Can you hear me now?

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, January 14, 2018

Text: 1 Samuel 3:1-11
1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to God under Eli. The word of God was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room; 3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of God, where the ark of the Holy One was. 4Then God called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!” 5and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So, he went and lay down.6God called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know God, and the word of God had not yet been revealed to him. 8God called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that God was calling the boy. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if the Voice calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Holy One, for your servant is listening.’” So, Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10Now God came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Continue reading Can you hear me now?

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday Joys: Carolyn Shepard (January 16)
  • Kathy Gillam for Julia and Micah who are expecting a baby in July
  • For Mosaic South Bay as it takes root and grows
  • For all those affected by the mudslides in southern California
  • For all those affected by the extreme winter weather
  • For the good work of 10 Books a Home

Mixon Muses January 2018

In a blog for the New Year, Amy Butler, Senior Pastor of the Riverside Church in New York City, reflects on the transition from the old to the new. In her column, entitled “Goodbye, 2017. Won’t Miss You Much,” she reflects on all the trouble that 2017 brought to us as people of faith. I won’t re-hash her reflection. You can read it for yourself at But I do want to consider one brief paragraph from the middle of her piece. She summarizes, “In short, 2017, you have shaken us awake to deep problems that have always been present but are now undeniably urgent, requiring all of us to wake from complacency and decide if we will have the courage to live what we believe. Thanks a lot, 2017. No, really … thank you. We now see more clearly the critical work ahead of us, and each of us has a decision to make about what will happen in 2018.”

You’ve heard and read enough of my own griping and grieving this past year to know that I share Amy’s perspective. 2017 “woke” many of us to deep-seeded difficulties in this world in which we live. In particular, 2017 surfaced the breadth and depth of racism, xenophobia, sexism (including harassment and assault,) homo-hatred, and pure meanness that lay just below the surface of our society and was dormant but present in the life-stream of our culture. The pressing question is not one of making “America great again.” The more urgent concern is whether we might be kind, considerate, humane, decent, compassionate, loving – those qualities, which we as people of faith claim as our legacy. Are their ways in which can infuse these qualities into our social fabric and our cultural structures?

Continue reading Mixon Muses January 2018

What can I give him?

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, January 7, 2018

Text: Matthew 2:1-12 (NRSV)

“What can I give him, poor as I am?” Christina Rosetti penned these words more than a hundred years ago, and still the question seems timeless. What can I give him? What can you give him – Jesus Christ, Child of God, Maker of Heaven and Earth? Talk about the classic dilemma of what to give someone who has everything!

During other seasons, we frequently sing, as our Song of Response to the Giving of our Gifts,

We give thee but thine own,
whate’er the gift may be;
all that we have is thine alone,
a trust, O God, from thee.

We sing this partly because I believe it to be true. Jesus, himself, championed what is known as the debt code over against the more prevalent purity code practiced by most Jews in his day. It is an argument that, because all that is, including life itself, was created by God and shared with us by God’s grace, we are eternally indebted to God for everything. There are no hierarchies in the mind of God. None of us is better than another. None of us has a birthright to the privilege we hold. “It is God who has made us and not we ourselves. We are God’s people and the sheep of God’s pasture (Psalm 100:3). Our indebtedness to the Creator is a great leveler – we are all, each and every one of us, sheep of God’s pasture. No claims of purity, righteousness, class, race, nationality, gender, age, ability, intellect, power or privilege make us superior to another. God loves us everyone equally, without favoritism. Continue reading What can I give him?

Joys and Concerns

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday Joys: Salvador Ramirez (January 3), Barbara Hing (January 6)
  • Dan and Laurie who are expectant grandparents
  • For the presence of the Nasons and the Tuans in worship
  • Katarina, thankful and grateful for her career that has involved so much traveling, bringing both difficult and rewarding times over the many years
  • Laurie Cudworth for her mother, Charlotte, who is doing a bit better; thankful for Christmas time with family; excited that she and Dan will be grandparents next July
  • Dan Cudworth, thinking about resolutions for the New Year, hoping we might all resolve to be a people of prayer this year
  • Pastor Gregory for Mosaic – the energy and momentum after the first event is strong; next event is coming up in a few weeks and prayers are appreciated
  • For the good work of 10 Books a Home

Make Christmas Great Again

A sermon preached by Gregory Stevens on Sunday, 31 December 2018 at the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto. Text: Luke 2:25-40

It breaks my heart when our culture celebrates Christmas. They have made our holiday into a consumer market for capitalist exploitation. Gifts, shopping, more gifts, feasting, shopping, gifts…buy buy buy your way to happiness! Shop till you drop!

Oddly enough the sorrow and pain I feel for our country and my own families addiction to consumer Christmas, is fitting with the actual Christian holiday we find ourselves in during those months. As I’ve been exploring with our youth, Advent makes up the four Sunday’s leading up to Christmas as a yearning and desire for something more. As the days get shorter, and colder and we cuddle around our fires hoping for the Sun to brighten our days once again with warmth and blossoming-life; we also might see how our world too is drowning in injustice and the need for transformation is dire. Through Advent we hope and long for the Christ to redeem our cold dreary situation. Continue reading Make Christmas Great Again

Mosaic New Year Potluck

After such an epic Mosaic Vision Party let’s get keep the awesomeness going! Our next gathering will be an art-filled potluck with poetry, painting, and music for us all to enjoy.

This is an open (safe and brave) event, so please invite your (rebellious) friends! Please also bring something to share (food or drinks) with the gang.

Mosaic New Year Potluck
Tuesday, January 16th
7PM – 9PM
305 N. California Ave (Parlor Room)

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