Velda Rose United Methodist Church
5540 East Main Street Mesa AZ 85205
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Scripture: * Habakkuk 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52
Sermon Title: “Are You Walking in Faith?”
The story of Habakkuk is anything but bland! He struggles with a genuine moral issue: “Why do the righteous suffer?” He also has another complaint about God: “Why is it taking him so long to take care of the problem?” He goes to the watchtower, takes his questions to God, and waits for some answers. He essentially puts God on trial over this issue of justice. The prophet needs to be applauded because he takes the time to seek God’s response, rather than sinking into the extremes of aggression or apathy. In the end, Habakkuk gets his answer: “The just shall live by his faith.” The prophet learned that faith is steadfast trust in God, but it is not blind concession to an uncaring and immovable deity. He is challenged to trust in God’s providential care for his people, and to remember that God journeys with his people in the good and the bad times. God does the same for us!
Sunday, November 4, 2018 All Saints Sunday / Communion Sunday
Scripture: *Jeremiah 15:15-21; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Matthew 5:1-12
Sermon Title: “What Do You Do When Faith Dies?”
The legacy of the great saints of the Church of God is impressive and filled with stories of inspiration and hope. We can also say the same of those saints that we remember today who have graced our lives with their love and encouragement. However, a closer look at the lives of many saints brings us to a deeper and more compassionate understanding of their struggles and challenges. Whether it is an Old Testament hero such as Jeremiah, or a contemporary saint such as Mother Teresa, we learn that answering God’s call to service can often be a perilous journey. Frustration, heartbreak, and rejection are all too often part of their journey. In this message, we will explore the life of Mother Teresa. She speaks of her own “spiritual dryness, darkness, and loneliness.” If you want to be inspired by a great saint who struggled with the core of our humanity, don’t miss this message!
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Rev. Pamela Wagner, Preaching
Scriptures: Psalm 121 & John 3:11-17
Sermon: The List
Most of us these days have to keep lists in order to keep our lives in order. There are shopping lists, lists of where our valuables are kept, lists delineating our medicines, and honey-do lists. But there is one list that is longer, deeper, and wider than all of our lists put together—and much more important, too.
Sunday, November 18, 2018 Thanksgiving Sunday
Scripture: * Psalm 46; Luke 23:33-43
Sermon Title: “What Is Your Jerusalem?”
On this Thanksgiving Sunday it is appropriate to reflect on the words of Psalm 46. The writer says “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea” (Psalm 46:1-2). This psalm may have originally been used in the liturgy of the temple. Jerusalem had narrowly avoided destruction by the Assyrians in 701 B.C.E. Avoiding that outcome served to legitimate the political and religious mentality that Jerusalem and the temple were divinely and unconditionally protected. That view would ultimately prove to be a fatal belief for Jerusalem. Hard lessons were coming for God’s people! Yet the deep truth is that God is our “refuge and strength” when we align our will with his purposes. Why are we thankful today? Because no matter what is happening in our lives on a daily basis, we can trust God. In the midst of life and death, trouble and uncertainty, absolutely nothing can separate us from God’s love in Jesus.
Thursday, November 22, 2018 Thanksgiving Day
Scripture Lesson: Ephesians 5:15-20; Luke 17:11-19
Sermon Title: “How About a Costly Thanksgiving?”
The meaning of gratitude can be as varied as the twisting streams that run from a great river. Many would argue that genuine “thanksgiving” is born in the crucible of early life. We learn to be thankful. Genuine gratitude does something else: it forces us to recognize disparity! It is an attitude, not a holiday, and it comes from the deep recognition that our blessings have not come simply because of our hard work, goodness, or worthiness. If not careful, thankfulness can become an insidious form of pride! We can end up sounding like the Pharisees, “Lord, thank you that I am not like other people, especially like this tax collector over here.” Thanksgiving is also about recognizing all that God has done for us. We enjoy the gifts of material and immaterial blessings, but also there is the supreme gift of God’s grace, the gift that comes with great cost, one which we need to deeply understand.