Sermons by Keith Herron

All You Need is (God's) Love
God’s love is poured out like a fountain flowing to fill your life … When we live God’s love in everything we do or say, God’s love and kindness flows in such quantity it is poured out like a waterfall that never stops. The water flows and flows and flows whether you pay attention or not. In fact, the waterfall flows endlessly day and night, day after day … no matter who you are, no matter whether you’re tall or short, skinny or fat, no matter what color your skin is, or whether you’re good at sports or video games or what. God’s love is like a fountain pouring out day and night God’s goodness and love for you. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God of the Outcasts
God is the God of all, from the top to the bottom, from the left to the right, from the oppressor to the oppressed. God is the God of us all and there’s room at God’s table of reconciliation for us all. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Willing the World into Existence
Credo: It’s my belief the creation story in Genesis is a religious story rich in faith but not one meant to be understood in a scientific or literal way. I believe in science and so do you. The book of Genesis was written in an age before science was known or understood. To hold the Bible up as scientific writing is to do harm to its original intent or meaning. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Symphonic Spirit
God is breathing all the time, in and out of us, and in and out of the world. Our task is to simply breathe in the grace of God; breathe out the love of God. We breathe in the grace of God and we exhale out the love of God. When we do this spiritual exercise, we will be visited by the Holy Spirit. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Watching and Waiting
These words in Chapter One of Acts are a freeze frame for the moment, giving us a quick look at the circumstances of the church just before the Spirit of God invaded the world of human believers. Our task is to be ready when the winds of the Spirit begin to blow. We are to be busy being faithful so that when the winds pick up and begin to blow, we can go with them. We are the carriers of the Spirit in our world and God wants us to be ready when the answers come. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Don't Be Afraid to Do the Right Thing
Because of the occasional deaths of Christians in the world today, Peter’s letter speaks painfully across the centuries to those of us who live seemingly protected lives about how we are to be ready for our time of suffering if it should come our way. [ ]Peter’s letter reminds us that following Jesus is the right thing to do. In following Jesus, we are expected to live right. We can’t revert to our old ways of living. We are to live courageously and faithfully doing the right thing day in and day out. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Built of Living Stones
From nobodies to somebodies. From stone cold dead to living stones. Each one of us, having a place in the heart and purposes of God. God is inviting you to come join in the project. There’s a process that’s offered. Read More ...
Keith Herron

An Imperishable Love
The lesson that persecution had to teach the early church was a radical realignment of their values. Those things they had previously thought were important turned out to be worthless and empty. And those things they had overlooked because they weren’t considered of worth turned out to be the very things needed. Our problem is that we place more emphasis on our things than on the people in our lives. The value of persecution is that we are forced to see them both in a new light. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Heart of Our Most Sacred Stories
What seems significant about this baptismal sermon is the way it holds the crucifixion and the resurrection together as one event.[ ]In truth, each needs the other to be wholly true. Without the crucifixion, we might be tempted to be triumphalistic as though we walk between the raindrops of the reality sin and evil and suffering. We would become escapists and many Christians seem to take that position in their denial of injustice and their refusal to connect the dots between faith and life. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Thunderous Yes
Practice resurrection. That’s our gospel today … to go from here to practice resurrection! There’s nothing shy at all about this response. We are to live fully in God’s thunderous YES! We are to live God’s resounding affirmation of the world and all God’s children who need God’s offer of love and reconciliation. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Coming Attractions
The intertwined stories of Jesus and Lazarus stand as a witness to the power of God over the despair and emptiness of death. In short, as Jesus stands in front of Lazarus’ grave, he stands in front of his own. This makes this incident of Lazarus a preview of the main attraction that will follow. [ ]“Your brother will rise again.” In that proclamation, Jesus was pointing beyond the power of death to a realm of faith few of us have achieved. “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live … Do you believe in this?” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Blindness of the Second Order
A man who has never seen the faces of his friends or family, the smiles of children, a sunset or a brilliant night sky, finally sees! But when he comes back a healed man, no one celebrates with him. [ ]No one believes him and the man is cast out of the synagogue and cut off from the Torah. He’s cut off from his family, the sweet-smelling incense of the Sabbath, and the certitude of the Law. By the end of the tale, he’s victimized one last time … all for looking deeply and directly into the Light. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Saltahakers & Candlesticks
The church of the imperative mood is slowly dying and being replaced by a different way of practicing the faith and that shift has questioned the old platforms on which faith has been practiced. In the past preaching described faith using the verbs, ought, should, and must. [ ] But this is not the only way faith is framed. Interrupting all this imperative language, Jesus tells the multitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit ... blessed are those who mourn ... blessed are the meek.” Notice something missing? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Upside Down and Inside Out
Standing on a hillside overlooking the deep blue Sea of Galilee with the huge crowd that was now following him, Jesus took society’s standards of happiness and turned them upside down. He came to tell them that what appeared to be the world’s wisdom was the world’s foolishness. He seems to be saying, “Stop it! You’ve got it all wrong! What you thought was down is up. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God Picks First
God has made you for a reason and if you are available, God will make your life count. Imagine that, God picks you! You are gifted for some key place in life that will advance God’s life in the world. What will you say to that? Read More ...
Keith Herron

At the River
Every conversion has a price. Something is gained, but something is lost as well and the loss may prove to be painful … The gospel not only resolves problems which trouble us; it creates problems which we never had before and which we would gladly avoid. There’s always a price to be paid when we do what God calls us to do. The truth is we change because we must. The work of the Spirit of God is such that slowly, imperceptibly, occasionally even dramatically, our old lives are challenged by the new reality of the redemption of God. We discover because we have died with Christ and have been redeemed in the newness of life, we are changed people. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Face in the Sky
What do we do with that close-up vision of the face of Jesus causing us to come to a mute stillness to take it in? The face is meant for us to remember that God came in the form of a child born in the night among beasts. “And nothing is ever the same again.” Read More ...
Keith Herron

