Category Archives: Past Sermons

Sermon June 3, 2018

“Bearing Bad News”
Rev. Jeff Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
June 3, 2018

For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.”  1 Samuel 3:13i

Nobody likes bad news. We avoid it when we can. Most of us don’t like giving it. I never had to fire anyone. There have been a few times when I should have. There was the church sexton who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder. He tried to burn down the church by setting an elaborate fuse in the Boy Scout’s storage closet. He should have been fired but he disappeared, never to be seen again, after the fuse was found. Continue reading Sermon June 3, 2018

Sermon May 27, 2018

“Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer”
Marcia Tomlinson, Deacon
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
May 27, 2018
Trinity Sunday

When I was a kid, summer meant a world of wonderfulness and Memorial Day weekend was its kick-off. One of the signs of summer was the arrival of the circus with its wild animals and equally fantastic grownups doing amazing things. I always loved that opening parade led by the biggest elephant with a beautiful sequined lady riding on top, waving to the crowd.

There’s an elephant in the room today … no sequined lady waving …. but definitely signaling a new season for us. Continue reading Sermon May 27, 2018

Sermon May 20, 2018

“Do We Hear the Voice of Jesus?”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
1 John 15:26-27   16:4b-15
May 20, 2018

I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” John 16:12i

Until is can be proven otherwise, I’m going to take Jesus at His word. I have expanded a bit on what He said long ago to His disciples. I think Jesus still has many things to say to us. Indeed, as the world around us changes, Jesus speaks new truths and calls us in new directions. Continue reading Sermon May 20, 2018

Sermon May 13, 2018

“The Good, the Right, and the Fit”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
Romans 7: 21-25
May 13, 2018

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand.”    – Romans 7:21i

I am about to help you with your friendships, marriage and citizenship. Tall order, right? But fools rush in where angels fear to tread, so here I go! Continue reading Sermon May 13, 2018

Sermon May 6, 2018

“Receiving the Holy Spirit”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
Acts 10: 44-48
May 6, 2018

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the word.” – Acts 10:44i

I have a colleague I greatly admire. She serves a United Church of Christ congregation. I would never have guessed that Sally (not her real name) spoke in tongues.

Well, that fascinated me. Continue reading Sermon May 6, 2018

Sermon April 22, 2018

“When is Enough Enough”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
1 John 3: 16-24
April 22, 2018

  How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?” – 1 John 3:17i

We’ve been set-up. I mean, really, John. Look at the verse right before the one that is serving as our text. 1 John 16 says “…we ought to lay down our lives for one another.” Well, maybe we should but we don’t. Clearly, we are hypocrites and I can’t tell you how often I have heard how those outside the church are turned off by our hypocrisy. We’ve been set-up. Continue reading Sermon April 22, 2018

Sermon April 15, 2018

“The Disappearing Christ”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
Luke 24: 13-49
April 15, 2018

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.” – Luke 24:31i

This is what we know. Two men are traveling from Jerusalem to Emmaus – about 7 miles or a 2½-hour walk. Jesus joins them but the two men do not recognize Him. They continue talking about what transpired in Jerusalem over the last few days and they are specific regarding the details. They thought Jesus was the promised Messiah only to have their hopes crushed by His crucifixion. We know Jesus reframed the situation and told them the Messiah had to endure all this pain and shame. We know that it was getting late. They arrived at where they were staying. The stranger appeared to be journeying on. They beseeched Him to stay with them because it was growing dark. Continue reading Sermon April 15, 2018

Sermon April 8, 2018

“Seeing the Wounds of Jesus”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
John 20: 19-31
April 8, 2018

” …  Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” – John 20:28i

Something happened on the way to this sermon. I changed my mind. I was going to preach a sermon no one needed to hear. So I decided to preach one I needed to hear. Continue reading Sermon April 8, 2018

Sermon April 1, 2018 Easter

“Why Go Home”
Rev. Jeffrey Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC
John 20: 1-18
April 1, 2018

Then the disciples returned to their homes. – John 20:10i

What a strange thing to do. Jesus has risen from the dead. Peter and the other disciple come to believe that Jesus lives. Instead of running back to tell the other disciples, they “returned to their homes.” They have come to an existential awakening. The world has been turned upside down and the defeat of Jesus and their cause has become the greatest victory in history. They go home? Continue reading Sermon April 1, 2018 Easter