Browse category by SERMONS


April 25, 2023 By dwayman

Two Obstacles of Easter

Benjamin Wayman, St. Paul’s Free Methodist Church

Year A – Easter; 9 April 2023
Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Colossians 3:1-4; John 20:1-18

Today Mary helps us see the Lord. And I’m so grateful she does. In John’s Gospel, Mary appears
only twice, but her appearances are at the climax of the story. Her first appearance is at the
foot of the cross, standing with Jesus’s mother, bearing with her the pain of Jesus’s torture and
death. Her second and final appearance is narrated in our reading today: she’s confused by an
empty tomb and greeted by Jesus, whom she mistook to be the gardener.

I wonder how she mistook him. It is not that she didn’t know Jesus. What kept her from seeing
her resurrected Lord? And what is it today that causes us not to see the resurrected Lord?
On this Easter Sunday, I’d like to explore two obstacles that obstruct our seeing and believing
the gospel. My hunch is that one of these obstacles is more substantial for you than the other,
and today we hear stories of how each are overcome by the earliest Christians.

The first obstacle that obstructs our seeing and believing the gospel is death. The second is
resurrection. These two obstacles, the cross and the empty tomb, are what Christians call “the
mystery of Easter.” I’d like to suggest that these two obstacles – the cross and the empty tomb –


April 21, 2023 By dwayman

“The Sign of Immanuel”
Isaiah 7:10-17
April 16, 2023
Rev. Colleen Hurley-Bates
Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara

Our passage this week in Isaiah 7 brought to mind a parable Jesus told found in Luke 11. It is about persistence in prayer. Here is the main gist: You have a friend who has arrived at midnight and you have no food to give them. So you go to another friend’s home and knock on the door, telling them of your dilemma. This friend, whom you have ostensibly awakened says, “Don’t bother me. I am in bed, my whole household is in bed, and I can’t help you.” Jesus then says, “I tell you the truth, if you are persistent, your friend will get out of bed and give you what you need.” Then, Jesus tells us to ask because it will be given to us, search and we will find, knock and the door will be opened to us. If your child asks you for something good, would you give them something to harm them? No. How much more will your heavenly father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask. (notice it doesn’t say, God will give you what you want. It says you will receive THE SPIRIT.)

This parable is an interesting one. When we read it, it often troubles us how this is about never giving up on prayer,