On Rising to the Occasion (10/30/2016)

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

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Texts: Luke 19:1-10

“Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he.” That ditty ranks among the top Sunday School hits of modern times. Alan and I spontaneously broke into a rendition at Bible study on Tuesday. My, admittedly impaired, memory is that we sang about Jesus coming to his house “for tea.” Unless the song has British origins, I don’t know why we would sing about “tea,” except, of course that “tea” rhymes with “tree.”

All that aside, this story from Luke’s gospel still has something to teach us. It never hurts to be reminded of the transformative power of Jesus’ presence. Zacchaeus has heard about Jesus. He’s determined to see him. Jesus actually speaks to him, calls him by name, and his life is never the same again. Salvation comes to him and his household with the blessing of Jesus, the Christ.

Continue reading On Rising to the Occasion (10/30/2016)

Note from Pastor Rick (10/26/2016)

Last Sunday we held our quarterly all church gathering with a presentation about “Our Renewal Project” – past, present, and future. Pastor Gregory prepared a helpful slide presentation and we had good conversation. One of the things we want to emphasize going forward is that we all need to work together for the future of our congregation – staff, leaders, and congregation. You have heard me say before (and I’m sure that I will say it again,) “It takes all of us to be us.” There also needs to be a strong interface between the existing congregation and the wider community with which we seek to partner. We will report further on the conversation and the status of “Our Renewal Project” in the November Spire. We will all benefit from input and participation from each and all of us.

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (10/26/2016)

Note from Pastor Rick (10/19/2016)

My apologies for the delay in this week’s Midweek Message. I have been significantly slowed by the bad cold I came down with last Friday. Every time I think I am better and get things going, I have some sort of relapse. This cold seems as persistent as the widow in last week’s parable. The judgment appears to be rest and fluids. I hope you all are fairing better than I have been.

Still, life goes on. I suspect that last weekend’s rain – delightful as it was – kept some of you home, warm and dry. Now that you’ve had a reminder that water does occasionally fall from the sky, I hope to see you this Sunday, rain or shine. This week, we will consider the familiar tale of the Pharisee and the Publican. If there was ever a story Jesus told, which might speak to us, this is one. The risk of self-righteousness comes to too many of us too frequently. Without adopting an abject self-criticism, how might the simple prayer, “God have mercy on me, a sinner” speak to us wherever we find ourselves?

Continue reading Note from Pastor Rick (10/19/2016)