What Kind of King?
In this story, there is a startling surprise that accompanies Christ’s return. For some, those who have been guided by the right values and have tended to the world in compassionate ways, there is one surprise, viz., that all their small efforts to do some good in the world has been duly recognized by the God of creation.[ ]But others, those who are guided by different values and have tended to their neighbor with hard-hearted indifference, not willing to give of themselves for the common good, their response will also be recognized for what it is and they will awarded in a different way. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Do Some Good
Instead, Paul told them to stay alert, expectant that the Lord would indeed come back but not to quit their jobs. In other words he said, “Stay alert … but stay busy!” Then he clarified himself: “Do not grow weary of doing good.” We must model belief from those who are not just living inwardly, but who are busy doing good where working for the common good is needed most. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Called Alongside
There are places where religious liberty does not exist and the freedom to practice your faith is not allowed. Could you suffer for your faith? Could you lose your life in those places because of your faith? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Peculiar Treasures
I doubt any of the saints we’ve remembered today woke up and decided to become a saint. They weren’t looking to be martyrs for a cause. They weren’t perfect human beings by a long shot. They didn’t become saints by being perfect. They became saints by being faithful to their identity as the children of God. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Lord Have Mercy Read More ...
Keith Herron

Nagging God
And in the house of prayer, if my prayers are welcomed, so are yours. And so are the prayers of any humble enough and persistent enough to say them. If a cold-hearted judge would yield to the persistent nagging of a poor widow, how much more will a loving God respond to our persistent praying? Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Communion of Kindred Souls Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Things We Can Do Together
I want us to focus on the idea that a part of our stewardship is the notion that we have great power when we join together as Christ’s church. But where there’s great power, there are responsibilities. Stewardship is the key to acknowledging those responsibilities. When we are God’s stewards of the gifts of God, we will become God’s partners in the world. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Season of Generosity
We are driven by opposing forces. Small lives are ordered by the surface winds of selfishness, fear, and negativity. They are also driven by ingratitude and stingy spirits. On the other hand, great lives, gigantic in character and moral stature, are not affected by the surface concerns, but are driven by the deeper movements of God and the currents of faith. Those great souls are steered by a belief in God who always, always provides and who is calling us to be God’s partners in the kingdom God is seeking to bring. Read More ...
Keith Herron

All the Little Sacred Deeds
The call to mutual love forces us out of our self-love to a love that wishes good for our sisters and brothers. Love that real can only come from integrity. That kind of love turns into a form of empathy where we see the plight of others as our plight. “But by the grace of God, there go I,” we say. Our empathy is extended to those we could easily withhold Christ’s love rather than seeing them as those in the world needing Christ’s love. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Loosening the Bow
Rest and worship one day a week will make a profound difference in the living of this great faith we have received through Christ. A warm and endearing Jewish blessing is to remind one another on the Sabbath: Shabbat shalom! Sabbath peace! Shabbat shalom! Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Path
[F]aith is not a possession; it’s not something we have and hold. Faith is not an activity that we schedule in our day. Faith is a never-ending movement in response to an ever-seeking God. God is calling each of us to take up the journey of faith. Our journey is made up of the smallest of actions and responses that come to us moment by moment. In those responses, we become people of faith. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Things We Leave Behind
I’m thinking and praying that we can recognize that where our pocket books are is connected to where our hearts are. Jesus was hard on those with big pockets but his criticism was centered on how small their hearts were. Nothing is more pleasing to God than the person of plenty who’s learned generosity as the sign of their true allegiance. There’s something’s missing in this story and Jesus zeroes in on the heart of the matter. The story is plain about the man’s thinking. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Life in the Double Bind
No matter the double bind of what your role in the war between the siblings has been, whether you’re the one rattling all the pots and pans in the kitchen or whether you’re sitting in the circle of those who are talking about all the world’s big ideas, in truth we’re all guests at God’s table where there’s always enough and where God feeds us all. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Goodness, For God's Sake
It’s not really about our questions of belief ... it’s about how we live. In that kind of exchange, Jesus makes sure it’s not about orthodoxy (right belief) but about orthopraxy (right living). At least in Jesus’ thinking, if right belief doesn’t stay connected to how we live, something vital is missing. So Jesus told this story in answer to the man’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Dance of Gratitude
Some come to worship filled with joy over some goodness that gives them gratitude, which makes praise and thanksgiving easy to offer. But others come weeping, crying for help, or dismaying over some experience that’s tough to face. Others are negotiating with God over something over which they feel out of control. This psalm has something for us all and we’re invited to dance a jig of gratitude no matter where we are in life. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Woman Who Loved Much
This story of the woman sitting on the floor has more layers to it than we can consider in one sitting, and often the church has focused on one or two of the surface issues but not come close to thinking it through in depth. There are multiple meanings from the simple to the complex. There are simple truths we can easily recognize about the power of shame and the grace of God, about contrition and forgiveness, about hypocrisy, and about hospitality. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Cycle of Grace
We can come to terms with the fact that whether it’s poverty or hunger or illness or death itself, the great God stands with us and wants to accept the gift of life as a precious gift of grace. We’re to take our gift of life and share it as we live and breathe and have our being. “Grace given, grace received” all the way through the arc of our lives. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Bonfire of the Deities
The simple truth is that anything we give our ultimate concern to becomes our deity, as Paul Tillich described it. It is in those moments that we regress as Christians until we discover we’re living a sub-Christian life that only faintly resembles the faith as it’s meant to be lived. Read More ...
Keith Herron

