The Joke’s On Who: Sermon Audio

It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like that day, as Jesus rode, on a donkey, into Jerusalem. His messianic proclamation is unmistakable. However, his will not be a revolution like anyone expects. He faces off with the religious and political establishments of his day, not carrying a sword, but bearing a cross. What does it mean for us as Christians today to follow a crucified messiah?

Sermon Title: The Joke’s On Who?
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 3/24/13
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 19:28-40

What Was She Thinking: Sermon Audio

In a display of unmatched love and devotion, Mary of Bethany, anoints Jesus’ feet with costly perfume and wipes his feet with her hair. It is a scene that overwhelms us with its lavish depiction of adoration for Jesus by one of his closest friends. However, this display would have seemed bizarre to those present at the time. Mary’s action is prophetic and can speak to us, especially now, as the Cross of Calvary looms large on our horizon.

Sermon Title: What Was She Thinking
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 3/17/13
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: John 12:1-8

Welcome to Filling Up and Pouring Out

Dear Friends,

Filling Up Pouring Out“Filling Up and Pouring Out” is a phrase that captures the heart of who we, as children of God, should long to be. In Romans 5:5 Paul says that, “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Our lives are filled continually with God’s love and we are called to share that love with others.

We are travelers together on this journey of faith, supporting each other along the way. My  hope and fervent prayer is that you will experience God’s overwhelming love in ways that transform your life and the lives of those around you.

Blessings on you and yours,
Allen

A Tale of TWO Brothers: Sermon Audio

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus seems to focus his attention on the son who brought shame on his father’s household and wasted all the he was given. However, a closer examination of the parable reveals much more about the attitude of the religious establishment than we might like to hear. Where do you fit, in this parable about TWO lost brothers?

Sermon Title: A Tale of TWO Brothers
Date: 3/10/13
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 15:11-32

Dalton Rushing on Infant Baptism

Rev. Dalton Rushing’s article, “Why I Affirm Infant Baptism,” has me thinking this morning. I know, scary, isn’t it? I believe that infant baptism is a defining doctrine of The United Methodist Church. If we were to lose (God forbid!) infant baptism, we would cease to be Methodist. It is the core doctrine and practice that grounds all we do firmly in God’s grace and reminds each of us that “it’s not about me.” In our culture, where we have become slaves to individualism, it is a message that needs to be proclaimed as often as possible.

Rev. Rushing says…

Infant baptism reminds us that God’s power is much larger than a simple decision; salvation is much broader than a moment in time. When we see an infant baptized, we see the ultimate argument for the power of God’s grace: even in this child, who cannot feed herself, or clothe herself, or make her own decisions–even in this child–God is at work.

Our theology of Baptism proclaims with certainty that there is no limit to God’s amazing grace. What do we, as United Methodists, need to do to reclaim this central doctrine of our faith tradition?