This Sunday Pastor Matt Johnson reminded the congregation, in this season of Epiphany, that Epiphany “refers to someone becoming aware of God’s presence in a unique way.” In the gospel story Jesus tells Peter to catch fish. Peter and his partners pull in a huge catch! Then the disciples leave everything to follow Jesus. Matt said Jesus’ primary call is discipleship. Matt then reminded the congregation that next Sunday is Testimony Sunday. He encouraged people to tell stories during that service of ways their lives, the church or the world have been changed according to God’s work in the past years.
This is the blog which contains the worship sermons for First Presbyterian Church McMinnville, Oregon done each Sunday at 9:30 am. This blog is posted to every Monday on a weekly basis.
Pastor Matt Johnson opened this Sunday’s sermon with the concept of group identity. He noted that Christians have a powerful identity as one body held together by one spirit. Pastor Matt concluded, however, that even though it’s human nature to focus on our own agendas, that our focus needs to be on Jesus and why he came into the world. Do you know what it is to follow Jesus?
This Sunday Pastor Matt Johnson spoke to the congregation about the gospel of Luke being primarily about salvation in the here and now. Then Pastor Matt read the story, from Luke, of Jesus being accidentally left in the temple in Jerusalem when he was only 12 years old. Jesus, though, felt he was where he should of been because he stayed to learn and form relationships with the teachers of the law. Matt suggested to us a goal for this new year – to grow in God’s calling in our lives.
Reverend John Harland preached today because Pastor Matt Johnson was on vacation. John’s sermon was about paying attention to your good dreams. He spoke about word dreams, will dreams and holy dreams. He concluded that we need to pay attention to our good dreams and await the possibilities God has for us in 2015.
Pastor Matt Johnson spoke today about Simeon’s example of waiting for the Messiah. Simeon waited and was led by the Holy Spirit in his waiting. Pastor Matt told us that Advent is primarily about waiting. Matt said that Jesus was the light of revelation to the Gentiles, that God sent Jesus for all people.
On this second Sunday of Advent, Pastor Matt Johnson exclaimed that God is delighted with us! He explained that through Zechariah’s song of salvation, God is singing salvation to you. Matt said salvation is given to us by grace and “it is something we live into.”
On this first Sunday of Advent, Pastor Matt Johnson speaks to us about Mary’s message from God – that she, a virgin, will give birth to a son. Back in Mary’s time, Roman laws were written to disadvantage people of other races and that is still true today, says Matt. However, he tells us that “Advent is Jesus entering our sinful world.”
In this final sermon in the series, Inside Worship, Pastor Matt Johnson speaks about God’s beautifully created world. He says we connect with God when we are out in the world. Pastor Matt reminds us that “worshiping on Sunday morning is not to be forgotten the rest of the week.” Our actions should reflect God’s character, creation, and praise of God.
In this sermon on Justice, Pastor Matt Johnson told the congregation that we can’t fix every injustice in our world, but we can notice them and allow God to empower us to intervene where and when we can. Examples of God’s love making sense in the real world for our congregation are the Community Dinner and a mission that may emerge, such as C-WISH. In such endeavors, we join God in loving others.
This sermon was the sixth in a series, Inside Worship: Lament. Pastor Matt Johnson spoke to the congregation on the importance of public grieving or mourning about what has happened to us in this world. Pastor Matt told us that grief used to be common place but in today’s world there seems to be a phobia attached to lament. However, Matt said we need to be examples to one another and our children, for “lament is a God honoring posture.”
In this sermon, Reverend Matt Johnson spoke about the connection of worship and song. He explained that singing helps connect God with others. Matt said that God wants people to be reconciled to Christ and one another and singing to praise God helps in God’s mission of reconciliation in the world.
In this sermon on prayer in worship, Pastor Matt focused on three points: by nature we are prayerful people, the psalms are tools that lead us into God’s presence to pray and Psalm 95 helps shape us into a certain type of people. Psalm 95 reminds us to pray but also to listen to God and obey him.
Pastor Matt Johnson’s sermon this Sunday was about the importance of God’s word, the scriptures. Scripture challenges out beliefs and gives us a true connection with Jesus, Pastor Matt tells the congregation. He says that God’s word creates a scripture inspired worship and this is the most important aspect of worship in church.
The Reverend John Harland spoke to the congregation in first person, as the character Simon of Cyrene who carried Jesus’ cross. “Simon” taught us that changing from your own desires and going where God leads you is your choice. He asks, “What will be your choice?”
The sermon delivered by Pastor Matt Johnson, was the first in a series about being “Inside Worship.” The message was about community, which Pastor Matt told the congregation was an essential component of worship. Worship is primarily about God, pointed toward Jesus, and all the people Jesus gathers together, without showing favoritism.