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Sermons for this week:

John 3:1-17 - "There Are Other Worlds To Sing In"
Various Text - "Lenten Sermon Series"

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Matthew 4:
His name was Paul. He lived in a small town in the Pacific Northwest some years ago. He was just a little boy when his family became the proud owners of one of the first telephones in the neighborhood. It was one of those wooden boxes attached to the wall with the shiny receiver hanging on the side of the box… and the mouthpiece attached to the front. Young Paul listened with fascination as his mom and dad used the phone… and he discovered that somewhere inside the wonderful device called a telephone lived an amazing person.

Her name was “Information Please”… and there was nothing she did not know. Information Please could supply anybody’s number… and the correct time! Paul ’s first personal experience with “Information Please” came one day when he was home alone and he whacked his finger with a hammer. The pain was terrible and he didn’t know what to do… and then he thought of the telephone. Quickly, he pulled a footstool up to the phone, climbed up, unhooked the receiver, held it to his ear and said: “Information Please” into the mouthpiece. There was a click or two and then a small clear voice spoke: “Information.” “I hurt my finger,” Paul wailed into the phone. “Isn’t your mother home?” “Nobody’s home but me,” Paul cried. “Are you bleeding?” “No,” Paul said. “I hit my finger with the hammer and it hurts.” “Can you open your ice-box?” “Yes.” “Then go get some ice and hold it to your finger.” Paul did and it helped a lot.

After that Paul called “Information Please for everything. She helped him with his geography and his math. She taught him how to spell the word “fix.” She told him what to feed his pet chipmunk. And then when Paul’s pet canary died, she listened to his grief tenderly and then said: “Paul, always remember that there are other worlds to sing in.” Somehow that helped and Paul felt better.

When Paul was nine years old, he moved with his family to Boston… and as the years passed he missed “Information Please” very much. Some years later as Paul was on his way out west to go to college, his plane landed in Seattle. He dialed his hometown operator and said, “Information Please.” Miraculously, he heard that same small clear voice that he knew so well. “Information.” Paul hadn’t planned this, but suddenly he blurted out: “Could you please tell me how to spell the word “fix?” There was a long pause. Then came the soft answer: “I guess your finger must be all healed by now.” Paul laughed. “So it’s really still you. Do you have any idea how much you meant to me during that time when I was a little boy?” “I wonder,” she said, “if you know how much your calls meant to me! I never had any children and I used to look forward to your calls so much.”

Paul told her how much he had missed her over the years and asked her if he could call her again when he was back in the area. “Please do,” she said, “just ask for Sally.” Three months later, Paul was back in Seattle. This time a different voice answered. He asked for Sally. “Are you a friend?” the operator asked. “Yes, a very old friend.” Paul answered. “Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you this,” she said. “Sally had been working part time the last few years because she was sick. She died 5 weeks ago.” Before he could hang up, the operator said: “Wait a minute. Did you say your name was Paul?” “Yes.” “Well, Sally left a message for you. She wrote it down in case you called. Let me read it to you. It says: ‘When Paul calls, tell him that I still say: there are other worlds to sing in.’ He will know what I mean.” Paul thanked her and hung up and he did know what Sally meant.

“There are other worlds to sing in.” Isn’t that a beautiful and powerful thought? And that is precisely what John 3 is all about. “There are other worlds to sing in”… in this life and, yes, even beyond this life. When Jesus said to Nicodemus that night: “You must be born again.” “You must be born from above.” That’s what he meant… you don’t have to stay the way you are. You can make a new start. You can have a new life. You can become a new person. There are other worlds to sing in. First of all….



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Sermon Series for Lent:

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sermon series plus our complete library of material.

Lenten: A Sight For Blind Eyes
David E. Leininger

1. Lent - Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

2. The Devil Made Me Do It - Matthew 4:1-11

3. Nicodemus - John 3:1-15

4. Excuses (Alternate Lent 2) - Luke 14:16-23

5. Unexpected Evangelists - John 4:5-42

6. Sight for Blind Eyes - John 9:

7. The Grief Grinch - John 11:17-36

8. Sometimes Youve Got to Shout! - John 12:12-16
9. The Imperatives of the Resurrection - Matthew 28:1-10

Lenten: They Heard Him Gladly
James W. Moore

1. The Common People Heard Him Gladly - Mark 12:35-37

2. Jesus and Andrew - John 1:35-42

3. Jesus and Zacchaeus - Luke 19:1-10

4. Jesus and Bartimaeus - Mark 10:46-52

5. Jesus and Mary and Martha - Luke 10:38-42

6. Jesus and Mary Magdalene - John 20:11-18

7. When The Risen Christ Comes Looking For Us - John 21:15-19

Lenten: The Passion Of The Christ
Brett Blair

1. His Triumphal Entry - Luke 19:28-40

2. His Cleansing Of The Temple - Luke 19:45-48

3. His Teachings - Luke 20:27-38
4. His Last Supper - Luke 22:14-23

5. His Trial - Luke 23:13-25

6. His Death - Luke 23:33-43

7. His Resurrection - John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-10

Lenten: The Healing Power Of The Christ
James W. Moore

1. The Healing Of Simons Mother-in-Law - Mark 1:21-28

2. The Healing of the Man with the Withered Hand - Mark 3:1-6

3. The Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac

4. The Healing of Jairus Daughter and the Hemorrhaging Woman - Mark 5:21-43

5. The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus - Mark 10:46-52

6. The Healing Power of the Cross - Mark 15:33-41

7. The Healing Power of the Resurrection - John 20:1-18 or Luke 24:1-10

Lenten: Encounters With Christ
James W. Moore

1. Jesus & the Man Born Blind - John 9:1-12

2. Jesus and Mary and Martha - Luke 10:38-42

3. Jesus and Nicodemus - John 3:1-10

4. Jesus and the Woman at the Well - John 4:7-15

5. Jesus and James and John - Matthew 20:20-28

6. Jesus and Caiaphas - Matthew 26:58-68

7. Jesus & Mary Magdalene - Mark 16:1-7

Lenten: Journey To The Cross
James W. Moore

1. Jesus And The Demon-Possessed Man - Mark 5:1-20

2. Jesus And The Hemorrhaging Woman - Mark 5:21-43

3. Jesus And The Extravagant Woman - Mark 14:1-9

4. Jesus and Judas - Mark 14:43-51

5. Jesus and Simon Peter - Mark 14:66-72

6. Jesus And Pontius Pilate - Matthew 27:15-26

7. Jesus And The Women At The Tomb - Mark 16:1-8

Lenten: The Man From Galilee
Thomas A. Pilgrim

1. The Temptation Of His Life - Matthew 4:1-11

2. The Transformation Of His Call - Matthew 4:18-22

3. The Touch Of His Hand - Matthew 8:14-17

4. The Treasure Of His Kingdom - Matthew 13:44

5. The Test Of His Courage - Matthew 20:17-19

6. The Tragedy Of His Victory - Luke 19:28-40

7. The Triumph Of His Defeat - Matthew 28:1-10

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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....

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