Let me bless you, a plea for coming home based on Matthew 13.54-58

Coming-Home-Title

Based on Matthew 13:54-58, Jesus’ homecoming

I leave home
I grow
I change

But those I’ve been apart from can’t see it
They only know my past
My first shoots from the family tree
Where I began

My newness is so strangely new
My empowerment so curious
and unexpected

Yes, I am who I was
Yes, I am who I’m becoming
My dear ones, receive and rejoice in both
Let me bless you

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Let me bless you, a plea for coming home based on Matthew 13:54-58
© 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Sermon Recording- There’s No Place Like Home (Revelation 21 and 1 Peter 2)

finding-god-in-oz

Sermon Series – Finding God in Oz
The Wizard of Oz is a powerful allegory for so many of our foundational Christian beliefs. Walk with us as we Find God in Oz.

Message: There’s No Place Like Home, a Message on the Now and Not Yet of Heaven
Scriptures: Revelation 21:1-5, 22-26 and 1 Peter 2:9-12
Offered 10/30/16, All Saints Sunday, at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

Excerpt of At the Ballet from the musical A Chorus Line
Up a steep and very narrow stairway to the voice like a metronome
Up a steep and very narrow stairway
It wasn’t paradise, it wasn’t paradise, it wasn’t paradise
but it was home

From Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk, Success, failure and the drive to keep creating
Gilbert is a successful author, best known for her memoir Eat, Pray, Love. It took 6 years of failure before Gilbert was finally published. Why did she continue to put herself through that pain? “I loved writing more than I hated failing at writing. Which is to say I loved writing more than I loved my own ego. Which is ultimately to say I loved writing more than myself.”

Writing is her home. She returns to it again and again in failure or success. “I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.”

Revelation 21 is one of many places in the scripture where we get a glimpse of heaven. Heaven is not a dream due to a bump on the head, it’s real, trustworthy and true. This gives us hope. We don’t get there by wishing on a star, or riding a tornado, or sprouting wings like a bluebird. Our Jesus gets us there – we are saved by grace through faith, not works or magic. If we confess with our lips that Jesus is Lord, believe in our hearts God raised him from the dead we will be saved. It’s about placing our trust in his life, death and resurrection. It’s available for all. This gives us hope, too. -Lisa Degrenia <><

2 Peter 3:13 NRSV
But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

sermon and prayer © 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Sermon Recording- Jacob’s Dream and God’s Great Grace (Genesis 28)

Jacob Sermon Series

Sermon Series – Jacob, Punk to Patriarch
Jacob’s journey to faith and accepting his place in God’s plan is full of schemes, betrayal, and family dysfunction. Yet, in the midst of the mess, God remains steadfast- offering relationship, provision, purpose, and new life. In Jacob’s story, we see our own mess and God’s saving grace for us as well.

Message: Jacob’s Dream and God’s Great Grace
Scriptures: Genesis 28:10-22
Offered 9/11/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

Your dreams are both powerful and rebellious. They are not bound by your fears, inertia, pain, or what your grandmother said about you. They don’t have to fit your cramped idea of who you think you are. They don’t have to be reasonable, nor do they have to please your parents, your boss, or the church. They are free to take you to interior places you can’t imagine and challenge the way you run your life—and the way your life runs you.
They can be outrageous, daring, playful, zany, sexy. They speak truth as they point to your particular needs for growth. They highlight the changes you are now strong enough to make. Your dreams are full of parts of you that you have denied, disguised in your own easily decipherable dreamcode. Best of all, your dreams are a venue in which God’s presence can be discerned. Your dreams are free to express your natural human spirituality even if you are turned off to organized religion.
– Tilda Norberg, The Chocolate-Covered Umbrella

The translation used in this message comes from The Five Books of Moses by Everett Fox

The prayer following the message is Turn and Return by Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
We Fall away
Slip away
Turn away
Hide away
Run away
Push away
Go our way
Lose our way

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your Presence?
You Pursue

Woman sweeping
Spirit drawing
Hound dog tracking
Lover calling
Brood Hen gathering
Shepherd searching
Racer enduring
Father waiting… praying… hoping… looking… running… embracing
Our turning and returning

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Sermon Recording- Here is Your Son, Here is Your Mother

jesus crucifixion mother son

Sermon Series: Final Words from the Cross
The Scriptures record Jesus speaking 7 phrases as he hung upon the cross- important and powerful final reminders of who he was and what it means to follow him.

