In Response to the Racism and Violence of the alt-right in Charlottesville, VA.

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 | Psalm 105: 1-6, 16-22, 45b | Romans 10: 5-15 | Matthew 14:22-33

Jeremy Richards

I want to begin by saying I’m feeling a lot of emotions this morning. What happened in Charlottesville this weekend has shocked and appalled me, and it must be addressed in our sermon this morning. I had a different sermon written 48 hours ago, before I knew about alt-right marches, hate speech, swastikas, homophobic chants, and violence on the other side of our country in Charlottesville, VA. Before a car smashed into protestors, killing at least one person, before driving away.

For the Hearts Still Beating

Philippians 3

Jeremy Richards

The apostle Paul writes to a Philippian church that has come so far, and yet is struggling. It’s losing heart. But he reminds them that they have hearts that are still beating. Throughout this letter Paul keeps saying in so many words, “You’ve come so far. Don’t give up now. Keep fighting. ‘Keep breathing. Keep living. Keep searching. Keep pushing on. Keep bleeding. Keep healing. Keep fading. Keep shining on.”

A Ship Called "Salvation"

Philippians 2:12-30

Jeremy Richards

“You believe in being saved?” Howard asked me on the way to the Durham VA. I had just started interning at a transitional housing development for veterans where Howard was a resident. Before I could say anything, Jimmy, the staff member who was driving said passionately, “Sure I do!”

“Not you, the pastor,” Howard said, and looked at me.

Lenticular Printing, Kenosis, Leo Tolstoy, and Other Pretentious Sounding Stuff

Philippians 2:1-11

Jeremy Richards

There are some passages that are so rich, so foundational to our faith, that to preach on them seems to be an exercise in futility. One simply can’t say all there is to say. This passage is just such a passage. We could spend weeks on vv. 6-11 alone, which is called the “Christ hymn” because scholars believe it was actually a hymn that was sung by the early church before Paul wrote this letter. Which is cool, it shows the connection between art and worship, art and theology. It teaches us that sometimes the best way to know something is to sing it.

What Happened to You?

Philippians 1:12-30

Mitch Chilcott

As Jeremy pointed out last week, Paul’s letter to the Philippians is an intimate one. It’s a letter between friends—partners in ministry—people who are trying their hardest to figure out what it means to live out the gospel in the world. One of the things I like most about Paul’s letters, and particularly the letter of Philippians, is that it shows us a little bit about how people talked to each other back then. In preparation for this sermon, I got interested in certain kinds of phrases that have gone in and out of vogue; phrases that we use to ask each other questions about our lives—to see how things are going.

Between Days

Philippians 1:1-11

Jeremy Richards

As you may have heard, we are beginning a sermon series on the book of Philippians today. I’m really excited about this. As you know, I’m a big fan of the lectionary, but there’s a certain lack of continuity in the lectionary. Sometimes it bounces around from book to book, or even within a book it might not go chronologically. For example, the book of Acts was very prominent during Easter, but large sections were left out, and it didn’t go in order. On the Sixth Sunday of Easter we read from Acts 17, but then on the Seventh Sunday of Easter we read from Acts 1. I’m not saying any of that is bad, but I was wanting, and maybe some of you were wanting, a little more continuity.

Dancing with the Trinity

Genesis 1:1-2:4a | Psalm 8 | 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 | Matthew 28:16-20

Jeremy Richards

So, today is Trinity Sunday, a day that celebrates a core Christian belief. Possibly the most confusing, paradoxical of our beliefs, and also, perhaps, our most distinct: that God is One and yet God is Three. That God is made up of the Parent or the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that these three are somehow distinct and yet they are One. We don’t believe in 3 gods, we believe in one God who is made up of three distinct…persons (it’s not even clear what we should call them)?