Shattered Expectations

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, April 1, 2018

Text: Mark 16:1-8 (The Message); 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 (The Message)

What were you expecting? We have shouted, “Christ is risen!” and sung, “Alleluia.” Isn’t that what you were expecting on Easter Sunday? Or were you looking for something different, something more? To be sure, after a few more alleluias and a couple of amens, there will be chocolate eggs and a delicious finger food brunch. Our menu has something for everyone. There shouldn’t be any shattered expectations on Easter at First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, should there?

But then there is this morning’s text from the gospel of Mark that ends so abruptly and surprisingly. No Jesus standing in the shadows of the garden, no post mortem appearance on the Emmaus Road, no Christ walking through walls. Just the proclamation, “He is risen.” Followed by silence. As we read it over in Bible study this week, it struck me that in Mark’s narrative there are shattered expectations all over the place. In fact, “Shattered Expectations” might serve as a sub-title for this ancient text. Let’s go back to the beginning. Tell me about the Christmas story as recorded by Mark. What’s that you say? There isn’t one? Continue reading Shattered Expectations

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Nana Spiridon with pride for all the younger generation who stood for justice last Saturday in the March for Our Lives; for continued support for them that they might be effective in their desire for reasonable gun control
  • For James Poe as he travels in Israel next week with some other musicians
  • For all those affected by the police shooting of Stephon Clark in Sacramento last week
  • For our neighbors that we may find ways to live peacefully with them
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For all the good work supported by our annual America for Christ offering

And What of the Donkey?

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, March 25, 2018

Text: Mark 11:1-11

[NB. Today’s reflection on the word is more of a “poetry reading” than a traditional sermon. It was inspired by the discovery of one poem about the donkey that led to another that led to another. Hoepfully, the reflection will help to move us from the Triumphal Entry to the foot of the Cross – and beyond!]

He came riding on a donkey,
he came riding into town;
slow and easy, kind of lowly,
he came riding with the dawn.

And what of the Donkey? Maren Tirabassi plays with the fact that the donkey must first be untied to be ridden. She wonders if the untying isn’t a liberation to serve and speculates on the freedom we might experience if were untied from the things that bind us.

Continue reading And What of the Donkey?

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • For the excellent leadership of Doug Avilesbernal and all who participated in our All Church Family Conversation last weekend
  • Melanie Ramirez for Daniel who has been accepted into the summer camp for the Pioneers, a marching group in Wisconsin, where he will spend two months this summer
  • Carolyn Shepard for the responsive young woman she has been able to help over the last couple of weeks with a place to live and help turning her life around
  • Pastor Gregory for Mosaic potluck on Tuesday; for his sister, Lauren, just out of detox and his mother, Carol with health concerns; for a good conversation with his father, David
  • Nana Spiridon for Alex who has pneumonia; for Liza who just announced her engagement
  • For James Poe as he travels in Israel next week with some other musicians
  • For all those affected by the school shooting in Florida and for an end to gun violence; for those young people who will be leading marches for gun control all across the country this Saturday
  • For our neighbors that we may find ways to live peacefully with them
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For all the good work supported by our annual America for Christ offering

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Lois Ville for Mary Granholm on her birthday
  • Melanie Ramirez for the joy of singing under her dad, Steve Reddy, as he conducted a 100 voice choir for a Habitat for Humanity event in Modesto; for Daniel who is auditioning for a band camp in Milwaukee and will be marching in the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Dan Cudworth remembering the three women murdered in Yountville as they worked with veterans with PTSD – “the price of love”
  • For David, the Tuttles and all those affected by the recent death of Sally Kurtzman
  • For all those affected by the school shooting in Florida and for an end to gun violence; for those young people walking out of class to protest gun violence
  • For our neighbors that we may find ways to live peacefully with them
  • For our All Church Family Conversation this weekend
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For Mosaic South Bay as it takes root and grows
  • For all the good work supported by our annual America for Christ offering

The Love of God

A Sermon preached by the
Rev. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA
Sunday, March 11, 2018

Text: John 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:1-10

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to the human race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And everyone a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Refrain:
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song. Continue reading The Love of God

Praying with the People

Our Joys and Concerns for this week include:

  • Birthday Joys for Hugh Satterlee (March 7), Reese Probst (March 8), Sachiko Berry (March 9), Soo Kim (Lee) (March 10). Mary Granholm (March 13)
  • Chuck and Nancy Syverson with thanks for our hospitality during their visit
  • Jan Gunderson, glad to be back home after a fantastic trip to Egypt (where it snowed on the pyramids last week for the first time in over 100 years!)
  • For the joy of having Jessie and Paul Tuan worship with us
  • For the Chins as they travel in Asia
  • Kitsy Bocook for the joy of worshipping with old friends
  • For the Evergreen contingent on a mission trip to Haiti
  • Paul Berry remembering the long, rich life of his former boss with the Friends service Committee when he worked in Haiti (“She kept on doing right for 104 Years!”)
  • For David, the Tuttles and all those affected by the recent death of Sally Kurtzman
  • For all those affected by the school shooting in Florida and for an end to gun violence
  • For Don, Dustin, and Dylan Ha as they deal with the difficulties of serious water damage to their home
  • For Mosaic South Bay as it takes root and grows
  • For all the good work supported by our annual America for Christ offering