A Most Improbable Daddy (6/19/2016)

A sermon preached by Rev. Dr. Randle R. (Rick) Mixon
First Baptist Church, Palo Alto, CA

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Texts: Psalm 136:1-9, 23-26: Matthew 17:14-21 (The Message); Horton Hatches the Egg

This has been a hard week – more difficult for some than others, I’m sure – but still a hard week for anyone with an ounce of compassion. Orlando is not the first murderous tragedy to scar the body of this nation and I don’t imagine it will be the last. It joins a long litany of hate and destruction that wounds our souls, individually and collectively, and threatens to undo all that we have hoped for and striven for in creating a land that promises “liberty and justice for all.”

At a time when it seems hopeless to bear witness against the principalities and powers of darkness, when feel numb and hopeless in the face of overwhelming violence and colossal evil, when the most vulnerable are under vicious attack and we don’t know where to turn or what to do, here comes Horton, the elephant with a heart as big as his body. Has he come to save us from all that threatens us? Has he come to rescue us from ourselves? Is his witness one that might lift us, as the first Christians were inspired by that great cloud of faithful witnesses in long ago times of terror? Continue reading A Most Improbable Daddy (6/19/2016)

A Note from Pastor Rick (6/15/2016)

Lament for Orlando by Meg HessIn the study of psychology, we discover that numbness is often a first response to trauma. I feel something of that as I have tried to wrap my mind around what happened in Orlando this weekend. I don’t live in that part of the country and no one I know so far was personally affected. But, as others have commented, a gay bar has been sanctuary, “sacred space,” in this country for most lgbtq people as we’ve struggled to find safe space and journey partners in a hostile world. For whatever reasons, the pain of this violation is palpable for me. I thank God that I find safe space and blessed community among you and I thank you as well. May God bless and keep us. May we yet find the grace and peace of God’s Beloved Community where no one hurts or destroys anymore.

We had a great time hanging out with and learning from The Lorax last Sunday:

 the word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.’”

Thanks to Daniel Ha for his beautiful playing of movement from a piano sonata by Beethoven. We have certainly been blessed with young musical talent recently. Sunday we will have more as James Poe will play his violin once more before heading for summer in New York City, where he will be studying with famed violinist, Itzhak Perlman.

Our Suessian text for Sunday is the tale of that wonderful elephant Horton, who hatches an egg. It seems to me a wonderful text for Father’s Day, as well as a reflection on faithfulness. Jesus says if we had the faith of a mustard seed we could move a mountain. Paul says faith sustains people like Abraham and Sarah on perilous journeys to strange places when God calls. Horton says “an elephant’s faithful, one-hundred percent.” How about us? Can we make such a claim? The Psalmist says “God’s steadfast love endures forever.” Isn’t that the model for fatherly love, from whomever it comes?

After worship we will enjoy our first cookout of the season on the patio. It’s another way to celebrate Father’s Day. We can use your help in making this a grand event. Come for worship Sunday at 10:00 AM and stay for the cookout. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us on the journey.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick

This Week at First Baptist (6/8/16)

CalendarThis Week at First Baptist

  • Thursday, June 9, 7:30 PM: Choir Practice in the Parlor
  • Thursday, June 9, 8:00 PM: Free Movie Night- Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next, Los Altos Youth Center in Los Altos, CA
  • Sunday, June 12, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: The Lorax,” Genesis 2, Job 12:7-10.
  • Sunday, June 12, 11:30 AM: Church Finance Committee in the Parlor.
  • Sunday, June 12, 2:00 – 7:00 PM: Communications in the Church- Pacific Coast Baptist Association Spring Conference including worship, panel discussion, and dinner. Grace Baptist Church, 484 E. San Fernando St., San Jose. Pastor Rick will be one of the panelists. Registration forms are available in the entry way and the church office.
  • Tuesday, June 14, 10:30 AM: Bible Study at Marylea McLean’s apartment, 373 Pine Lane, #4204, Los Altos.
  • Wednesday, June 15, 10:30 AM: Meditation Group at Thelma Parodi’s house, 543 South El Monte Avenue, Los Altos.

LOOKING AHEAD:

  • Sunday, June 19, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost- Fathers Day
    10:00 AM: Worship and Sunday School
    “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: Horton Hatches an Egg,” Psalm 136, Matthew 7:14-21; Hebrews 11, Pastor Rick preaching.“The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss: The Lorax,” Genesis 2, Job 12:7-10.
    11:30 AM: All Church Cookout in honor of Fathers Day on the PatioHamburgers, hot dogs, buns, condiments and beverages furnished.  Bring side dishes, salads or dessert to share.

Note from Pastor Rick (6/1/2016)

James Poe, violinLast Sunday we continued “violin month,” as we listened to the beautiful playing of James Poe. James will play for us again on June 19 before heading off to New York City for seven weeks of study with Itzhak Perlman. We also concluded Peace Month with a focus on “Peace Now!” and a spirited discussion of Daniel Shapiro’s Negotiating the Nonnegotiable.

This month as we center on our own children and youth, celebrating graduations and the end of the school year, and raising funds for the Granholm Scholarship Fund, our theme will be “The Gospel According to Dr. Seuss.” The beloved children’s author and illustrator, Theodore Seuss Geisel, dispensed wit and wisdom for children of all ages, from one to 100. Each Sunday we will focus on one or more of his works, along with the Ancient Word to see what together they might teach us as people of faith.

This Sunday is Youth Sunday. Pastor Gregory, along with our children and youth, will be leading us in worship. The book they’ve chosen is the classic graduation gift, Oh, the Places You’ll Go. We will also celebrate Communion. Adult Spiritual Formation is on hiatus for the summer. Sunday will be our bi-monthly Lunch Bunch,

June 12 we will begin patio hour and June 19 we will hold our first cook out of the summer in honor of Father’s Day. If you’d be willing to host Patio Hour or help with the cook out, please sign up on the sheet in the Entryway. Also, on June 12, Grace Baptist Church in San Jose will be hosting the annual spring gathering of the Pacific Coast Baptist Association. The theme is “Communications in the Church.” There will be worship at 2:30 PM, followed by a panel on which I am participating, ending with dinner. Registration forms are available in the Entryway and office, or you can let me know if you’d like to attend. Registration deadline is Monday, June 6.

Join us for any of these opportunities beginning with Sunday at 10:00 AM. Invite your family and friends, neighbors and colleagues, acquaintances and strangers to join us on the journey.

Together, let us strive…to know God’s love!

Pastor Rick