Past Sunday Messages

John the Baptist is a colorful character in the Scriptures. More importantly, though, we’ve now jumped ahead 30 years from the time of Herod to see how this Prophet is going to handle the authorities of the day. Matthew 3 : 1 – 12 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert […]

During the time of King Herod – Matthew 2:1-23
July 19, 2020

While the first chapter of Matthew is dedicated to the long-term fulfillment of God’s mission through Jesus Christ, and the full identity of who the Messiah is, the second chapter deals with the wider expression of God’s character to the gentile world that will have to deal with this king who has been born. Matthew […]

From the Holy Spirit – Matthew 1:18-25
July 12, 2020

When Matthew begins his Gospel, he starts with the genealogies and moves quickly into the birth of Jesus. And, without the nostalgia glasses on from December and all of the traditions we surround ourselves with (this message was delivered in July), what kind of new questions can we see Matthew answering in these very familiar […]

The Primer for Matthew – Matthew 1:1-17
July 5, 2020

Hopeland United Methodist Church Sunday Sermons We’re beginning a new series that is examining, verse by verse, the Gospel of Matthew.  The opening of Matthew is almost always associated with the Christmas season, but is that right?  After all, the first words we see when beginning the New Testament are the words of all the […]

The King of More Than Palms
April 5, 2020

(For the context of future listeners, this sermon was delivered during the government’s warnings and mass shutdowns during the COVID-19 Corona Virus pandemic.  Hopeland was closed for Palm Sunday.) Jesus’ march into Jerusalem is a march of a king coming in to claim the capital city and even declaring victory over war.  And, Palm Sunday […]

Sixth Commandment: A Life Taken
February 16, 2020

The sixth commandment, “Thou shalt not murder,” is one that our society pretty reasonably understands.  Murder is not something that has in general never been smiled upon by societies.  So why did God put this here, if it seems so common?  And how does this basic tenet of decency relate to the Ten Commandments as […]

Third Commandment: Do Not Misuse the Name of God
January 26, 2020

The name of God is a holy focus.  Jesus’ words about how to pray, and using the word “hallowed,” tells us to take his name seriously.  But, why is God so hung up about his name? Matthew 6:9-15 “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your […]

Herod the Great
December 15, 2019

Herod is most famously known as the man responsible for an event we now call the “Massacre of the Innocents” or “Slaughter of the Innocents.”  But there is so much more implied in Matthew’s narrative, and Matthew is invoking Herod’s name to make a larger point that is going to be a theme throughout his […]

The Forgotten Ones
December 3, 2019

The names that Matthew lists in Jesus’ genealogy at the beginning of his Gospel aren’t at the top of anyone’s list of excitement.  What Matthew is showing, however, through all of the struggles of Israel, is that there was never a time that God wasn’t in control. Matthew 1:1-17 A record of the genealogy of […]

The Seven Deadly Sins: Pride
September 8, 2019

Matthew 27:11-26 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing […]