Sermons & Worship by Rev. Louise Barger

Reverend Dr. Louise Barger is our Transitional Minister, who is helping the church prepare to call a new settled pastor.

Well-Placed Hope

Scriptures: Lamentations 3:19-24; Psalm 33:1-4; Romans 5:1-5 There is a familiar saying, “What was old is new again.” Today’s text from Lamentations is old, about the result of the destruction of Jerusalem and Judah as a whole by Babylon, and it is new again as we witness the war and devastation in this present day. We have already talked about the return and the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem, but we must not forget what the people lived through…

A Mind to Work

Scriptures: Nehemiah 1:1-4; 2:1-6; 4:6; Psalm 137:1-6; Acts 13:1-3 The Classified Ad might have read: Position open for structural engineer to design and oversee construction of a protective wall, including sturdy gates that cannot be breached by intruders, around the city of Jerusalem. Local laborers are available but will need to be trained since none of them have any experience in wall construction. Materials for construction will include stone and timber. Stone is available locally, but timber will need to…

Ritual or Righteousness

Scriptures: Isaiah 58:1-12; Psalm 146:8-10; Luke 10:30-37 Rituals: we all have them, don’t we? Some are the simple things that we do every day, like Getting up at the same time every morning, Having that first cup of coffee before we make any decisions, Having a favorite newscast to watch, Putting on shoes in the same order, Having a routine for who does what around the house. Some rituals are a little more complex. Perhaps in no other area of…

A Place of Peace

Scriptures: Isaiah 26:1-4; Psalm 34:1-18; John 14:2-27 Isaiah describes a people who are invited to enter a strong and secure city; a place of safety and a place of peace.  The inhabitants of the city will be a righteous people, a people who remains faithful to God, a people that has placed its trust in the one true living God. Isaiah records for us a hymn of praise that the people will sing as they enter the city of the…

Such As I Have

Scriptures: Isaiah 58:10-11; Psalm 5:1-3; Acts 3:1-10 The account that was read from the Acts of the Apostles this morning is an account of commitment and prayer and compassion. All of those things resulted in the miraculous healing of a man who had never walked for 40 years, not since the day of his birth. It was three o’clock the hour of afternoon prayer at the Temple. Everyone of Jewish heritage was expected to pray three times a day, once…

A Little Flour; A Little Oil

Scriptures: 1 Kings 17:8-16; Proverbs 3:13-14; Luke 7:11-17 When you first hear the story this woman of great trust who provided for a stranger some water and took what she thought to be her last flour and oil to make some bread for him to eat, you may think it is a strange story for Father’s Day. But fear not, the person in this story who will be the central figure this morning is Elijah. Few individuals have made as…

Beginnings

Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-3; Psalm 8; Acts 2:42-47 How do you make decisions? Are you a person who usually intuits how things are going to work out and you make a plan for action? Maybe you are a person who has a difficult time making a decision because you feel that you never have enough information to make a good decision. Maybe you are a person who doesn’t like the responsibility and the accountability for making decisions. A student once told…

The Birth of the Church

Scriptures: Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 28:16-20 It was the Festival of Shavuot, the Festival of First Fruits, an agricultural celebration on the Jewish calendar. It marked the end of the barley harvest and the beginning of the wheat harvest. It was a celebration that was commanded by God. Turn in your pew Bible to page 66 and follow along as I read. “Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to Me. You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened…

A Commissioning Event

Scriptures: Isaiah 52:7; Matthew 28:16-20 Today we heard read from the Gospel of Matthew the account of the ascension of Jesus into heaven. All of the Gospels either describe the event or refer to it. Throughout the Epistles we can read references to the ascension of Jesus. Jesus made arrangements to meet the disciples in Bethany on the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. Let’s go and join them. The Mount of Olives, so called because it was the location of…

What is That in Your Hand?

Scriptures: Exodus 3:9-12; Romans 12:1-13 Most of us have had some wonderful surprises in our lives, but I think that none of us has ever experienced a surprise of the magnitude that confronted Moses as he tended the sheep in the land of Midian. Moses had long ago fled Egypt. He became a fugitive because he chose to identify with his heritage, the Hebrew people. Day after day Moses saw the Hebrews enslaved and brutalized by the Egyptians, and on…