In both the Old Testament (written in Hebrew) and in the New Testament (written in Greek), the word Wisdom is a feminine noun and therefore considered a feminine principle. The following sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen was delivered on Mother’s Day in the 1990s reflects on the role of Wisdom in our lives. Today, we see an assault on women’s rights not only in Afghanistan but across the globe and here in America as well. So… what is Wisdom? https://soulenandsoulen.com/
97. Saints and other characters
We can easily be dismayed by the hate and cruelty that exists in the world. But the response can be very simple: We are God’s children. We believe in love for our neighbor. We hope and pray for a bright future. And so, Christ is the image that we must pattern our lives after. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
92. Living takes a lot of Forgiving
The Apostles’ Creed is a symbol of faith for Christians. Belief in the forgiveness of sins is part of this creed. Yet unlike the Lord’s Prayer, which can be recited at any time, the Apostles’ Creed is typically voiced in church, in union with other people. For the “Forgiveness of Sins” does not just mean OUR sins, but our ability to forgive others, a symbol of self-giving love. A sermon meditation by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
91. Praise the Lord!
In all things, Praise the Lord. Yes… but how? A sermon meditation by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
87. The Mother’s Mind
Our culture has been too long dominated by the aggressive, assertive, self-seeking desire to control and dominate. And not open to a caring, compassionate, and self giving nature.
Dr. Richard N. Soulen was pastor at Duncan Memorial Methodist Church in Ashland, Virginia from 1988 to 1995. This is a sermon recording selected from this time period. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
86. Darkness and Light
The following meditation by Dr. Richard N. Soulen focuses on the prison industry in Virginia during the 1990s. The rising prison population was the result, in part, of sentencing guidelines that are being reversed in many part of the country today. But the fundamental question remains. How do we as Christians help others that are in desperate need of help? https://soulenandsoulen.com/
85. Native Awareness
One of United Methodism’s six special Sundays with offerings, Native American Ministries Sunday equips and empowers Native American pastors, congregations and seminary students to do what only they can do: authentically worship and serve Jesus. The following sermon delivered by Dr. Richard N. Soulen in the 1990s highlights issues that still strongly resonate today. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
84. Works of Peace
In the Methodist Church, Peace with Justice Sunday is a call for us to love our enemies, seek
justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict. In this sermon from the 1990s, Dr. Richard N. Soulen raises issues that are even more relevant today. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
83. John’s Question
How can the Christmas story be made meaningful for adults? Christmas celebrates God. God with us. The divine in the midst of the human. Just like the Christ Child, we were all infants at one time. And we were all totally dependent on the love of a mother and of a father and of the many others that nurtured us into adulthood. An Advent sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
82. To walk with the Lord
The United Methodist Church uses an itinerant system to appoint pastors to different congregations. The following sermon is a personal reflection by Dr. Richard N. Soulen about the faith of ministers and congregations, that stretches across the generations. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
81. The Truth shall set you free
The following sermon was delivered in the early 1990s. The topic of truth, or the wanton assault on truth, is critically important today as we grapple with campaigns of misinformation. On the personal level, Dr. Richard N. Soulen discusses the “dimensions of truth” that exist between you and God. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
80. A plan for the fullness of time
What does the future hold for us? What will happen in 2021? We just don’t know. We can’t know. But as Christians, we do know this: It is God’s will that in the fullness of time we shall be the children of God. The following is a sermon meditation by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
79. Personal Holiness
If you feel the call of the spirit, be Holy. If you can’t be Holy, be perfect. If you can’t be perfect, be good. If you can’t be good, be wise. If you can be none of these… A sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
78. What is Sin?
What is the nature of sin? How does sin and the meaning of Christmas go together? A sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
77. The transience of Life
Our time on this earth is limited. This is the transience of life. Do not live in the past. The past is the past. Admitting that something is over is a necessary part of living into the future. So live now, make a difference now, love your neighbor now and become part of the Kingdom of God. A sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
76. I believe
As Christians, we begin our profession of faith with the words, “I believe.” While not spoken or declared, just as important for the person of faith is what we do NOT believe. A sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
75. What does it mean to believe in God?
What does it mean to believe in God? If you were asked this question, how would you answer? What is the faith that is within you? Can you describe it? Dr. Richard N. Soulen is followed by Dr. R. Kendall Soulen in exploring the question. God has a purpose. God has a purpose for each and every one of us. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
