Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Dr. Jim Somerville
Tuesday July 19, 2016
Dr. Jim Somerville returns with another fresh retelling of an Old Testament story--this time, the story of the prophet Hosea, who illustrates God's faithfulness despite Israel's scandalous unfaithfulness.
Tuesday June 07, 2016
In his sermon on 1 Kings 21, Dr. Jim Somerville says Elijah really lets Ahab have it with the word of God, who has rules about the proper use of power, about protecting the rights of the weak, and about justice. So it’s not hard to get exactly what you want, what’s hard is giving God exactly what God wants.
Sunday July 17, 2005
The Rev. Dr. James Somerville is pastor of First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C., part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Sunday July 10, 2005
The Rev. Dr. James Somerville is pastor of First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C, part of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Articles by The Rev. Dr. Jim Somerville
Thursday November 09, 2017
I met Carol Adams at a 'Faith Leaders' Summit' at the Police Department. She was the one who had invited me, and when I got there, there she was: this petite, policewoman with a radiant smile, handing out water bottles and snacks and making me feel welcome in a place that didn't exactly reek of hospitality.
Wednesday June 28, 2017
I’ve come up with a strategy that will make the churchgoing habit harder to break.
Friday March 17, 2017
Sometimes, someone will ask about that biblical expression, 'the fear of the Lord.' 're we supposed to be afraid of God?' they ask. No. That’s not what the word fear means, not in that context. It means something more like 'awe,' or 'reverence,' or 'profound respect.' But you can see where the word came from, can’t you?
Saturday December 03, 2016
I got word that a 15-year-old girl in the church’s youth group had taken her own life. I jumped in my car and went to the hospital where I found her mother in the waiting room. I hugged her and hugged her, not knowing what to say and thinking it might be best not to say anything. But we held a memorial service for her daughter in a sanctuary full of grieving friends and family members, wondering how such a thing could happen. This is what I said...
Wednesday July 20, 2016
A few blocks from here there is a church that is made up of mostly black members, because years ago they found they were not welcome in the 'white church.'
Thursday November 05, 2015
After being run through the wringer of the Reformation and the Enlightenment, faith has come to mean believing the right things, and believing them no matter what, even if they are not scientifically verifiable. But it was not always so.
Tuesday May 26, 2015
I heard someone refer to the church as a 'disciple-making factory' recently, and I sat up a little straighter because I’ve had that thought myself.
Thursday February 19, 2015
At one point on my recent trip to the Middle East an Army chaplain said to me with tears in his eyes, “We are at the beginning of something like the Protestant Reformation, and Father Nabil Haddad is like Martin Luther.”
Saturday October 11, 2014
For several months now I have been working on a project called 'A Sermon for Every Sunday,' which was conceived as a way to help small, struggling churches that don’t have preachers, but has evolved to include churches in the interim, house churches, Bible studies, small groups, Wednesday night programs, and Sunday school classes.
Sunday September 21, 2014
Two Sundays ago, at the suggestion of preaching professor David Lose, I challenged my congregation to ask people if they go to church and if not, to ask them why. I try never to ask my congregation to do something I’m not willing to do myself, and so, on the way home that day, I asked someone. Here’s what happened...
Wednesday January 01, 2014
When you make up your mind that you will do whatever it takes to get people to come to church, then you will get just the kind of church you deserve: a congregation of fickle religious consumers who will leave you as soon as the church next door opens an espresso bar.
Sunday May 27, 2012
Today is the Day of Pentecost. I was looking through some of my old files for inspiration and found these thoughts in a sermon preached in 2005 called, “For God so Loved the Church.”
Saturday February 11, 2012
The other morning when I was finishing up my devotional reading I thumbed through the Apocrypha, and stumbled on an interesting wedding night prayer from the Book of Tobit.
Friday January 20, 2012
Once every three months or so I try to go on a 24-hour spiritual retreat. I just get away by myself somewhere. Here's what I try to do.
Saturday December 03, 2011
Not according to Walter T. Witschey. Dr. Witschey wrote to me after a recent sermon on 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 in which I mentioned that some people think the world is going to end on December 21, 2012, because that’s what the Mayan calendar “suggests.”
Saturday November 26, 2011
Here is a “maturity checklist” my mother designed to help me and my brothers know if we were ready to make it on our own.
