon excerpt: 

For example, in verse 49-51, Jesus uses the common word esthio for eating the bread from heaven. But in verse 53, he uses the word trogo which has a connotation closer to “munch” or “gnaw,” noisy eating, like a wild animal devouring its prey.

This kind of eating is urgent, even desperate. It is eating as though life depends on it … because it does.[i]

Heard in that way, Jesus’ words start to make more sense. He’s not literally talking about feeding on his physical body like some scene from The Walking Dead … but rather offering himself as life-giving and life-sustaining spiritual nourishment for the world, a world that is desperately hungry for something real and something significant, something we can (metaphorically) sink our teeth into.

Throughout John 6, Jesus reveals himself as the bread of heaven, broken and given as food for the soul, and we ourselves partake of it in the sacrament of Communion, eating the bread and drinking the cup as though our very lives depend on it.



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August 16, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

08.12.18 Wonderbread


Sermon title: Wonderbread 

Sermon text: John 6:35, 41-51 

Sermon excerpt: 

Award-winning chef James Beard said it best: “Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

Bread is food for our bodies and food for our souls.

When Jesus spoke to the crowds that day in Capernaum, Jesus didn’t say, “I am the caviar of life.” He didn’t say, “I am the filet mignon or the surf and turf of life.”

He said, “I am the bread of life.” He identifies himself with simple food and basic, life-giving sustenance. He identifies himself with the food that for centuries afterward would be part of protest efforts by poor and marginalized people.  “No one holds caviar riots;” writes Lauren Winner, “people riot for bread.”[i]


[i] Lauren Winner  (Presbyterian Outlook Facebook Post: August 2, 5:27AM) 

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June 28, 2018 @ 1:33 am

06.24.18 “Don’t Be Afraid”


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Included in this podcast: 

1. Prayer for Illumination 

2. Old Testament reading  1 Samuel 32-49 

3. The Psalter  Psalm 9:9-20 

4. The Epistle  2 Corinthians 6:1-13 

5. Ministry of Music  Dr. Stan Workman 

6. The Gospel  Mark 4:35-41

7. The Sermon  "Don't Be Afraid" 


Sermon Excerpt: 

When a child wakes up in the middle of the crying, terrified at some dream, she cries out for her mother who comes into the room and scoops the child up in her arms. She wipes the sweaty hair off her daughter’s forehead and wipes away the tears from her cheeks.

She rocks her child gently, smoothing her hair, whispering what mothers have whispered from the beginning of time: “Shh, it’s OK. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

In truth, we know as adults there are many things to be afraid of in our world. And though they are very real, they do not have the last word. The scary things of this world do not have ultimate power over us, “because reigning over this world of fearsome things is a God” who is bigger than they.

What a mother means when she comforts her daughter is, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here. You’re not alone.”

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June 21, 2018 @ 8:21 pm

06.10.18 Family Reunion


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In this podcast: 

1. Prayer of illumination 

2. Old Testament reading  1 Samuel 8:4-11, 16-20 

3. Psalter  Psalm 138 

4. Epistle reading  2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 

5. Anthem "His Eye is on the Sparrow"  (Kara Penley, flute; Dr. Stan Workman, piano) 

6. Gospel reading  Mark 3:20-35

7. Sermon 


Sermon excerpt: 

“Who are my mother and my brothers?” Jesus asks the crowd: the crowd who follows him everywhere he goes; the crowd who searches for him when he slips away; the crowd who, in just a few chapters, will arrest him and call for Barabbas’ release and Jesus’ own death.

This motley crew of tax collectors and prostitutes, blind men and bleeding women, the least and the lost and the lonely … this is Jesus’ family. This is his inner circle, the ones who are doing the will of God.

And this is where the story stops being about family as we think about it and becomes about the church.

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June 5, 2018 @ 2:21 am

06.03.18 Sabbath Rest


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In this podcast

1. Prayer of Illumination 

2. Old Testament reading  1 Samuel 3:1-10 

3. The Psalter  Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17 

4. Epistle reading  2 Corinthians 4:5-12 

5. Anthem  "My Faith Looks Up to Thee"  (Text by Ray Palmer, Tune by Lowell Mason, Setting by Dale Wood) 
    Soloist: Mary Baughman 

6. Gospel reading  Mark 2:23-3:6

7. The Sermon "Sabbath Rest" 


Sermon excerpt: 

“Sabbath is a way of living, not a thing to have or a list to complete.

“The best way to keep sabbath is to slow down. It is to wash the dishes slowly, not frantically. It is to dress slowly, not haphazardly. It is to sweep the floor before leaving for work slowly, not anxiously. It is to be where we are now when we are there, rather than letting our time be invaded by where we are supposed to be next.”

[1] Donna Schaper, "Sabbath Keeping," p. 8.

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June 1, 2018 @ 7:09 pm

05.27.18 In Isaiah’s Shoes (Trinity Sunday)


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In this podcast: 

1. Prayer of Illumination (read by graduating senior Anne Marie Raies) 

2. Epistle reading  Romans 8:12-17 

3. The Psalter  Psalm 29:1-11 

4. Gospel reading  John 3:1-17 

5. Anthem  "Here I Am, Lord"  (Daniel Schutte / Setting by Malcolm Archer) 

6. Old Testament reading  Isaiah 6:1-8

7. The sermon "In Isaiah's Shoes" 


Sermon excerpt: 

You tremble because you are horrified at your sinfulness in the presence of God’s holiness.

