Reflections

Services

Sunday - 9:15 AM Sunday School, 10:30 AM Worship Service

Reflections from Irvington United Methodist Church

Here you will find random reflections on God, Jesus, the Spirit, and walking in faith. You might find short devotionals, sermon notes, and or other thoughts from our pastors to encourage and challenge your walk with the Lord.

The Theology of Mr. Rogers: You Are Not a Mistake

by: Denise Robinson

01/23/2023

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The Theology of Mr. Rogers: You Are Not a Mistake

Psalm 139:1-18; 2 Corinthians 12:7b-10

Is there anyone here who has never made a mistake? I hate to tell you this, but if you raised your hand you’re mistaken … so there’s at least the second mistake of your life. The truth is that we all make mistakes, and most of us have made too many to count. I’m apt to make at least one before the service ends this morning. Mr. Rogers wanted children to know that mistakes are a part of l

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The Theology of Mr. Rogers: The Mad that I Feel

by: Denise Robinson

01/16/2023

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The Theology of Mister Rogers: The Mad I Feel

Ephesians 4:26-32; James 1:19-20

On May 1, 1969, a relatively unknown Fred Rogers appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Communications to speak in favor of funding for non-profit public broadcasting. Rogers had less than a year earlier launched a half-hour educational program for children called Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, televised nationally by National Educational Television which a year later became PBS. Rogers opened by n

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The Theology of Mr. Rogers: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

by: Denise Robinson

01/09/2023

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The Theology of Mister Rogers: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Luke 9:41-56; Luke 10:25-37

There are very few people known by name alone. Some are known for the good they’ve done, others for crimes against humanity. Some are remembered for their talent and others for an invention. But almost in a category by himself is Mr. Rogers. He was on television for almost 35 years, from 1968 to 2001, on a PBS program called Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, yet he was anything but a television star

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What Now?

by: Denise Robinson

01/02/2023

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What Now?

Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12

 As full disclosure, I want to tell you about the sermon title for this morning, “What Now?” Two weeks ago, caught up in planning for the last Advent sermon, two Christmas Eve sermons, and a Christmas Day service, it hit me that the church office was closed the week between Christmas and New Years … which meant I needed to have bulletin info to Kim by December 22nd at the latest for all the services, this one included. At that point,

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The Nutcracker: The Greatest Gift

by: Denise Robinson

12/19/2022

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The Nutcracker: The Greatest Gift

John 1:11-14, 16; Luke 2:25-32

This morning we conclude our review of The Nutcracker and its lessons for Christmas. Last week, with Clara’s help, the Nutcracker, magically alive and grown to full-size, and aided by an army of wooden soldiers defeated the Mouse King and his army of mice. The victory, however, did not come with a cost. The Nutcracker was injured, and Clara rushed to his side. Now we come to the end of the story. Drosselmeir, C

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The Nutcracker: Changing Perspectives

by: Denise Robinson

12/13/2022

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The Nutcracker: Changing Perspectives

Luke 2:8-11; Luke 3:1-2

Many good storylines present the reader or the viewer with some element of danger. Every good protagonist has an antagonist. It brings conflict into the story and heightens the tension. I remember I wasn’t too old when I first saw the Christmas television special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The cast of characters included, in addition to Rudolph and Santa of course, Rudoph’s parents, his female friend Clarice

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The Nutcracker: Puppets, Promises, and Peace

by: Denise Robinson

12/05/2022

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The Nutcracker: Puppets, Promises and Peace

Isaiah 40:1-5; John 14:25-29 

When we left the story of The Nutcracker last week, Clara and the other children were standing outside the parlor waiting for the door to be unlocked so that they could enter and join the party. Standing at the door and peeking through a keyhole, Clara could hear the sounds of music and see the glow of Christmas lights, but her glimpse was limited. The same is true of us at Advent. We look back and see

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The Nutcracker: Waiting for Christmas

by: Denise Robinson

12/01/2022

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The Nutcracker: Waiting for Christmas

