He is Risen Indeed (An Easter Sermon): Sermon Audio

“Christ is Risen! / He is Risen Indeed!” This is a call and response heard in Christian churches around the world. Easter is a call to experience abundant life through the resurrected Christ. So, it is especially fitting for Easter celebrations. Resurrection is a promise we anticipate and a reality we experience.

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Sermon Title: He is Risen Indeed
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 3/27/2016
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 24:1-12

Victory has a Price Tag (A Palm Sunday Sermon): Sermon Audio

Palm Sunday and the Triumphant Entry are the focus of this sermon. Celebration comes easy when we think we’re on the winning side. But what happens when our expectations come up against Christ’s call to take up our cross?

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Sermon Title: Victory has a Price Tag
Preacher: Allen McGraw
Date: 3/20/2016
Time: Morning Worship Service
Location: First United Methodist Church of Water Valley
Scripture Reference: Luke 19:28-40

“Who Reads Titus?” – Ending the Lenten Journey

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105

“Who reads Titus?” was a tongue-in-cheek question that was recently asked in our Fellow Travelers Sunday school class as we tried to discern what we would study next. The question wasn’t asked to suggest that we shouldn’t study Paul’s letter to Titus, but to make the point that there are those stories/books that we know well and those that we don’t.

titusWe’ve spent the last three Sundays studying Titus, and will probably spend many more. This short letter is proving to be a real thought provoker. Long after the class is over the question, “Who reads Titus?”, will stay with me. Mostly because it was pretty funny, but also because it reminded me how important it is to spend time exploring the remote corners of God’s holy scripture. I’ve spent the last few weeks re-reading The Epistle of Paul to Titus several times over and I have been amazed at how God has used this short letter to both encourage and challenge me.

That’s exactly what we need, isn’t it? To be both encouraged and challenged? Encouraged to look beyond our circumstances and trust God who lead us, and challenged, to “take up our cross” and follow the one who gave himself for us. In a profound and mysterious way, scripture does that. Not because there is something inherently magical about the words on the page, but because the words on the page point us to the Mystery beyond; the Mystery who calls us beloved children and delights in our child-like wonder. But it’s easy to lose that sense of wonder when we search scripture, not for a relationship, but for answers.

Someone asked me once, after I confessed to really knowing very little about God, “How can you be at peace with all the unanswered questions.” My response was simply that, “Unanswered questions don’t really bother me, because it’s not answers I’m looking for. I’m looking for a person, and his name is Jesus. And in him, I have all the answers I’ll ever need.”

So, as your Lenten observance comes to a close and we prepare to celebrate the resurrection on Easter morning, I’d encourage you to spend some extra time searching the scriptures, not for answers, but for a relationship, a relationship with the one who loves you perfectly, the one who knows you intimately, the one who comes to show you a better way.

Blessings on you and yours, Allen