Last Week's Sermon
Strangers and Friends
The Reverend Matt Gaventa
A Reading from the Gospel of John: Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip …
Preaching through Exodus
This summer at UPC, we’ve been reading and preaching from Bible stories about church — stories about being God’s people together, finding Jesus together, hearing God’s word from unexpected places, and building a community of God’s love together. I’ve been delighted by the stories we’ve had a chance to hear, but, of course, all good things come to an end, and as summer wanes, we’re turning our attention to another section of scripture: Exodus.
In fact, the normal lectionary cycle for this fall asks us to follow along with the journey of the Israelites as God brings them out of captivity and into the wilderness. It’s a story of desperation and liberation, a story of scarcity and abundance, and, most of all, a story about the covenant between God and God’s people. It’s also a story largely told from the perspective of one man, Moses, whose origin story we will hear when begin this series on Sunday, September 3.
I think these stories will have enormous resonance for us here at UPC as we settle into the oft-repeated routines of the program year, albeit with new faces in our midst. After all, the Exodus story is very much a story of homecoming — even though that Promised Land never quite looks like it’s supposed to look. And as we experience familiar rhythms while also looking at our own new frontiers, my hope is that the Exodus stories will speak powerfully to us, with words of comfort, of challenge, and of courage.
As always, I look forward to listening for God’s word alongside each of you!