Sermons

Sermons of the Second Congregational Church of Winchester, MA

Guest Preacher: The Rev. Lucy Sanders 11/11/18 (Veterans Day; Proper 28B)

Guest Preacher: The Rev. Lucy Sanders 11/11/18 (Veterans Day; Proper 28B)

Our guest minister today is Rev. Lucy Sanders. She is a retired healthcare chaplain, having served at The University of Virginia Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital and Sherrill House, the skilled nursing facility in Jamaica Plain. She was raised and ordained a Southern Baptist minister by her home church, First Baptist […]

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The Distant Triumph Song 11/04/18 (All Saints Sunday)

The Distant Triumph Song 11/04/18 (All Saints Sunday)

It isn’t instant. We cannot rush to joy. We can’t just hurry up and move on. Grief must run its course – even grief that is for the enormity of the world’s pain. And it takes as long as it takes. But Jesus will sit with us while we cry and rage and shake.

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The Spotting Discipline 10/28/18 (Proper 25B, Reformation Sunday)

The Spotting Discipline 10/28/18 (Proper 25B, Reformation Sunday)

Spotting involves staring at a fixed point while the body is turning to prevent dizziness and maintain balance. The dancer finds a focal point and stares at it for as long as possible, keeping the head level and facing that point while the body turns. At the last possible second, the dancer whips her head around to catch up with her body, returning her gaze immediately to the focal point. This gives her body’s visual and vestibular systems a way to know where her body is in space. The discipline of spotting is to find that one steady, immovable spot and keep your eyes fixed on it no matter what.

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The Just Peace Players present: Women of the Greatest Generation 10/21/18

The Just Peace Players present: Women of the Greatest Generation 10/21/18

Women of the Greatest Generation tells the stories of women’s lives during WW II in their own words. The Just Peace Players have interviewed more that 75 women from all walks of life and from different areas in the United States. Their stories are shared in three books and The Players are in the process of publishing a fourth book.

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Sacrifice and Salvation 10/14/18 (Proper 23B)

Sacrifice and Salvation 10/14/18 (Proper 23B)

I need to start out by saying this: today’s passage from the Gospel of Mark is jam-packed with details and ideas and lessons. There’s no way on earth that I can address them all in the span of one sermon. So I’ve picked out a few ideas to talk about, and in three years when this passage comes up again, maybe I’ll pick out some different ones. Or maybe I’ll return to one of these ideas and explore it more fully…

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On Notice 10/07/18 (Proper 22B)

On Notice 10/07/18 (Proper 22B)

I’m grateful that the Book of Job made it into the canon when the Bible was being put together. I’m glad to have a place to turn to that says, “yes, sometimes we suffer horribly. And no, we aren’t always at fault. Sometimes we really don’t ‘deserve’ what happens to us or our loved ones.” But I’m less comfortable with this: Job’s tragedies seem to come about because of a conversation – no, more than that: a bet – between God and Satan.

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For Such a Time as This 09/30/18 (Proper 21B)

For Such a Time as This 09/30/18 (Proper 21B)

I’ve been waiting a long time to tell my story.
My story only shows up one time in your three-year cycle of readings.
In my tradition, in Judaism as it is practiced here and now in your time,
my story comes up every single year on the festival of Purim.
But you all have to wait three years to hear from me,
and sometimes you don’t even hear me that often.
Oh, me? I’m Esther. Queen Esther. Sorry. I should have started there.

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A Vulnerable Heart 09/23/18 (Proper 20B)

A Vulnerable Heart 09/23/18 (Proper 20B)

The way to welcome God is to welcome the most vulnerable in society – specifically, in this illustration, children. Throughout the Gospel, both before and after this episode, we will hear of the other vulnerable ones we are meant to embrace: the sick, the dying, the poor, the socially unacceptable and ritually impure, the outsider, the foreigner, the refugee.

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Peter’s Confession 09/16/18 (Proper 19B)

Peter’s Confession 09/16/18 (Proper 19B)

To us, more than 20 centuries later, Peter’s confession is spot-on. It makes perfect sense. But that is only because we know how the story turns out. Back then, however, Peter really had no reason to call Jesus Messiah, or Christ. It’s not a terrible stretch to argue that Jesus has demonstrated that he walks in the lines of the prophets, but he definitely hasn’t done anything that would suggest that he’s the long-awaited Messiah.

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Going the Distance 09/09/18 (Proper 18B)

Going the Distance 09/09/18 (Proper 18B)

We might expect Jesus to promptly consent to heal the woman’s daughter. After all, that’s what he’s been doing for the last 6 chapters – taking care of people in need! But no. Maybe he’s tired from that long walk. Or he’s grumpy from not getting enough to eat. Or he’s still worn out from all of the ministry he’d been doing before he got to Tyre and is frustrated that he still hasn’t had a moment of quiet all to himself. Maybe the disciples wouldn’t stop talking or arguing or singing as they walked all those miles and he has a headache. Or maybe he is, like Alexander in the children’s story, just having a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.” We don’t know why, we just know what: he says to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”

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