Jeremiah 33:14-16; Luke 2:41-52

The popularity of the ballet “The Nutcracker” skyrockets during the Christmas season because of its pageantry, dancing, and timeless classical music. But for many, the story is not as well-known as the wooden figures seen on display in stores. In preparation for this sermon, I learned a few facts about The Nutcracker. The ballet premiered just before Christmas 1892 at the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatre, b

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The Circle of Gratitude

by: Denise Robinson

11/21/2022

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The Circle of Gratitude

Eph. 1:15-19; Ps. 100; 1 Thess. 5:16-18

A Catholic priest, a Methodist minister, and a rabbi want to see who’s best at doing their job. So, they each go into the woods, find a bear, and attempt to convert it. Later they get together. The priest begins: “I found the bear by the stream, read to him from the Catechism, and sprinkled him with holy water. Next week is his first communion.” The Methodist minister says, “I found a bear by the stream, preache

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Weird Bible Stories: Radical Love

by: Denise Robinson

11/15/2022

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Weird Bible Stories: Radical Love

2 Kings 6:1-7; John 3:16-17

We’re at the end of a short sermon series looking at Weird … strange … odd Bible stories and focusing on why they are in the Bible and what message they have for us today. We’ve learned about Balaam and his talking donkey, a king who received a message written by a disembodied hand, and a prophet of God who never suffered physical death but was taken up into the clouds in a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire.

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Weird Bible Stories: Taken

by: Denise Robinson

11/07/2022

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Weird Bible Stories: Taken

2 Kings 2:9-11; Matthew 27:50-53 

In the 2008 movie, Taken, Liam Neeson plays an ex-CIA officer who springs into action when his seventeen-year-old daughter and her friend are kidnapped by Albanian human traffickers while travelling in France on vacation. The movie, if you haven’t seen it, is rather far-fetched when it comes to all the situations Neeson gets into and out of. But no Hollywood movie can begin to compare to today’s Weird Bible Story:

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Weird Bible Stories: Handwriting on a Wall

by: Denise Robinson

11/01/2022

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Weird Bible Stories: Handwriting on a Wall

Daniel 5:5-9; Jeremiah 31:31-33

For every occasion there is a cliché to go along with it. There’s “a penny saved is a penny (earned)” attributed to Ben Franklin. Or “the early bird gets, or catches, the (worm)” attributed to I don’t know who. Many of our sayings come from the Bible. “By the skin of my (teeth)” – Job 19. “Out of the mouths of (babes)” – Psalm 8. “Rise and (shine)” – Isaiah 60. “United we stand, divided we (fall)” – M

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Weird Bible Stories: A Talking Donkey

by: Denise Robinson

10/19/2022

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Weird Bible Stories: A Talking Donkey?

Numbers 22; Acts 4:13-14

It’s October in Irvington and weird defines our community this month more than usual … so, I thought perhaps for the next few weeks we’d look at some weird stories in the Bible. There are events in the Bible which are difficult for us, as human beings, to understand – God speaking our world into existence, the human birth of Jesus Christ, the miracles Jesus performed including his own resurrection from the dead,

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The Day the Crayons Came Home

by: Denise Robinson

10/17/2022

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The Gospel in Children’s Stories: The Day the Crayons Came Home

Ps. 34:1-4,22; Luke 15:18-20

Several weeks ago, we began this sermon series looking at the good news of Jesus Christ through the lens of popular children’s stories. We began with The Day the Crayons Quit, where we first met Duncan and his underappreciated and complaining crayons. This morning we end this series by returning to Duncan whose crayons have resolved their issues and they are happily coloring together

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Green Eggs and Ham

by: Denise Robinson

09/29/2022

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The Gospel in Children’s Stories: Green Eggs and Ham

2 Cor. 5:11-17; John 6:60-69

Before we dive into our sermon for this morning, here are a few Dr. Seuss trivia questions. What was Dr. Seuss’ real name? Theodor (Ted) Seuss Geisel. Was he really a doctor? No, but his father wanted him to be one, so he borrowed the title when he began to write. What was the first Dr. Seuss book to be published? And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. It was rejected 28 times before it

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