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Sermons by Rev. Joan Pell

fearless - fear of the lord

Fear of the Lord

Living a fearless life, is not living without fear; it is having less fear. That’s what that mathematical symbol for less is doing in our sermon series title! Today we are going to concentrate on facing our fears with hope and releasing our cares to God. To do this, we are going to think about what it means to live in ‘fear of the Lord.’ (Matthew 8:23-27)

fearless - fear of a bleak future

Fear of a Bleak Future

Today we are going to think about several different ways that we worry about the future, and what we can do to fear less. There is a time when appropriate to listen to fears as a warning signal; but if we are not careful those fears can also leave us missing out on a better life. (John 5:1-9)

fearless - fear of rejection

Fear of Rejection

Do you ever fear personal failure? Have you ever been told that what you are doing is doomed to fail and that your failure means that you are a loser? The fear of failure and the accompanying shame and stigma is one of the most prevalent human fears. One of the consequences of feeling rejected or our fear of rejection can be loneliness. (Mark 2:1-12)

fearless - fear of the other

Fear of the Other

Today, we are going to think about groups of people that threaten our safety or that we are in some way afraid of. Fear of others can lead to hatred towards them, and hatred can lead us to do some terrible things. This morning’s scripture tells of the first Biblical story of violence and inhumanity towards a fellow human. (Genesis 4:1-9)

fearless - paralyzed by fear

Paralyzed by Fear

Our brains are made a certain way so that we can respond to threats. We call it the fight or flight response. And that is good when there really is a threat. But fear can also be felt about things that likely will never happen. Fear often manifests itself as anxiety and stress, which can in turn lead to heart problems. Fear can be behind depression and addiction and broken relationships. Fear can lead to prejudice and hatred and war. Scripture tells us “Do not fear.” (Numbers 13:1-2, 13:17-14:10)

now is the moment

Now is the Moment

Simeon has been waiting for a Savoir for a long time, and when Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple, and as he holds the baby, he sees something special there. The words Simeon uses to praise God, we know today as the Nunc Dimittis. In the original Greek, the song begins with an emphatic ‘now.’ (Luke 2:21-52)

rise up & follow

Rise Up & Follow

The shepherds were visited by angels, with an amazing and holy message about the good and joyful news of our Savior’s birth and they responded by rising up and going to Bethlehem to see the newborn baby. Clearly something was happening, and the shepherds recognized this and responded. How are we going to respond to Christ this Christmas? Are we going to rise up & follow him? (Luke 2:1-20)

great expectations

Great Expectations

I wonder what it was like for Zechariah to be unable to speak for nine months. What must it have felt like? He has had plenty of time and solitude to contemplate. He has had gestational time. What has God birthed in him? Has his heart mended? Is his faith deeply restored? What renewal has he experienced? (Luke 1:57-80)