We’re All Stargazers
Trinity Sunday, then, is a day for experiencing the world through wonder and awe and acknowledging that what we know about any facet of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer is vitally connected to the holy and indivisible One. Read More ...
Keith Herron

All's Lost, All's Found
We make decisions and then those decisions make us. Some decisions are mindless and seemingly meaningless. Others take rare courage and resolve. Our decisions are all a part of the arc of life we’re called to live. God help us to determine to stand in the crucial places, standing for the helpless and those enslaved unjustly. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Eighth Day
There was a spirit of expectation that drove the eighth-day thinking that grew out of the post-resurrection appearances of the Lord. These provided not only the proof of the resurrection, but also the lively expectation that the risen Christ would be present with Christians as they gathered. What would happen in us if we had that kind of expectation, whether real or symbolically? What kind of new spirit would enliven us, giving us energy and imagination if every time we gathered, we imagined Jesus was present while we worshiped? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Stewards of the Story
In the end, we’re just stewards of the story. “A man had two sons,” is the story of all of us in some archetypal way. We might be the one who asks for what is not quite ours so we can wander off God-knows-where or we might be the lost child who stayed home. The work of a deacon is to love the church and nurture it in its God-given task of sharing the story in kind and winsome ways. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Guest at God's Table
God’s extravagant hospitality welcomes us because the Great Host, the Divine One, wants us to come inside to have a drink on the house, and to enjoy a meal, to soak in the ambiance of the place, all gifts offered as signs of God’s great love. And so we are invited today to God’s table where we are offered bread and wine to remind us of God’s love and welcome. Don’t worry about your money, or your goodness or your failures; simply come to the extravagance of the table because the extravagant God has been expecting us. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Saying No In Order To Say Yes
Our text today is the mainframe upon which the season of Lent is conceived because it’s based on the 40 days in the wilderness. It’s sometimes called “the Lenten journey,” because it’s a hero’s journey of self-denial willing to go deep within to test what’s there. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The View from the Top
Most of us live so much of our existence in the valley of ordinary life we don’t know much about what it means to occasionally venture up on the mountaintop. After all, we’re ordinary people living ordinary lives. So how do “ordinary folks” approach this extraordinary story of Jesus who stands on the top of a windy mountain and is a part of a very small audience to a special effects show that not even Hollywood could duplicate? Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Verbs of Our Calling
Indeed … that seems to be exactly how God does it when God calls us to something no matter who we are, no matter how old or how young we might be … no matter. It’s all up to the one calling us. Read More ...
Keith Herron

People of the Book
Do you know what your mission is? Are you willing to work with God to accomplish it? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Singing in Perfect Harmony
Sing your note; it's the gift of God! Sing it loud; sing with confidence and assurance! Sing it and let it blend in with all the other notes that are sung, so that the beautiful music of God can be heard everywhere. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Star Watch
On this good day of Epiphany, what star are you following? And what would God have you do in response to that great light shining? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Becoming More & More of What We Already Are
Bearing the title of “the Holy Family” is a lot to live up to. Perhaps this story of Jesus as a boy and of his parents as his human family helps us see them in the same way we look upon our own families. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Mothers of God
Sisters and brothers, we have work to do. We have a response to give in the face of such suffering. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Wilderness Guide
Our calling this season is to prepare the way of the Lord. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God’s Kingdom: Practicing Peace
If Jesus is king not just once a year and on a throne but throughout all of time and in every place, then we don’t have to be king or seek another king. We no longer have to judge one another. We don’t have to control what other people think or feel or force them to fit our expectations. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Waiting in Love, Not Anxiety
In passing the peace, one believer takes the hand of another and from the depths of his or her soul says to the other, “May the peace of Christ be with you,” and the other responds, “… and with you.” Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Least and the Lowly
We are the potential saints for future generations. We are the shoulders upon which others in the future will stand. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Blind Spots
These are the rhythms of transformation, particularly when in the upside down nature of the Kingdom of God the troublemakers are recognized and accepted as the community’s heroes. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Sons of Entitlement
Only when we find the way of humility and seek to serve and not to be served will we be able to be what Henri Nouwen called, “wounded healers,” servants of God in this world. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Generosity of Faith
Our only hope for the fruit of generosity to grow is whenever the seeds of gratitude are planted in the hard soil of our hearts and new life is nurtured until it breaks through the hard crust of our souls. Read More ...
Keith Herron

All That Jazz
There’s an art to marriage as there is to any creative activity we humans engage in. It’s an art that demands that we pay attention to the little things as well as the big ones that makes up the intimacy of marriage. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God’s Mission, Our Passion
If we can accept that God is always creating, always renewing, always redecorating the world, can you also accept that God has made room for a vigorous partnership with us in order to do these things? The question is, “Will we be God’s partners?” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Return to Chaos
Rather than withdrawing into our Christian piety, God is calling us to stretch outside of ourselves with resolve we will not regress into the chaos of living as if God was limited by our failure of nerve. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Let’s Start at the Beginning
The Bible’s stories of our beginnings seem eager to let us know that it if we follow the stream of life to its source, there we will meet God. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Heaven Touching Earth
For the presence of God among us is the symbol of heaven reaching down and touching earth … a place where the people of God and anyone who feels like an outsider to God’s love are welcome! Read More ...
Keith Herron

What Would You Ask For?
If you were invited by God to ask for anything, and you knew God would grant it, what would you ask for? Read More ...
Keith Herron

