Sermon Audio

rss-80 Audio recordings of sermons are available as a RSS feed.
To subscribe: Feed URL = http://firstbaptistchurchmadison.podbean.com/feed/
The sermons are also available in iTunes.

 


May 20, 2018: “… God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young will see visions. Your elders will dream dreams …”

On this Pentecost Sunday, Pastor Mark asks the question, “Are you on fire?” When we catch fire, the younger among us see visions, and the older dream dreams. And the Church requires both! The Church is being continuously reborn at every moment in these ways. The sermon text is Acts 2:2-4 and 2:14-21. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

May 13, 2018: “… they were gazing up to heaven …”

On this Ascension Day, Pastor Mark preaches on the ascension of Jesus. The apostles responded to it by gazing into heaven, but they were told to lower their gaze to the earth and to wait in prayer for the power of the Holy Spirit . The sermon text is Acts 1:1-11. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

May 6, 2018: “…even on the Gentiles …”

Pastor Mark preaches on drawing lines – boundaries between countries, states, nationalities, races, etc. In Jesus’ time, the Jewish faith was great at drawing lines about what was clean and unclean, what was work and what was not. But Jesus seemed to be blind to lines; he ignored them. Pastor Mark points out that lines are not real; they are things we make up. And having made them up, we start to believe they are real, creating all kinds of problems. Thinking that our lines are real, we come to live in an increasingly distorted and untrue world. Drawing lines is a response to our deepest insecurities, and somehow we feel safer if we can draw a line. Drawing lines creates differences and otherness. We see in Jesus what it is to live an unlined life and to approach another person as they are. The Holy Spirit blows across every boundary as if it is not there – because it is not there. In God’s world, you can’t draw a line anywhere. The sermon text is Acts 10:44-48. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

April 29, 2018: “I am the vine; you are the branches.”

Using the image of a vine and its branches, Jesus does not make a declaration of our independence. Jesus makes a declaration of our interdependence, an intimate reliance not only on God, but also a reliance on the rest of the vine. We are part of a network of mutuality – a network of not just people, but also creation itself. Just as surely as the branch must connect to the vine, and the vine to the root if it is to thrive, so also we must make all of life’s fundamental connections. The current environmental crisis is not a crisis of the environment, it is a crisis of our “ego systems” and is a spiritual crisis at heart. The sermon text is John 15:1-8. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

April 22, 2018: Love

The writer of John’s letter calls for us to love each other in the Christian community. Pastor Jason points out how this love is different from love for one’s partner or family or for those in need. He asks the congregation two questions: (1) When was the last time you felt loved in the church?, and (2) When was the last time you felt judged in the church? He calls for us to do more of the former and less of the latter. The sermon text is 1 John 3:16-18. The reading of the scripture and the response of the congregation to the first question are included in the podcast. The Rev. Jason Mack preaching.

April 15, 2018: “Then he opened their minds to understand the scripture …”

Pastor Mark preaches on the importance of reading scripture and its urgency to the vitality of faith and vitality of church. Mark asks the question: “How will we have a conversation with Jesus, and how will he be able to interpret scripture for us, if we are not acquainted with it?” The sermon text is Luke 24:36b-48. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

April 8, 2018: “Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions . . . There was not a needy person among them.”

Is Easter like a first aid kit that we keep in the trunk of our cars in case we need it in an emergency? Is our faith like that – kept in the trunk for the difficult times in life? But in the early church, their faith was no first aid kit in the trunk thing. Instead, the love that triumphed over death on Easter was triumphing in their lives every day. The sermon text is Acts 4:32-35. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

April 1, 2018: “Do not be afraid … he is not here; for he has been raised as he said.”

What day is this? Is it Easter? Or is it April Fool’s Day? On this day, the revelation that Christ has risen has made foolish the wisdom of the world and has turned into weakness the world’s pretense of strength. What a day this is! The sermon text is Matthew 28:1-10; the reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

March 25, 2018: Sometimes We Fail

Peter denied Jesus three times. Does that mean he failed? Does Jesus give up on him? Is there nothing left for him to do in the Kingdom of God? The sermon text is Mark 14:27-29 &66-72. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Jason Mack preaching.

March 18, 2018: “…and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

Pastor Mark talks about the graffiti of God – where God has promised to write upon the hearts of His people. God has written, “Mine” on our hearts; we belong to God. The sermon text is Jeremiah 31:31-34. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

March 11, 2018: How Do We Serve? A Reflection on the Loaves and Fishes

Pastor Jason uses the story of the feeding of the five thousand as a model for doing ministry in our community, both as individuals and as a church. This model has seven steps: (1) realization and compassion, (2) despair and doubt, (3) inventory and collaboration, (4) prayer, (5) generosity, (6) mutuality, and (7) count on God to work a miracle. The sermon text is Mark 8:1-9. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Jason Mack preaching.

March 4, 2018: “…but to us who are being saved, (the cross) is the power of God.”

Pastor Mark talks about our inherent need to control: to control our lives, and to some extent the lives of others. But, as John Irving wrote, there are forces beyond our control that we don’t have the faith to feel, and have failed to believe in. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the church in Corinth, writes of the power of God, who takes matters out of our hands. Mark challenges us to believe in the power of God and to let go and let God. The sermon text is 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.

Feb. 25, 2018: “… a man possessed by an evil spirit came out …”

Using the story of Legion, Pastor Mark breaks the silence around mental illness and raises questions about how it is dealt with, or fails to be dealt with, in the Christian church. The sermon text is Mark 5:1-15. The reading of the scripture is included in the podcast. The Rev. Mark Clinger preaching.