• Lest We Think We Can Limit the Love of God, Old First Sermon 01.25.15

    Jonah 3:1-5, 10 and Mark 1:14-20 (and Theo’s baptism) I always thought my love of the story of Jonah was it’s being one of Holy Scripture’s more inclusive ,universalist chapters. Like the Book of Ruth insisting King David’s grandmother was not an Jew, but a Moabite,  …you almost have to wonder how these kinds of stories [...]

  • “Yes” to Stepping Out, Old First Sermon 01.18.15

    1 Samuel 3:1-10 and John 1: 45-53 When I was a young man, my father-in-law, David, told me about a man he knew growing up in Brooklyn. The occasion of his sharing the story was my choosing to apply to a Ph.D. program in Religion. And, as I retell the story today, I smile, thinking [...]

  • Magnifying a Pregnant Moment

    Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 and Luke 1:46b-55. Early last the week, when I titled the sermon, I came up with “Magnificat for a Pregnant Moment,” a take-off on an article I read in the Huffington Post a few years ago. Having prepared the sermon; now ready to preach it, It occurs to me, “Magnifying a [...]

  • The Community Is Made Up of Many Lifetimes, Old First Sermon 10.26.14

    Here’s the insight of leaders who shadows are long enough to reach into the Promised Land.
    It’s almost counterintuitive, but in Moses’ and Martin’s sight, It’s far easier to lay your life down when it’s been full and you feel you’ve used it well, done something important with it, contributed what you could. It’s only when we haven’t gotten much done, that we get sort of desperate for more time and another chance…

  • Fashioning a Place Where People Can Meet God

    Exodus 25:1-9 and Exodus 40:33-38 and John 1:10-18. As I put the sign out on the bulletin board with this week’s sermon title on it, a man I didn’t know, looking over my shoulder, said: “Excuse me, but God doesn’t need you all to make a place for Him to meet people.” I responded, “I [...]

  • Courageously Seeking Reconciliaton (or Jesus’ Approach to Life and Ours), Old First Sermon 09.07.14.

    Shouldn’t we start to embody some of the tenacity and grace God’s show us? Or are we just going to keep denying our problems, nursing our hurts, picking our scabs and adding to our resentments like scars we’re proud of? Honestly answering those two questions, might be where the two different paths — how Jesus invites us to walk and how we mislead ourselves — start to diverge.

  • ‘our own’ Seminary Student, Haeman Hong-Shin preaches this Sunday (08.31)

    Haeman currently studies at New York Theological Seminary and helps in the church office and at Old First’s Saturday Morning Cupboard.    This Sunday, he will be our guest preacher. His sermon is titled, “Standing Together.” He will show how Christian’s  have the obligation to speak out about the injustices of the world by putting love [...]

  • ‘Our own’ Old Testament Prof. Preaches this Sun., 08.24

    Bob Robinson is known at Old First as, well, Bob. But each Advent we get to see another side of him… how his vocation has played out as a Lutheran Theological Seminary’s Anna Burkhalter Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. We see this side of him as he leads the well-loved Advent Bible Study during [...]

  • A Tenacious Woman, an O.F. Insider, our Guest Preacher on 08.17

    Michael asked Geneva for a teaser to let you know 1) that she’s the preacher this coming Sunday, Aug. 17, and 2) what she will be preaching about. Her response was: “Sunday’s sermon will be about a tenacious woman, an outsider to the Jewish faith, who taught Jesus an important lesson. Is this enough…” Michael [...]

  • Rev. P. McDougal, first of our series of guests

    (Michael is away for a few weeks — trying to squeeze in his vacation now, because with a busy fall full of the capital campaign, it’s now or never.) During that time, he’s lined up guest E-pistle-ists and preachers. Enjoy the change in voices, and thank each one for helping out! Michael sure does!) This [...]