The heart of Collingswood Presbyterian Church is our worship. We exist to build and nurture a community that embraces Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Everything we do springs from our worship because worship both renews us and empowers us to go out into the world to witness to the Lord in all we say and do.
In the Presbyterian tradition, the sermon is an essential part of worship. Typically 20 minutes or so in length, the sermon reflects the preacher’s prayerful and studious understanding of each week’s scripture. Preachers may spend 8 hours or longer preparing the sermon. They try to understand the historical background of when the passage was first written as well as contextual clues provided by the passages before and after. At times, it is useful to read the passages in their original language of Greek or Hebrew. Preachers often consult commentators, scholars who research the Bible to provide further insights.
All this is to say that the sermon is not the opinion of one person or something that just emerges suddenly. Rather it is the culmination of a process that will transform listeners by making the ancient texts apply to their reality.
There are many ways to present or form a sermon. These may include telling the story from an individual’s point of view or making an argument based on the historical situation presented in the text.
Each passage of scripture has many truths to tell. However, the preacher can usually speak about one. The focus is that particular section or even word from the passage that unlocks its meaning.
A sermon is not a speech. Its goal is not informative but transformative. The essential function of the sermon is to refresh and renew listeners spiritually, thus empowering them to reenter the world knowing God is with us. Immanuel!
1-19-20 Chosen – What does it mean to be chosen by God? When Israel was at their very lowest, the prophet Isaiah told them that they were and remained chosen by God to be the light to the world. Sometimes, we may feel that we are at our lowest. Do not fear, God still loves us and God still chooses us.
1-12-20 God with Us – Jesus was baptized. So what? We explore the meaning of the sacrament of baptism in our own lives and the significance of Jesus getting baptized just like us. Emmanuel! God with Us.
1-5-20 The Power of Visions – Throughout the Bible, women and men of courage have heard the voice God in many forms and have taken world changing action. God is still speaking to us today and with faith, we can hear God, obey God, and thereby change the world!
12-24-19 What Child is This? – Who is Jesus Christ? Why could a baby born to poor parents in an obscure village still influence the world today? How? by turning the way we think about the world upside down.
12-15-19 Are You the One?– We find John the Baptizer in prison, questioning whether he wasted his life proclaiming the wrong Messiah. So he asks Jesus if he is the one. The answer is surprising.
12-8-19 Glimpses of the Future– John the Baptizer begins his ministry announcing the arrival of Jesus. He calls all of us sinners who need to repent and accept God’s forgiveness — then put it into action.
12-1-19 Wake Up! – The arrival of Jesus was totally unexpected. Yet Jesus continues to come to us, often at the times when He is totally unexpected yet most needed.
11-24-19 In Paradise – The Christian Year concludes with Jesus dying on a cross, a loser by the world’s standards. Yet even in death, Jesus forgives the people who put him there. Is that what losers do, or winners?
11-17-19 By Your Endurance – Our worlds may shatter at any time, not just once, but many times in our lives. The suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus gives us the faith to endure even the worst.
10-27-19 The Blessed Life – What does it mean to live a truly blessed life. Hint: it’s not what you think.
10-20-19 Justice Rising – Jesus discusses what He means by praying constantly.
10-13-19 Exceeding Expectations – Jesus answers the main question about faith: quantity or quality
10-6-19 The Victory of the Last – Contrary to the ways of this world, Jesus Christ rewards the true heroes of the world, not the wealthy, powerful, or strong
9-29-19 The Audacity of Hope – Having hope is absurd, yet throughout the Bible, God is always inspiring people to do ridiculous things in the hope for a better future
9-15-19 Welcome Back – No matter what we have done in life, God is more than willing to drop everything to welcome us home
9-8-19 The Harbor – The Church is like a harbor, receiving people, restoring them, and sending them back out into the world
8-25-19 Three Strikes and You’re In – The first person to whom Jesus revealed he was the Messiah was a foreign woman with a questionable past
8-18-19 The Ungrateful Invalid – God expects us to use our abilities, whatever they may be, not ignore them or deny them
8-11-19 Karen’s Dilemma – Having a knowledge of the love of God makes it easier to deal with the unexpected issues of life