Saturday September 17, 2011
On the first Sunday of every month I climb the stairs to Room 243 to teach our newcomers class. My assignment is to talk about “a Christian way of being human,” and I like to begin with an emphasis on the word way.
Tuesday August 30, 2011
Since my last post I have survived a 5.8 magnitude earthquake that was felt as far north as Boston, and felt the gusting fury of Hurricane Irene, which ripped up a half dozen ancient oaks on my street and left most of the city without power.
Friday August 26, 2011
What does it mean to say something like Jesus walked on water, and in this story what does it mean to say that Peter did, too? Let’s take a closer look…
Saturday July 02, 2011
Here’s a piece I wrote several years ago, after a hot summer Sunday when the air conditioner wasn’t working at church. Enjoy!
Monday June 27, 2011
You never know what you might find in a book called Women Who Run with the Wolves, or in a chapter called “Joyous Body: the Wild Flesh,” but I was delighted to find this important corrective to much of what our culture has taught us about our bodies.
Saturday June 18, 2011
Several years ago, my mother-in-law found a handyman to help her around her house in Texas. His name was Jesus (pronounced “hay-soos”), and even though we knew how his name was pronounced it was funny to get a letter from Lu telling us that Jesus had fixed her plumbing or painted the living room.
Tuesday June 14, 2011
My friend Randy said he wanted to walk 50 miles in one day, that it was something he had wanted to do since he was nine years old, when President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to get fit.
Monday May 16, 2011
Picture a world where, at birth, you are hurled off a cliff””a really, really high cliff, so that it takes a lifetime to reach the bottom. You would “grow up” on the way down (if you can imagine such a thing) moving through the stages of infancy, childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood.
Friday April 08, 2011
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have not only shaken the world, they’ve shaken a lot of people’s faith. “How could a good and loving God allow such a thing to happen?” they ask.
Thursday March 24, 2011
Dr. Jim Somerville considers the benefits of praying "The Jesus Prayer" regularly.
Wednesday March 16, 2011
These were my closing comments on Sunday, February 20, at the end of our DiscipleNow event for youth. The theme of the the weekend was “Center Stage,” and raised the question of how your life might be different if Christ–and not you–occupied center stage.
Tuesday February 22, 2011
I want to share a story, because it seems like a perfect illustration of how to make peace with someone who has offended you. You don’t talk about that person: you talk to him.
Wednesday February 09, 2011
If exegesis is figuring out what a text meant ”˜then and there,’ and hermeneutics is applying that meaning ”˜here and now,’ then what was Paul trying to say to the Galatians in this letter and what does this letter say to us now?
Wednesday January 19, 2011
One of my readers sent in this question recently: Q: How do you know God exists?
Friday January 14, 2011
One of the stories that came out of my recent trip to India is the one about the groomsman who wanted to get into the family.
Monday November 22, 2010
Yesterday was Christ the King Sunday, and I closed out the sermon with this story about my father.
Wednesday November 17, 2010
I enjoy going to preaching conferences, but the kind of preaching conference I enjoy the most is the kind where someone tells me that the way I’m doing it already is the right way.
Friday October 29, 2010
After conducting a funeral for a dear parishioner, Dr. Jim Somerville reflects on death.
Tuesday October 19, 2010
At 51, I’m way past midlife (I doubt that I’m going to make it to 102), but I found some good advice from Peter Drucker that I’d like to pass along.
Wednesday October 13, 2010
Thinking about an old joke caused Jim Somerville to remember a passage from the Book of Revelation, where the new Jerusalem comes down out of heaven “adorned as a bride for her husband” (21:3).
Wednesday October 06, 2010
As he walked around a city neighborhood he's adopted, Dr. Jim Somerville suddenly realized the connection between John 3:16 and John 20:21...
Saturday September 11, 2010
Dr. Jim Somerville recently joined other leaders at a local mosque as a show of solidarity. Find out why, and what happened.
Thursday September 02, 2010
Dr. Jim Somerville, pastor of First Baptist Church, Richmond, VA, shares his new book online: When the Sand Castle Crumbles: Why is my church dying, and what can I do about it?
Radio by The Rev. Dr. Jim Somerville
Monday June 19, 2006
In this Day1 Podcast Extra, the Rev. Jim Somerville, pastor of First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., shares his personal insights and experiences of preaching at the 2006 Festival of Homiletics.