God’s Love Pours & Pours & Pours
God’s love is poured out like a fountain to fill your life … Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Secret of Life
The trick in creating a sense of satisfaction in life is to figure out where to lean the ladder of our accomplishing so that when we climb to the top, we have the deep sense of knowing that the ladder has taken us to the top where joy and peace are found. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Great Sadness
We’re invited, no we’re commanded, to launch our grief and our deepest pain into the depths of God’s love knowing God hears our cries and attends to our sorrows. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Least Likely
The Bible claims David was “a man after God’s own heart,” as if even God cannot keep from watching him. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Give Us a King!
To put it simply, our bad choices – even those we make willfully, after being warned – cannot and will not deter God from his purpose and plan, which is to call a people for himself, a people to be his own and to experience his blessing so that they might become a blessing to others. Read More ...
Keith Herron

He Will Be Glorified
Saying goodbye is terribly difficult. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Yoke of Friendship
Jesus invited his disciples to move closer from being servants to accepting his offer of friendship by taking on the yoke of friendship. No longer servants but friends … it sounds like such a warm and welcoming promotion. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Belonging, Behaving, Believing
I think the revolution that’s going on in the church is that if we’ll find a way to allow people to belong, if they feel a sense of connection and welcome, they’ll find their way to believing. Read More ...
Keith Herron

That Glorious Overcoming
Easter is more than our fears, more than our deaths. It’s about life and about living. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Into Jerusalem
By stooping to ride the lowly donkey, Jesus was inviting his followers to see that the Kingdom of God was lowly in spirit, not exalted in merely political terms. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Covenant of Kinship
What if God could tattoo our hearts with a heart tattoo? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Marking Sacred Time
We mark sacred time whenever we look up from our troubles and sense the sure and steady hand of God who stays with us in our seasons of trouble. We mark sacred time between our coming from God and our going to God. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Living Into Our Legacy
In truth, we all have a legacy to pass along as we live out our own stories. We have something of our ancestors in us as a part of our being born and a part of our living faith. We have their courage and we have the promise of God who has given us a name and an identity. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Thin Places
The truth of the matter is that on occasion, when we least expect it, God may break through the ordinariness of our lives to give us an extraordinary experience of affirmation and direction. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Called and Recalled
A new national memorial has been installed that continues to speak in the silence of stone but a living memorial to King comes whenever we turn our ear to God so when God calls, we can answer, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Called to Gift
Call it synchronicity, or call it providence, call it fate if you wish … but understand that the events of your life are often the way the Divine leads you and wants you to follow the path where the sign leads you. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Sing With Joy
Advent and Christmas must have been created for the sake of the artists. Poets, painters, writers, composers, sculptors and every other artist has seemingly been moved to create art in order to capture the beauty of the story of the birth of Jesus. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God with Us
ne of the surprises we discover in immersing ourselves in the stories of the Bible is that those stories are often renderings of our own stories. They resonate because they shimmer with our own experiences in life. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Take Comfort
Advent reminds us gently of the interplay between darkness and light. We live in both because life is made up of such realities. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Do the Work
While we’ve been diligent witnesses, we’ve not been faithful in helping people understand that faith must be a lived experience shaped by the values of Jesus, not just some spiritual truth that is internalized in the heart. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Invest Yourself
The Bible talks about our gift to God as a “first fruit.” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Crossing Over into the Promise
We stand at a new day, your day has come and we need you to come forward and to offer your gifts and to take your place as the leadership that will guide us into the future. Are you up to the task? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Our God is a Jealous God
God is so indescribable he simply transcends any limits we can imagine about space and time. In addition, there’s no shape into which this divine center can be poured. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God’s Wisdom
At this table we remember that we have not achieved perfection, we have not arrived yet. We are in process, moving toward the fullness of God's future, not our own. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Way of Love
As people of the Way, we are to live fully in our identity as “little Christs” and to live the way of love. May it be so. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Warning: God at Work!
It’s providence that helps us understand the mystery of what God is doing if we’ll believe. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God in the Empty Places
Even though we think it’s our willful determination that guides our lives, life has another wisdom afoot and we are somehow inspired, guided or even managed by unseen forces outside our control. Even though we exert our free will and make plans and set goals and proceed with full confidence as though we are in control, it also seems true that there is a larger hand at work in directing us through life. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Bone Crusher
We all have our battles with God. Some of you have been fighting with God for a long, long time. But in the light of the coming dawn, after fighting with God through the night and all you can do is hold your own, what you discover out of God’s unlimited storehouse of love and grace, God is ready to bless you. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Straightening Out a Crooked Life
When you get your eye on that one great prize that you’ve discovered and you’re willing to pay anything for it, God is ready to bless you beyond your wildest ideas. Read More ...
Keith Herron

A Heel Grabbing Way of Life
This story of twins Jacob and Esau began as they waged their war from within where they “struggled together in the womb.” So violently did they struggle, the Bible tells us that, “they were crushing one another.” In Rebekah’s anguish over the struggling twins inside her womb, she cried out to God, “Why is this happening to me?” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Marriage and love are like bread … it’s always best when it’s fresh. It takes tender care to see that it is growing and fresh. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God’s Great Welcome
To claim we’re “a welcoming church” has a strong meaning we should consider today and it’s grounded in a widely accepted notion that God’s church should be an open, life-affirming place where people are invited to meet God, receive the reconciliation God offers, that’s theirs as one created in God’s image, and where they can be welcomed as a community with a wide and diverse clan of folk we love so much we want to call them “our brothers and sisters”! Read More ...
Keith Herron

And God said, ‘Let there be life!’
Why the world came into being and why we were created. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Watching and Waiting
We are to be busy being faithful so that when the winds pick up, we can go with them. We are the carriers of the Spirit in our world and God wants us to be ready when the answers come. Read More ...
Keith Herron

