Author Archives: admin

Awe & Wonder (Psalm 29)

‘Strength and peace is the prayer of the Psalm this week. In Psalm 29, the Psalmist says “let me count the ways” that we can know the strength of the Holy One. With awe and wonder we behold the presence of God in all the elements of creation–water, fire, air, earth. And it is this glory that assures us that God, indeed, is holding our lives.’

peace, Ernie

These Lives Are Precious (Psalm 72)

Last week we saw that the Magi were warned by God not to return to King Herod, because he was bad king and not to be trusted. So it is fitting that we begin our Epiphany series on the Psalms, God Is Holding Your Life: a journey of assurance for the New Year, with Psalm 72.  Scholars believe that Psalm 72 was written for and recited at the coronation of the kings of ancient Israel.  Now “we do not live in a land ruled by Kings, as the hearers of this first Psalm of this series did.  Nevertheless, the petitions of the psalmist for justice, deliverance, defense of the poor and oppressed, and peace for all peoples is an undergirding theme of our faith.  We are reminded that a just society is one that proclaims “these lives are precious” and worthy of protection.  God, indeed, is hold our lives.  Let this be our “epiphany” in this new year.”  To listen to this message, just click on These Lives Are Precious

peace, Ernie

p.s. Due to the surge of covid cases from the Omicron variant, Contra Costa County continues to mandate masks for all indoor gatherings, even for fully vaccinated people. 

2022 Epiphany Sermon Series: God Is Holding Your Life 

January 16 – These Lives Are Precious (Ps 72)

January 23 – Awe and Wonder (Ps 29)

January 30 – Where Can I Go? (Ps 139)

February 6 – In God Alone (Ps 62)

February 13 – Whole Heart Hallelujah (Ps 111) 

February 20 – We Wait, We Hope, We Stay (Ps 147)

February 27 – The One Is Shining Forth (Psalm 50)

 

Home By Another Way

On this coming Epiphany Sunday, we will again ponder the story found in Matthew 2:1-12 of the mysterious Magi from the East who followed a star to Bethlehem to see and worship the child born “King of the Jews.”  This year I want to highlight the last verse of the story, “having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they (the Magi) left for their own country by another road.”  This verse caught the eye of musicians James Taylor and Timothy Mayer, and they wrote a song about it that I will share with you titled, Home By Another Way.   May God lead us away from the ways of the murderous King Herod, and others like him, to travel on the way of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.

peace, Ernie

To listen to this message, click on 1-9-22 Home By Another Way

p.s. Due to rising covid case rates from the Omicron variant, Contra Costa County is now mandating masks for all indoor gatherings, even for fully vaccinated people.

A BLESSING FOR 2022

This Sunday, January 2, we will begin the new year reflecting on what it means to be blessed by God and how we can be a blessing to others.  My message is titled, A Blessing For 2022.  Our scripture passages are Numbers 6:24-26 and Romans 12:14-21.  

peace, Ernie

p.s. Due to rising covid case rates from the Omicron variant, Contra Costa County is now mandating masks for all indoor gatherings, even for fully vaccinated people.   

To listen to today’s message, click on A Blessing for 2022

A REASON FOR JOY – Advent 4

On this 4th Sunday of Advent, we will hear from Itzhak, a young shepherd, who, while out in the fields watching the sheep, encountered a divine messenger who announced, “Don’t be afraid.  I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem!” (Luke 2:10-11, TLB).  We will ponder the precious gift of joy, which comes to us unexpectedly, sometimes even in the midst of challenging and difficult times.  And we will have lots of special music provided by The Piedmont Brass Quintet.  May you experience many blessed moments of joy this Christmas season, and in the years ahead.

Peace, Ernie 

To listen to my message, click on A Reason For Joy

LOVE CAME DOWN -Advent 3

On this third Sunday of Advent, we will hear from another special guest, Tamar, the innkeeper’s wife, who shares how she helped with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem (Luke 2).  She will light a candle for the love she experienced at this very special birth.  In Jesus love came down at Christmas, love that saves us all.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Love Came Down

We will be having our traditional candlelight service Christmas Eve at 7pm.  Invite your friends and neighbors

GUIDE US IN THE WAY OF PEACE – Advent 2

On the second Sunday of Advent our special guest will be Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.  She will share her story with us and will light a candle for peace.  You are invited to read her family’s story in Luke 1:5-25, 57-79.  My message, based on Luke 1:79, asks God to Guide Us in the Way of Peace.

peace, Ernie

To listen to my message, click on Guide Us In The Way of Peace

Hope for Stumps – Advent 1

On the first Sunday of Advent, the prophet Isaiah will speak to us and light a candle for hope.  He begins his prophecy,  “A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”  And he continues with a description of what God’s Christ will do, for us and for the world.  I invite you to read and ponder the whole prophecy found in Isaiah 11:1-10.  My message on his message is titled, Hope for Stumps.  After the last year and half, we all need some hope that God can bring new life out of seemingly dead stumps.

peace, Ernie

p.s. Thanks to those who decorated our sanctuary last Sunday afternoon for our celebration of the season of Advent and Christmas by hanging greens, lights and wreaths.

To listen to my message, click on Hope for Stumps

STEWARDS IN AUTUMN

The season we are in, Autumn, has much to teach us about our stewardship of the gifts and purposes of God. In nature, here in North America, Autumn is the season of shortening and cooler days, and leaves turning brilliant colors before they fall to the ground. In agriculture, it is the primary season of harvesting the crops that nourish us. In our communal lives, it is a season of Thanksgiving, of making pledges for the coming year, and of Advent preparations for the birth of Christ.  In sum, from Autumn we learn about letting go and gathering in with gratitude, expectation, and hope.  This Sunday, God willing, we will dedicate our pledges and celebrate a baptism.  So come ye thankful people come, raise the song of harvest home.  To listen to this week’s message, click on Stewards in Autumn.

peace, Ernie

p.s. Various scriptures for this Sunday are: Jeremiah 5:20-25, Romans 6:1-4, and Galatians 6:9-10.