74. Did we do enough?
As people of faith, we believe we are called to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around us. During such times of difficulty and sadness as these, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and lost. The following sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen was delivered before the pandemic, but addresses a natural question. “Did we do enough?” https://soulenandsoulen.com/
73. What’s New?
The following sermon was delivered in the early 1990s, when “surfing the web” was a new thing. Today, technology continues to advance in ways both wonderful and terrifying. Yet God’s presence in our lives is a new and more powerful creation. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
72. Today is the day of Salvation
Now. Today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Today is the day of Salvation. Today is the day of God’s grace. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
71. The Personal God
Someone once asked, “What is God?” But that is the wrong question. The better question is, “Where is God?” We declare that the answer to that question is in Jesus of Nazareth. And also, in you and in me. Dr. Richard N. Soulen discusses the Personal God in the following sermon meditation. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
70. The Human and the Divine
At the Last Supper, Jesus gave the Disciples a new commandment. This new commandment was to “Love one another as I have loved you.” In the following meditation, Dr. Richard N. Soulen provides a deeper understanding of the Last Supper and what that gift means for each of us today. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
69. To see things differently
The Scouts of America designates the Sunday that falls before February 8 (Scouting Anniversary Day) as Scout Sunday. It is the primary date to recognize the contributions of young people and adults to Scouting. More importantly, Scout Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate that part of the Scout Law is to be reverent. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
68. Aspects of Love
As infants, we enter this world kicking, screaming, and crying. It is Mother’s and Father’s love that brings the infant from kicking and screaming to laughing and smiling. This is the first of three “Aspects of Love” explored by Dr. Richard N. Soulen in the following sermon. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
67. Jesus, Christ of God
Jesus and three of his apostles, Peter, James, and John go to a mountain to pray. While they are there, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. A voice from the clouds calls out, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” This account is called the Transfiguration and is the topic of the following sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
66. To cherish what is Holy.
What is Holy to you? When and how do you experience the Holy? Is it closer to you than you think? Dr. Richard N. Soulen explores what is Holy. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
65. On Seeing and Not Seeing
The story of Doubting Thomas is found in the Gospel of John. Thomas says, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” But when he does see and touch Jesus, he exclaims, “My Lord and my God!” In this sermon, Dr. Richard N. Soulen speaks to our own doubts and fears. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
64. Charity and Injustice
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah Chapter 6). The Black Lives Matter movement seeks to bring justice, healing, and freedom to people of color across the world. In this sermon delivered in the early 1990s, Dr. Richard N. Soulen speaks to the injustice that is all around us. “God calls us to administer justly. Speak truly and fairly. And live our lives acceptable to God.” https://soulenandsoulen.com/
63. Plain Talk About Violence
Dr. Richard N. Soulen delivered the following sermon in 1991, not long after the beating of Rodney King. The message is based on the Sermon on the Mount text, which fundamentally describes who we are called to be as Christians. The message is as important today as it was nearly 30 years ago. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
62. Impossible Possibilities
“Whoever saves one life saves the entire world.” This is a line from the Talmud that was used in the movie Schindler’s List (1994 Academy Best Picture Award). But how can that be so? This sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen seems especially relevant today during this time of national crisis. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
61. Let the Words of My Mouth
The last line of Psalm 19 begins, “Let the words of my mouth…” This is the subject of the following sermon preached by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/.
60. And the Life Everlasting
The Apostles Creed ends with the phrase, “And the Life Everlasting.” What, exactly, does “Life Everlasting” mean? Dr. Richard N. Soulen provides a meditation on the topic. https://soulenandsoulen.com/.
59. Repentance for Advent
This year, Advent begins on Sunday, November 29th. You might think Advent had started weeks ago based on all of the store decorations. Yet with all of the string lights, gigantic yard balloons, or even manger scenes for sale, you won’t see a single John the Baptist. This is the topic of the following sermon delivered by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/.
58. The Ecology of the Spirit
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the Unrighteous Steward. The parable is complex and has been interpreted in different ways over the centuries. It is the topic of the following sermon delivered by Dr. Richard N. Soulen. https://soulenandsoulen.com/.
57. The Temptation to Despair
During the course of our life, we will face many challenges. For many, these challenges will be so difficult and great that there will be a temptation to despair. In this sermon, Dr. Richard N. Soulen discusses despair yet closes with a beautiful paraphrase of the 23rd Psalm. https://soulenandsoulen.com/.