In the Meantime
Every generation since the days of Jesus’ has had its false prophets, mostly made false for their promises of knowing when Jesus would return only to end up in unrepentant embarrassment by their miscalculations. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Holes of Doubt
In the world of faith and believing, unfaith and unbelief are quite challenging. Where does unfaith go for expression? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Life Beyond the Door
Easter is a bittersweet celebration ... it’s a sorrow to be sure, but it’s a sorrow swallowed up by a greater joy. Both are necessary in order for faith to be honest and real. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Breath of Life and Hope
God breathe your holy breath on us all and bring us back to life! Read More ...
Keith Herron

Everybody Needs a Shepherd
The Jewish prophet Isaiah said an honest thing about us that “all we, like sheep, have gone astray.” Of course, it’s not meant as a compliment about us, but there’s wonderful good news at work yet because there is a shepherd working to keep watch over us when we go astray. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Bold Blessing
This is our story. We are children of Abraham every time the Voice calls and every time we heed the call. No matter where the Voice might lead, the promise of Abram’s is ours that we will have companionship, as God is our fellow traveler. To such we are called … let us go now to live the adventure. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Happy are the Forgiven
When we get to the season of Lent, what we don’t expect is to hear a word of good news. So let me frontload this Lenten sermon with good news, really good news: We come to God not by our perfection but by our imperfection. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Dazzling Reign
The transformation of Moses and the transfiguration of Jesus both give us a model of the encounter with God that leads to noble and significant living. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Expanding Boundaries
Welcome to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount! To be a follower of Jesus might in the end cost you something; but “moderately” following Jesus has no place if you listen closely to what he says. Bend your ear to hear what he said and you’ll realize he couldn’t be more earnest about this Kingdom of God he described. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Immersing Ourselves In God’s Ways: Beautiful Vision

Standing on a hillside overlooking the deep blue Sea of Galilee with a huge crowd of people now following him, Jesus took society’s standards of happiness and turned them upside down. We grow up thinking more will make us happy. We act as if putting ourselves first will get us what we want. We think in competitive terms, thinking that if we can climb to the top of the heap, we will rule the world and it will make us feel significant.

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Keith Herron

Leaving Everything to Follow Jesus
When Jesus heard the news that John the Baptist was taken into prison, something must have reverberated deep within him. Something profound must have been set loose in his soul and he had to do something in response. What did he do? He left home and moved out into the world with his own message. He sensed the shock of hearing about John’s imprisonment and it stirred him to leave home and begin his ministry. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Living in a Post-MLK World
At its core, racism and segregation were theological problems then and now in that we don’t recognize the sacredness of all humans but treat others as “less than.” The social system that affirmed the separation between the “haves and the have-nots” meant that those in the latter category were given very few opportunities to grow, to learn, to earn, and ultimately to have dignity. The system rewarded one class while suppressing another and Dr. King was moved to change the way things were. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Taking the Plunge
What is it about faith that’s a risky decision? What fears are holding us back from taking a running start and letting go of the surety beneath our feet into the uncertainty of the open air and the cool deep water below? Read More ...
Keith Herron

What Love Does
Did you know there are two versions of the Christmas story in the New Testament? Often we feel compelled to fuse them together, or we try to, in order to harmonize the two divergent stories into one story. But try as we might, they really are two different stories about the same event and they resist our efforts to meld them together. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Dream of Peace
Pope Paul VI said it plainly, “ If you want peace, work for justice.” We’re meant to be witnesses for a day that’s yet to dawn! May we yearn to live differently by believing less in the wild kingdom than in the peaceable kingdom God wants to bring about with our help. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God’s Other Name is … (Surprise)
When we reach the season of Advent, we know it’s time to start over. Isn’t starting over what we need? So many times in life, we wish to wipe it all away and take a fresh look, make a fresh start, or take a first step all over again. Advent is a new beginning and a fresh start for those who are willing to prepare themselves. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Infinite Possibilities
Everyone I read who’s writing about the postmodern Post-Christian world will agree: This is not a time to be holding anything back … it’s a time to risk, to step forward, to want to see the world as God sees it … as an infinite possibility! Read More ...
Keith Herron

Hold On To Faith
It takes character and backbone to stand firm when under pressure. When push comes to shove, and one has no place to hide, one stands. When one must know who they are, they can stand. When one holds a truth deep in their hearts and believing means standing, one can muster the strength to endure. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Peculiar Treasures
One of the oldest villages on the planet is Jericho and if those old walls could talk … Read More ...
Keith Herron

Nagging God
Prayer is a spiritual discipline that connects us to the God who created us and who continues to want to hear from us about all those things we that burden our hearts. Prayer is a lifeline tossed our way on those days when that’s all we have. Simplistically speaking, prayer is no more than a conversation between two good friends. Read More ...
Keith Herron