Message: Here is Your Son… Here is Your Mother
Scripture: John 19:23-27
Offered 3/06/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

SCRIPTURE AND SONG: John 19:23-27
ALL SINGING- Where You There?
United Methodist Hymnal #288, verse 1
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

ONE: John 19:23-25 NRSV
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts, one for each soldier. They also took his tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see who will get it.” This was to fulfill what the scripture says, “They divided my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.” And that is what the soldiers did.

ALL SINGING
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

ONE: John 19:25-27 NRSV
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

ALL SINGING
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Exodus 20:12 NRSV
Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Galatians 3:28 NIV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Mark 3:35 NRSV
Jesus’ words, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother”

Peter Storey, Listening at Golgotha
This poignant interchange on Good Friday is a marker for a revolution in our understanding of community. Jesus entrusts the life and welfare of another to one of his followers, and he places upon that new relationship the value we reserve for our closest family unit. No longer will the obligation of mutual care depend upon blood relationship, but all will be welcomed as the one family of Christ. No more will our first loyalty be to tribe or nation or clan. For Christians, “whoever does the will of God” will be our mothers, our sisters, our brothers, our fathers. From now on the followers of Jesus will receive one another as gift, to be welcomed, honored, and cherished simply because Jesus has given them to us.

Peter Storey, Listening at Golgotha
From the cross where he is nailed, Jesus nails us to each other.
In doing so, he is giving birth to a new community.

mother son collage

Resources for this sermon
Final Words From the Cross by Adam Hamilton
Listening at Golgotha by Peter Storey

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I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Sermon Series Recordings: Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas jpg
Sermon Series: Home for Christmas
Message 1 of 4: God Moves In
Scriptures: John 1:1-14; Zephaniah 3:14-20
Offered 11/30/14 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 2 of 4: Making a Home for God
Scriptures: Luke 1:26-38
Offered 12/07/14 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 3 of 4: No Room
Scriptures: Luke 2:1-7
Offered 12/14/14 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

Message 4 of 4: Far From Home
Scriptures: Matthew 2; Psalm 34
Offered 12/28/14 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota FL

I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact the Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Prayer Poem: God Who Brings the Cleansing Rain (Matthew 2:19-23)

walking home road2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Day 31 Reading: Matthew 2:19-23
Returning From Egypt

He made his home in a town called Nazareth
– Matthew 2:23

Prayer Poem: God Who Brings the Cleansing Rain
God who brings the cleansing rain
saturate our thirsty bones
with the milk of mercy sweet
with the blood that brings us home

God who rules the fiery sun
kindle now our brittle hearts
set ablaze our tender lives
forge our ways till sin departs

God who rides the winds of change
anchor us against its wrath
set our face toward holy ends
fix our walk upon your path

God who sends the silent snows
quiet us against your breast
cover us with hope-filled wings
whisper soft your word of rest

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This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer Poem: God Who Brings the Cleansing Rain © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.

Prayer: Far From Home (Matthew 2:13-15)

door-with-key2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas
Days 27 and 28 are set aside for worship and rest
Day 29 Reading: Matthew 2:13-15
Run For Your Life

An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Get up, take the child and his mother,
and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you;
for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.”
– Matthew 2:13

Click Here for an insightful reflection by Rev. Magrey deVega on the 2015 refugee crisis in the context of Scripture and the Christian tradition. It’s entitled Jesus was also a Refugee.

To live in the world without belonging to the world summarizes the essence of the spiritual life. The spiritual life keeps us aware that our true house is not the house of fear, in which the powers of hatred and violence rule, but the house of love, where God resides. – Henri Nouwen, Behold the Beauty of the Lord

Prayer: Far from Home
Like Mary and Joseph
Circumstances beyond our imagining
Beyond our control
Take us far from home

Jesus, you are with us
You are our help and home

Like King Herod
Our desires for security, pleasure, and power
Lead us down destructive paths
Take us far from home

Jesus, you are with us
You are our help and home

Like the Magi,
Quests for wisdom and direction
A truth we can trust
Take us far from home

Jesus, you are with us
You are our help and home

No matter where we find ourselves
There is a future, with hope
Because Jesus, you are with us
You are our help and home

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This post is part of the 2014 Bible Reading Plan for Christmas. Click here for more information, including a list of all the readings.

Prayer: Far From Home  © 2015 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please contact Lisa for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

For more information on the art and the use of this post in other settings,
please refer to the copyright information page.