56. Consider Yourself Important
Even small actions can have significant impacts. In the Book of Acts, Philip has a chance encounter with an official from Ethiopia… and changed his life. In this sermon, Dr. Richard N. Soulen discusses the power you have to make positive change in the world around you. https://soulenandsoulen.com/.
55. I believe in the holy catholic church.
The Apostle’s Creed includes the phrase,
“I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,”
But what, exactly, is the holy catholic church? Dr. Richard N. Soulen discusses this question in the following sermon. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
54. Not for nothing
The following sermon was delivered the Sunday after Easter. At this moment, Easter is a distant memory as Christmas decorations fills every store we visit. Now is a good time to be reminded that Easter Sunday is not the end but the beginning of our spiritual journey that carries us through the calendar year. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
53. Passion For Meaning
In the Gospel of Mark, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were the three women to go to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. In this sermon delivered on an Easter Sunday morning, Dr. Richard Soulen discusses our Passion for Meaning. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
52. The Great Indicative
It is time to get your dictionary. What is the difference between “indicatives” and “imperatives”? In this sermon delivered in the 1990’s, Dr. Richard Soulen explores Christian faith from both the Indicative and Imperative perspective. Dr. R. Kendall Soulen provides additional commentary on the topic. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
50. In God’s own image. Part 2.
Dr. R. Kendall Soulen provides additional perspective on the mystery that we, all of us, are created in God’s own image. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
49. In God’s own image
Carl Sagan was one of the most well-known and influential scientists and cosmologists of the 1970s and 1980s. Yet in his book, The Pale Blue Dot (1994), Carl Sagan suggests that we humans suffer from a “…delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe.” In this sermon delivered in the 1990’s, Dr. Richard Soulen takes direct issue with Sagan’s perspective that we are small and insignificant in the vast space we call the Cosmos. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
In the fullest sense, it is impossible to be human without temptation. For temptation is simply the natural result of thinking about options and choices. If we could live life without having to make choices… then of course there would be nothing like temptation. But we do make choices every day and those choices define the very core of our identify. Who do you want to be? https://soulenandsoulen.com/
44. What Jonah lacked
The story of Jonah is one of the most popular in the entire Bible. However, in recent popular culture, far too much focus has been placed on role of the whale in the story. In this podcast, Dr. Richard N. Soulen and Dr. R. Kendall Soulen dive deeper into the important lessons of the Book of Jonah. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
43. Richard’s Prayer
Richard of Chichester (1197 – 1253), also known as Richard de Wych, was Bishop of Chichester in England. He is a saint and was canonized in 1262. While the name “Richard of Chichester” may not be familiar, you are likely to know the words of a prayer that he authored. They were made famous by the musical Godspell in the song, Day by Day. http://soulenandsoulen.com
40. Paul. You have got to be kidding!
The early church in Corinth was plagued by many serious problems, including factionalism, sexual immorality, and abusing the communal meal. Paul was very concerned. So, in his first letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians), he begins with high praise and thanksgiving. Wait…what? Paul. You have got to be kidding! soulenandsoulen.com
39. The Prodigal Son’s Sister In Law
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger son asks for inheritance from his father, who grants his son’s request. The older son is dutiful and remains home. When the younger son returns home having wasted everything, he is forgiven by his Father. How does the Prodigal Son’s older brother react? Never mentioned at all in the parable is the Prodigal Son’s Sister In Law… Molly Rutland Soulen and Rebecca Rutland Soulen add third generational commentary to this sermon preached by their Grandfather. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
38. Marks of Wisdom
What is Wisdom? How can we possibly know Wisdom when we encounter it? In this podcast, Dr. Richard N. Soulen shares a sermon on the Christian understanding of Wisdom and son Dr. R. Kendall Soulen shares his perspective. soulenandsoulen.com
37. The Freedom and the Power
At this moment, you may or may not be baptized. The Christian believes that baptism is the symbolic washing of our wants and desires. But it is more than just a washing away of sins. Baptism also grants freedom and power to be a child of God. Baptism provides the opportunity to be more than your flesh and bones. Baptism provides the opportunity to be a force of love in a troubled world. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
36. An Update from your Host
35. Suffering and the God of Love
How can Christians understand suffering in a world created by the God of Love? During this global pandemic, the suffering of so many people is causing all of us to feel grief and pain. This podcast is a sermon by Dr. Richard N. Soulen that was recorded several years ago, but provides a message of hope for today. https://soulenandsoulen.com/
34. How to Climb a Mountain
If climbing a mountain is a metaphor for life… How do you want to live your life? https://soulenandsoulen.com/