On the Willows
What we put into the church is returned to us as satisfaction and joy. What we put in, we typically get out of church. And if I don’t bring myself to this task, I will just be a lump of coal sitting on a pew. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God Bless Our Leaders, Even the Ones I Don’t Like
It strains our understanding that in the Christian Scriptures we would be urged to pray for leadership that was punishing brothers and sisters in the faith as if we were handing them over to the God of Creation for supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings rather than opposing them for the injustice they support. But the spirit of Our Leader who commanded us to love those who hate us indicates we should say a good word to God on their behalf. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Turtles All the Way Down
Welcome to the hard sayings of Jesus where Jesus pushes hard against a common sense level of faith and demands more than any of us are willing to give. What you do with these words is up to you, but I doubt you feel comfortable with them. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Table Manners: Humility & Hospitality
All races, all genders, all economic levels, all ages, all sexual orientations, whatever your circle of exclusion, God says they are all the center of God’s love in equal measure. No one is left out. No one is without God’s love and acceptance. We are God’s creation and we are loved … each and every one of us. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Wind Blows On Us All
Go ahead and confess, haven’t you ever wished God would write you a letter every now and then? We’re in a time of intriguing conversations about our church these days. If God took the time to drop us a note, what would God write if God were doing such things? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Reaching To The Far Shore
Even when we’re doing the will of God, we live in “in-between” times. Life, we discover, is not so much an uninterrupted continuum as much as it is a series of single moments strung together like pearls on a string. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Imagine
The promise of a New Jerusalem was never meant to distract us from the call of God to share God’s love with the world. It was meant to give us the courage and power to endure while we do that work. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Life Giving Acts
Dorcas, or Tabitha, as she’s called in her Aramaic name (meaning, “gazelle”), is called a disciple. Interestingly, no other woman throughout the New Testament is referred to as a “disciple,” and we know she was a woman of great respect because her name has been handed down to the church. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Resurrection Joy
A pastor quizzed a group of preschoolers about the meaning of Easter and a precocious preschooler raised his hand politely and when called upon, he answered, “I know! That was the day Jesus became famous!”  Read More ...
Keith Herron

Into Jerusalem
From Sunday to Sunday in the coming week, we embrace what’s generally known as Holy Week. What that means is we’ll move deliberately through the week in holy rhythm to Jesus’ last week. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Fragrance of our Gift
The idea that smell and memory are powerfully linked prompted pastor Beth Sanders to wonder, “What does God’s love smell like?”  For some, there are smells that draw you back in memory to the church of your childhood. Read More ...
Keith Herron

An Embracing Love
Grace is a kind of mercy that we in the church have had a notoriously difficult time handling. We’ve taken that which is free and we’ve made it something to earn. It’s sad in a way because we first come to God seeking forgiveness and the desire to be whole. And then, after experiencing the liberation that only God can bring, we go out and get lost all over again.  Read More ...
Keith Herron

Strong and Tender
Jesus shows no signs of fear or anxiety and plainly tells the Pharisees what his plans are. He’s living out in the open where if anyone wants to threaten him, they’ll have to come out into the open to carry out their threats. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Astounding Glory
The sacred story we hold in the ordinary hands of our humanity reminds us of the delicate balance between heaven and earth because contained in every ordinary moment is a reminder the Divine is present and waiting to be unveiled. The season of Epiphany comes to an end today but it ends in a bang, doesn't it? Jesus climbs to the top of the mountain to pray with three of the disciples and unexpectedly, in the elevated heights of the mountaintop the shades of heaven part and the glory of heaven shines upon him. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Into the Deep
In moments of interruption, you always have a choice. You can cling to the old and hope the crisis will pass and you can get back to your plans. Or you can let go and go after God’s new way for you into the new. It’s the way of faith. It’s keeping your eyes and ears open for the new moment of God’s interruption where you might learn to be spontaneous in playful, joyful response to God. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Prophet on the Edge
The God-called prophets always see things the rest of us don’t see.  Read More ...
Keith Herron

A Passion for the Possible
Christmas means God is here with us, and our suffering and struggles are the labor pains of a new creation, that God still wants us to create a paradise by the power of the living Word.
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Keith Herron

Make Ready
Our work today, is to sing another verse of that ancient promise clinging to the possibility that God is still at work laboring to make the promise come true. Jesus came to us with a purpose and during Christmas, our temptation overcomes us every time we live as though there’s another purpose. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Sign of Things to Come
So the schoolteacher says to her class, “Now class, I am going down the hall to the principle’s office for a few minutes. I certainly hope I can trust you to act like responsible fifth graders. But just in case, I’m leaving the door open. I’ve asked the teacher across the hall to listen for trouble. I hope you will show me how responsible you are. I’m leaving now. I had better not hear a word out of you. You have work to do while I’m gone …” And with that she softly leaves the room. The anticipation of her return lingers in the quiet classroom. In our hearts, we long for Jesus’ presence, for we are at our best when the Master is with us. Build within our hearts, O God, a sense of holy expectation for Christ’s return while we stay busy quietly doing the work of God in our time. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Coming Kingdom
Maybe then the subversive prayer of Jesus can be prayed by all of us, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Maybe, just maybe, that’s why Jesus stood before the government’s man and let him talk till he found the justification he needed to fend off the political accusations of weakness the Jews used to make him do what they wanted. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Greatness of Serving
We are God’s children, all of us, sons and daughters of God called to be a part of this large family. And God has called us to be a part of this work. So let us all commit ourselves to hide our love for each other less and be honest, to meet each other in the places where we hurt, because all of us hurt at one time or another, and then celebrate the unity of Christ’s love. Let us learn the greatness of serving one another and commit ourselves to meeting human needs, no matter how alienated we find them. Let us commit ourselves to the fact that this church will be open to all who are alienated from God and that we will seek to open not only our doors, but our hearts as well. For in reality, it is our brokenness itself that makes us more human. And it’s in our healing that we being to reflect the image of God. May God take our brokenness and woundedness and make us healers for God’s sake and for the sake of the world. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Generosity of Faith
Our only hope for the fruit of generosity is whenever the seeds of gratitude are planted in the hard soil of our hearts and new life is nurtured until it breaks through the hard crust of our souls. When that happens, we are more surely bearing the love Christ meant us to bear in the world. When that happens, we are more surely little Christs. Read More ...
Keith Herron