Will God cast you into the pit of hell?

Will he strike you down?

Will the seraphs carry you away?  

How can you possibly remain in this place?

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May 21, 2018 @ 7:42 pm

05.20.18 Irrational Hope (Pentecost)


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In this podcast: 

1. Prayer for Illumination 

2. Epistle reading  Romans 8:22-27 

3. Gospel reading  John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15 

4. Anthem "Gracious Spirit, Dwell with Me"  (K. Lee Scott) 

5. New Testament reading  Acts 2:1-21 

6. Old Testament reading  Ezekiel 37:1-14 (from Eugene Peterson's "The Message" version of the Bible) 

7. Sermon  "Irrational Hope" 


Sermon excerpt: 

“I’ll breathe my life into you,” God says, “and you will live.”

God speaks this promise through Ezekiel to the valley of dry bones, and the lifeless bones are transformed into living, breathing bodies.

God speaks this promise through the Holy Spirit to the disciples, and the church – the body of Christ on earth – is born.  

And on this day of Pentecost, God again speaks this promise of the breath of life and irrational hope to us.

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May 15, 2018 @ 2:48 am

05.13.18 Power for a Fragile Community (Ascension)


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In this podcast: 

1. The Psalter  Psalm 47 

2. Anthem  "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked"  (Words by Daniel S. Twohig; Music by Geoffrey O'Hara)
Dr. Stanley Workman, Jr., Tenor; Justin Wiget, Pianist 

3. New Testament Lesson  Acts 1:1-11 

4. Epistle  1 John 5:9-13

5. Sermon "Power for a Fragile Community 


Sermon excerpt 

Sometimes in midst of our fearfulness, when we are overwhelmed by how hard it is to be the church, we end up looking a lot like those disciples who stood there watching Jesus disappear into the clouds, I’m guessing with their mouths hanging open and a bewildered look on their faces.

For us, celebrating the Ascension means going from the “place where we gaze into the clouds to the places where the world needs Christ. We are called to be the hands, feet, eyes, and voice of Christ to the ends of the earth” as we witness to the good news of Jesus Christ, our risen and Ascended Lord, who is now our Advocate, Intercessor, and our biggest fan sitting at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.[1]


[1] Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 2. Acts 11, Pastoral Perspective, Peterson-Davis, Kindle Locations 17646-17655.

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May 15, 2018 @ 2:35 am

04.29.18 The Heart of Life (series on 1 John)


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In this podcast: 

1. Prayer of Illumination 

2. First reading  Acts 8:26-40 

3. The Psalter  Psalm 98 

4. Gospel reading  John 15:1-8 

5. Anthem "O Love" (Words: George Matheson, Musical setting: Elaine Hagenbert) 

6. Epistle  1 John 4:7-21

7. Sermon  "The Heart of Life" 

8. Offertory "Day by Day" sung by the Second Pres Choral Scholars (from the musical, "Godspell") 


Sermon excerpt 

It is easy for us to love those who love us in return. It is easy for us to love those who are like us: who value the same characteristics, who believe in the same principles, who like the same pizza toppings or flavors of Ben and Jerry’s that we do.

But we are commanded to love the one who is unloving, angry, and hurtful because that is who we were to God first.

Only when we love an unlovable person do we see for ourselves what God-as-love is really like. When the love of God flows through us and transforms another life, changing that unloving person into someone who also has been born anew of love, then we know God.[1]

Our love for others should follow the same pattern as God’s love for us. Like God, we are to love the one who is unlovely and unresponsive.


[1] Feasting on the Word, Year B, Volume 2, Kindle Locations 16390-16394.

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April 26, 2018 @ 5:18 am

04.22.18 What is Love? (series on 1 John)


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(NOTE: I had some technical issues so what you're about to listen to is a "Frankenstein" podcast: I re-recorded the sermon and added in the audio from the choir singing the anthem!) 


In this sermon podcast: 

1. Prayer of Illumination

2. New Testament reading  Acts 4:5-12

3. The Psalter & Anthem of the day: "Psalm 23 - The Lord is My Shepherd" (Howard Goodall)

4. Gospel reading  John 10:11-18

5. Epistle reading  1 John 3:16-24

6. Sermon "What is Love?" 


Sermon excerpt: 

In every age, with Christlike love, believers have gone where they did not have to go and suffered what they could have easily avoided.

"Laying down our lives is to lay aside our claim to our own lives for the sake of others. We lay down our lives when we put others first. We lay down our lives when we live for the good of others. We lay down our lives when we make time for others.[i]

To love others is to lay down our lives for them. When we lay down the completely normal human desire to live only for ourselves, and instead allow the love of God to reorient us toward the needs of others, we discover we are doing exactly what 1 John 3:16 is telling us to do without even thinking about it.  

[i] Feasting on the World, Year B, Volume 2, Kindle Locations 15555-15560.

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Allison Bauer Sermons
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