Sermons by Rev. Dr. Rod Kennedy

110 of 38 items

August 6, 2017: “Selling Out or Standing Up”

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Genesis 37:1-4, 45:1-3, Daniel 1:8-9 The biblical narrative preserves two opinions about Joseph: one that he is God’s man and all he does is directed by God; the other that he is a sellout to Pharaoh.  That the authors/scribes/editors of the Bible preserve our mistakes and atrocities along with     our insights and moral victories indicates […]

July 30, 2017: “A Mustard Seed Faith Is Enough”

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I have a scientific analogy for you.  The smallest seed may be compared to a cell.  Kenneth Miller, Brown University cell       biologist, reminds us, “The cell is the smallest unit of an organism that is truly alive.  The cell is the level of organization where life truly begins.” From a seed a mighty tree. From […]

July 23, 2017: “Long Live the Weeds”

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Our story is about weeds found in the garden of God.  Religious faith always has existed with the tendency to throw people out of the garden of God. We seem almost embarrassed to allow people into our “paradise.” How odd of us religious types. To start our mental engagement with the story, let me offer […]

July 16, 2017: “A Generous God”

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Why did Jesus tell parables?  Here’s a clue: “The kingdom of God is like.”  The parables deal with one basic question: What is God like?  Everyone has opinions about God.  Even the atheists write books describing the God in whom they don’t believe.  Conservative evangelicals fill the television and the media outlets with their version […]

July 9, 2017: “Are American Christians Persecuted?”

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Jesus says, “Blessed are the persecuted.” Anyone here saying, “I got to get me some of that?” Do you believe Christians are being persecuted in America? Conspiracy theories are a growth industry in America. To paraphrase Kurt Cobain, of the rockband Nirvana, “Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.” But let […]

July 2, 2017: “Everybody’s A Critic”

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Jesus offers cultural critique: “But to what will I compare this generation?”  Culture critique is a growth industry in America.  From scholarly tomes to barbershop chatter to garden variety Baptist preachers, everybody knows exactly what is wrong with America.  The woods are full of critics.  They multiply like rabbits on Noah’s mythical ark.  Rush rumbling […]

June 25, 2017: “Imagining the Church”

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“Communities are to be distinguished,” says Benedict Anderson, “by the style in which they are imagined.” The church is an imagined community. It is constituted in specific ways through the meanings it has been given over time by those who were here before us. What kind of church has our historical, corporate imagination produced over […]

June 18, 2017: “Excel in Empathy”

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II Corinthians 8:7-15 I haven’t come for your money. Nor will I promise you that God will make you wealthy if you write a check. I watched a television evangelist giving advice to people with too much credit card debt. He suggested that people pick up the phone and use the one credit card they […]

June 4, 2017: “Pentecost for Introverts”

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Nothing frightens good Baptists like Acts 2. The story of the day of Pentecost is so loud, so passionate, so emotional. All of it makes us very uncomfortable. If we hang around Acts 2 very long, we will start to suspect that the Pentecostals are right. But by and large, we are a timid, quiet, […]

May 21, 2017: “Proclaiming God”

Paul stood in front of the Areopagus. This means he faced the collective array of Greek philosophers in the most famous of all Greek courtrooms.  He attempts to take the hill against the embedded wisdom of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.  That he starts carefully and with real rhetorical skill should come as no surprise.  Paul was […]