A Godless Tale of Deliverance
You never know when the experiences you accumulate in daily life will be put to a test. A well-trained pilot took action in an unplanned moment and did what needed doing. On other occasions others step forward courageously and refuse to let evil reign, intervening just as Queen Esther did. Perhaps there’s some heroic act of faithfulness God is calling us to perform on behalf of those unable to work for their own good. “For such a time as this …” the godless book of Esther tells us and in the silence of God’s seeming absence, something good is accomplished. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Crumbs Under God's Table
Making the connection between our baptism and our lived out commitments may not be your first reaction to Jesus’ inclusion of everyone at the Table of Remembrance, but I believe it’s what we are about as followers of Jesus. In God’s wide world of absolute acceptance, the bread, the wine, even the crumbs under the table are signs of the great generosity of God who welcomes us to this table and to the family of God’s children. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Treasure in Clay Jars
Fellow members, our clay jars are in need of remodeling again and it’s time to go to work. But let’s remember the clay jars are not the church … we are the church, all of us who make up the Body of Christ that meets at the corner of 97th and Holmes. So while we’ve adopted yet another refurbishing project, we still have work to do in this field where God planted us nearly 55 years ago. In truth, we can do whatever it is God leads us to do as we’ve done over and again in the past. That’s our calling and that’s our belief. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Heaven Touching Earth
It’s a fitting way to end worship because it reminds us no matter where we are, God is with us, in the Temple of our hearts. No matter whether we feel we are in exile for having forgotten who we are, God is with us. No matter whether we are aware of God’s presence at all, God is with us. In every way and in every circumstance, God is with God’s children, wanting to shower them with grace and forgiveness and the power to continue even under the direst circumstances. For you see, the presence of God among us is the symbol of heaven reaching down and touching earth … a place where the people of God and the outsiders are all welcome! Read More ...
Keith Herron

Asking for the Right Things
In the end, even Solomon’s wisdom couldn’t save him either. Solomon spent his time and energies in acquisition and building. But he forgot to remember the simple things about God. For you see, God really asks very little from us: Fidelity, a love that is unhindered and undistracted, and a joyous response to the grace that we find so freely offered. Solomon had the unique and generous opportunity to ask anything of God. With that unlimited possibility in front of him, he asked for a heart of wisdom. If you were invited by God to ask for anything, and you knew God would grant it, what would you ask for?
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Keith Herron

Walking Between the Raindrops
Today, know that God offers pardon for sin. David came to a point of brokenness for his sin and confessed it to God for what it is: A stain against God and against those who were touched by his sin. When David fell before God and confessed his sin, God forgave him. Do we believe what the Bible tells us about the healing power of reconciliation? That’s the power of the good news! God has given us a way out by offering the hand of forgiveness in Christ.
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Keith Herron

Life in the Long Season of Accomplishment
David’s story up to this point is an example of the value of working hard and working on difficult tasks with all your heart. But there’s a limit to sheer force of will unless one is willing to take time to take an honest look at the major growth fronts upon which we struggle … relational growth (how we balance the need to both give and receive love), professional growth (our calling to a vocation), and personal growth (the willingness to accept both our successes and our failures). Gail Sheehy calls this “concomitant growth” and it’s the key to knowing the path that leads down the mountain of adulthood. The question for the second half of our long journey through adulthood seems to be, “Will we continue to grow or just grow stagnant?” Read More ...
Keith Herron

Bringing God Home
The new king of the unified kingdom brought the Ark home and in doing so, brought the presence of God home too. But as much of a cause for celebration it was, as much of a national victory it was, it only highlighted the internal strife of David’s private life with Michal, his political wife whom he couldn’t quite trust enough to love. And no matter how much she loved him she couldn’t move his heart to love her in return. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Birthing a New Nation
Building coalitions is often messy work and David brought the scattered tribes of Israel and Judah together, something that not occurred since they scattered nearly a thousand years before. Freedom earned must be a freedom maintained. David became king as he felt ordained in his bones and called by God to fulfill. Frederick Douglas said that in the days of his slavery he prayed often for freedom, but that his freedom was not answered until it got down into his heels and he ran away.
 
            On this weekend we celebrate the founding of our nation, let us remember what it takes to tend the garden of our democracy. Remember to pray for our leaders and to pray for one another, all citizens, all of us recipients of the great gift of freedom. Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Great Sadness
Simple isn’t it? David commanded the people of Israel to stop in their joy that they could finally lift up a new king and commanded them to see this as a moment to remember. We’re invited, no we’re commanded, to launch our griefs and our deepest pain into the depths of God’s love knowing God hears our cries and attends to our sorrows. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Fighting our Fears
How big is your fear? Are you standing on the field of battle frozen in a silence that consumes you or are you down at the brook selecting five smooth stones confident that God will help you meet the challenge? Read More ...
Keith Herron

Least Likely
But it can also work as a poor judge of “how things are.” Gladwell recounts how the idea of “thin-slicing” came to him when he decided to grow his hair out long – if you’ve seen his press photo, he looks a lot like Art Garfunkel, with boisterously long hair sticking straight out like a white man’s Afro. With no other changes in his appearance, he became the victim of criminal profiling so often the evidence of our community’s racism. He started getting speeding tickets when he had not gotten them before. He was often pulled out of airport security lines for special attention. Stereotyping is a social sin that goes on every day and in every community.  Read More ...
Keith Herron

Re-Imagining Worship
Isaiah’s description of worship jumps off the page because we’re hungry for something beyond ourselves! What we can learn is that God’s “gracious energy desires to be let loose in the world.” Isaiah happened to be in a place where he could overhear the divine voices in concert asking, “Who will go for us?” Worship becomes an exercise of listening in on what God is saying in the holy huddle of wonderment. The language of God is an energized language that moves to action and doesn’t stay stuck in limbo. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Blowin' in the Wind

