Beyond Our Wants

Beyond Our Wants  Robert Hoch Psalm 23 Acts 2:42-27 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore, MD May 7, 2017 In contrast to the way our psalm begins – “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want” (1) – our sung refrain turns the noun, “shepherd”, into a verb: “Shepherd – prod me, […]

Monday Morning

Monday Morning Questions for Reflection With Brief Excerpts from the Sermon: Talking With Strangers April 30, 2017 Luke 24:13-35 13 Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While […]

Talking to Strangers

Talking With Strangers Robert Hoch Psalm 116 Luke 24:13-35 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church May 30, 2017             The two disciples were leaving Jerusalem. Leaving it with downcast hearts. It was the third day, the tomb was empty; there were rumors; but most suspected the worst. Jesus of Nazareth, their […]

Do Not Cling to Me

John 20:1-18 Robert Hoch Easter Sunday April 16, 2017 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore MD Iris, our four-year-old daughter, thinks I’m clingy. She doesn’t use that word, but she thinks it all the same. She does not want to hold my hand when we cross the street or walk through a parking lot. Actually, […]

All the Right Notes, Wrong Music

Matthew 21:1-11 Robert Hoch First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore MD Palm Sunday Do you know that you can sing Amazing Grace to the theme song of Gilligan’s Island? Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. . . . Fun, right? I sing it to my kids all the time. They’ve never seen Gilligan’s Island, never […]

A Sermon on Fire

A Sermon on Fire Ezekiel 37:1-14 About a week ago I decided it was cold enough to justify building a fire – I went looking for an old newspaper, but there wasn’t any to be found. As I was pondering my situation, I noticed an old sermon, paper-clipped together and still inside its bulletin, sitting […]

Pick of the Litter

1 Samuel 16:1-13 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore MD March 26, 2017 It may not be obvious to us, but Samuel’s state of mind in chapter sixteen represents something in life that most of us will experience: that is, the failure of our best made plans. Saul was the name of Samuel’s best made […]

Rest Area Ahead

Rest Area Ahead John 4:5-42 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore MD March 19, 2017 Jesus thirsts. So, he pulls off the biblical interstate to a rest area –Jacob’s Well — it’s a bit dodgy perhaps. Or it’s just a typical rest area. Named after some worthy, dead now for at least fifty years. Wi-fi […]

Stirrings in the Night

Stirrings in the Night John 3:1-16 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore MD March 12, 2017 John gives us no indication of the specific reason for Nicodemus’ midnight visit with Jesus. Maybe Nicodemus was protecting his street reputation – he’s a chief rabbi, a senior spokesperson for the religious establishment – he’s watching his back. […]

Finding Water

Finding Water  Robert Hoch Matthew 4:1-11 First & Franklin Presbyterian Church Baltimore, MD First Sunday of Lent March 5, 2017   When Jesus meets the tempter, the devil, the diablo, or Satan – he goes by a lot of names but we recognize him all the same — Jesus has been forty days and forty […]