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Sermons from Ankeny UCC

Nathan Willard and Ankeny UCC

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Sermons from Ankeny UCC

Sermons from Ankeny UCC

Nathan Willard and Ankeny UCC

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Plays
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About Us

A welcoming church family exploring progressive Christian theology

Latest Episodes

Resurrection Signs

In this Easter season, when we see death around us, and perhaps wonder when we, too, may leave our caves, we remember the natural fear and trembling that accompanied Jesus's absence from the tomb. And we remember that we live with the fear, and proclaim the good news anyway.

11 MINAPR 12
Comments
Resurrection Signs

Crowded Processions

Maybe Pilate was coming in by the other road, encouraging Judeans to show their loyalty to the Empire. Maybe he wasn't. Jesus's entry on a colt shows the humility God expects of leaders who are to endure.

12 MINAPR 5
Comments
Crowded Processions

The Apocalypse Every Year

Jesus predicts the sovereign realm of God will come in the lifetimes of the people among him. What if he is preparing all of us for all the upheavals of the world?

9 MINMAR 29
Comments
The Apocalypse Every Year

God Whom We Love

We are reminded by the story that follows Jesus laying out the greatest commandment what power we have to love God will all our hearts. Sometimes, we miss the sacrifice that comes in loving God and loving neighbors as ourselves. In this time, it's good to remember that giving more than we are comfortable with can push us to grow in love.

12 MINMAR 22
Comments
God Whom We Love

Tending the Garden

We're showing our love by not spreading germs. In Jesus's terms, we're trying to figure out how to tend God's vineyard together. Sometimes, it's easy to forget this work until there's a crisis. Being stewards means always remembering public health and good leadership and management, and committing ourselves to remembering that we are public people.

20 MINMAR 15
Comments
Tending the Garden

But I Don’t Want to be Last

12 MINMAR 1
Comments
But I Don’t Want to be Last

The Shame of Christ

It's important that Jesus's transfiguration comes only after he warns Peter not to be ashamed of his impending death. We are reminded that it is easy to promote Christ when Christ's power is obvious. It is easy to proclaim the victory. It is harder to remember that before Christ rose, Jesus was beaten down, alienated, and isolated by the Romans. So perhaps Jesus is reminding Peter that the Gospel will always be found not on the mountaintop, but in the gutter.

10 MINFEB 23
Comments
The Shame of Christ

You Should Definitely Wash Your Hands

Sometimes, leaders say things that are good ideas, but don't necessarily bring us closer to God. Sometimes we have good ideas that don't bring us closer to God. Sometimes we have bad ideas. Jesus challenges us to listen with a discerning ear.

12 MINFEB 17
Comments
You Should Definitely Wash Your Hands

The Head on the Platter

John the Baptist's death shows us the lengths to which those in power will go to suppress criticism. The way we tell the story shows how they also often evade responsibility for their actions. But the story remains.

12 MINFEB 9
Comments
The Head on the Platter

The Demons Inside

Jesus's adventures among the Gerasenes warn us that pushing our demons out of sight do not make them any less potent. Only when we exorcise them from ourselves and reconcile ourselves to them can we heal ourselves and society.

11 MINFEB 2
Comments
The Demons Inside

Latest Episodes

Resurrection Signs

In this Easter season, when we see death around us, and perhaps wonder when we, too, may leave our caves, we remember the natural fear and trembling that accompanied Jesus's absence from the tomb. And we remember that we live with the fear, and proclaim the good news anyway.

11 MINAPR 12
Comments
Resurrection Signs

Crowded Processions

Maybe Pilate was coming in by the other road, encouraging Judeans to show their loyalty to the Empire. Maybe he wasn't. Jesus's entry on a colt shows the humility God expects of leaders who are to endure.

12 MINAPR 5
Comments
Crowded Processions

The Apocalypse Every Year

Jesus predicts the sovereign realm of God will come in the lifetimes of the people among him. What if he is preparing all of us for all the upheavals of the world?

9 MINMAR 29
Comments
The Apocalypse Every Year

God Whom We Love

We are reminded by the story that follows Jesus laying out the greatest commandment what power we have to love God will all our hearts. Sometimes, we miss the sacrifice that comes in loving God and loving neighbors as ourselves. In this time, it's good to remember that giving more than we are comfortable with can push us to grow in love.

12 MINMAR 22
Comments
God Whom We Love

Tending the Garden

We're showing our love by not spreading germs. In Jesus's terms, we're trying to figure out how to tend God's vineyard together. Sometimes, it's easy to forget this work until there's a crisis. Being stewards means always remembering public health and good leadership and management, and committing ourselves to remembering that we are public people.

20 MINMAR 15
Comments
Tending the Garden

But I Don’t Want to be Last

12 MINMAR 1
Comments
But I Don’t Want to be Last

The Shame of Christ

It's important that Jesus's transfiguration comes only after he warns Peter not to be ashamed of his impending death. We are reminded that it is easy to promote Christ when Christ's power is obvious. It is easy to proclaim the victory. It is harder to remember that before Christ rose, Jesus was beaten down, alienated, and isolated by the Romans. So perhaps Jesus is reminding Peter that the Gospel will always be found not on the mountaintop, but in the gutter.

10 MINFEB 23
Comments
The Shame of Christ

You Should Definitely Wash Your Hands

Sometimes, leaders say things that are good ideas, but don't necessarily bring us closer to God. Sometimes we have good ideas that don't bring us closer to God. Sometimes we have bad ideas. Jesus challenges us to listen with a discerning ear.

12 MINFEB 17
Comments
You Should Definitely Wash Your Hands

The Head on the Platter

John the Baptist's death shows us the lengths to which those in power will go to suppress criticism. The way we tell the story shows how they also often evade responsibility for their actions. But the story remains.

12 MINFEB 9
Comments
The Head on the Platter

The Demons Inside

Jesus's adventures among the Gerasenes warn us that pushing our demons out of sight do not make them any less potent. Only when we exorcise them from ourselves and reconcile ourselves to them can we heal ourselves and society.

11 MINFEB 2
Comments
The Demons Inside
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