You see, when the Spirit breaks free of our boundaries and our superficial isms that only separate and divide God’s children, the Spirit can move freely like the wind and blow where it wishes bestowing enough power to put flesh on a pile of dry bones. Do you believe that?
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Keith Herron

Replacing Judas
As Fred Buechner writes in description of it: “It’s a scene to conjure with. Once again they met in the shadows, the two old friends, both of them a little worse for wear after all that had happened, only this time it was Jesus who was the one to give the kiss, and this time it wasn’t the kiss of death that was given.” Such is the width and length and breadth of God’s reconciling love … wide enough for Judas … wide enough for you and me. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Enfolded by Love
The risk of letting Jesus be the good shepherd and allowing him the freedom he claims he’s already exercising, we have to lose control of that role and figure out what Jesus needs us to do to help him in that work. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Christ Among Us
Being a witness is not just mouthing the words of what you’ve heard. Being a witness is to make a profound commitment to Jesus making your life further evidence that Jesus lived, suffered, died and was resurrected on the third day. It is to give your whole life as evidence of the truth. No matter of argument, even the silly debates being waged by the ardent scholars of faith and atheism we see on occasion seem to matter much in the end other than creating a carnival atmosphere that’s more smoke than fire. No one is converted by the bilious puff bags that claim to represent faith and no-faith. Not even Jesus attempted to talk someone into the kingdom. “Jesus understood that faith had to be seen, had to be touched, had to be experienced in his own flesh and in the living, and if necessary dying, witness of his disciples." Read More ...
Keith Herron

Marks of Faith
“Come and see for yourself,” Jesus told Thomas. And in doing so, he invited us all to come and check his scars. All of us who need proof and need to ask the hard questions before we’ll embrace faith. Thomas is our kin, our friend, our partner in exploring the connection between doubt and faith. It’s Thomas who helps us understand that doubt and faith are inextricably woven together as two sides of the same coin. And the Lord, the risen Jesus, understands our questions and welcomes us closer. Read More ...
Keith Herron

What Now?
Here’s the Good News: Even though Mark’s ending to his gospel is enigmatic and all-too-brief, the angel shares a message from Jesus to the disciples who abandoned him and to Peter who had denied him, “I’ll meet you in Galilee. We began there together; there we will begin anew.” In Easter, there’s always time for things to begin anew.
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Keith Herron

Into Jerusalem
We believe in the church and are especially sensitive to those rapturous moments when some experience of the Divine has subdued us to reverence; we are moved by the dignity of church’s worship, but we have not personal fellowship with God. “We salute, but we do not speak.” Jesus’ parade needs more than that. The new kingdom of Jesus needs much more than a mere salute that has no sense of meaning. It needs the deeply felt commitment that would lead us to follow the parade to its end.
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Keith Herron

Love is a Verb
In truth, the church has more to say about how the ship of faith travels than any pastor on his or her own can muster. The church has more power than it could ever imagine in telling its story to the world. Most churches don’t realize the laity has more power than the pastor – certainly possessing more power than it uses; most churches call pastors on whom they project all the work they should be doing themselves – charting direction, creating purpose in spite of the church’s own internal and unidentified resistance to that direction.
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Keith Herron

No Matter What
We mark sacred time whenever we look up from our troubles and sense the sure and steady hand of God who stays with us in our seasons of trouble. We mark sacred time as we travel the journey between our coming from God and our going to God.
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Keith Herron

Beautiful Law
That’s how many of us have come to faith. We were lost and heard the word of God and God’s law came to us as a guide leading us to God. The poet-psalmist is aware of the power of God’s law and has a deep reverence for it. Upon reflection, the psalmist takes it all in and feels as if the law of God is such a deep symbol of God’s love and mercy, it’s as if it’s sweeter than honey. It’s more desired than gold to be loved by God so richly. Read More ...
Keith Herron

Always Close
So if the silence of God is the question, what’s the answer? How does the psalmist come around to speak into the darkness with an answer in faith? Again, he calls on sacred memory to answer the question. “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord,” he says. “And all the families of the nations shall worship before him” (Psalm 22:27, NRSV). We speak to the fears of the darkness by calling forth sacred memory and letting the power of the resurrection shine the light of God’s great faithfulness into the darkness of our fears. How is it we practice the spiritual art of re-membering? We do it in faithful re-enactments that take us back to those places where God was with us, active in history bringing about our redemption. Read More ...
Keith Herron

God's Loving Paths
The journey through these seasons of Lent can help us come to terms with the enemies that haunt us into becoming less than we were meant to be. In the prison created by the power of our enemies, we find ourselves captive. There we can learn something deeper than can be learned under sunnier skies.  Read More ...
Keith Herron

The Compassionate Community
But if we’re to be the compassionate community molded by the way of our Leader, we must look over the wall of the community to see who’s outside the gates, banished there by the people of God, unable to get in other than to get on their knees to beg. There’s a risk in loving the outsiders to be sure. But if we’re the people of faith we claim to be, that’s the kind of love we must share.  Read More ...
Keith Herron

Source of Strength
Strangely, when we’re on business doing the will of God, as we understand it and the needs of the world break in before us, it’s imperative we have time spent with God. The model of Jesus at this point could be a guide for us. When Jesus needed to know something truer about himself, he found a lonely place to go … sometimes to the garden to struggle and pray … sometimes to the wilderness to face up to the temptations. He was more than a dispenser of miracles, or a teller of parables. He was one sent to proclaim the message. He spent time with God so he could be reminded of who he was and whose he was. Read More ...
Keith Herron