Douglass Church - Douglass Blvd Christian Church

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Every Sunday @ 11am in Louisville, KY, Rev. Derek Penwell broadens our minds with his sermons. Now, thanks to the interwebs, we can share them with you.


  • Hanging onto the Best Things (Acts 2:42-47)

    Hanging onto the Best Things (Acts 2:42-47)


    All who believed were together and had all things in common, the writer of Acts says. They’d sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent time together in the temple, they broke break together at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. Now, it may very well be that this earliest description of the church is nostalgic, an idealized account of something that never really existed in quite the mist-enshrouded way everybody liked to remember it, except in the imaginations of those who longed for a church that only seemed possible in simpler times. But so what? So what if we’re getting a sepia-toned picture of an idealized past? Be

  • Believe Harder (John 20:19-31)

    Believe Harder (John 20:19-31)


    The call to follow Jesus isn’t a call to give up your reason. It’s not about believing harder. It’s about being committed to moving forward, not knowing what you’ll encounter, but convinced you’ve got to do it anyway. You ask me … “Doubting Thomas” is the hero of this story, not because his doubting is somehow a map to mustering up belief for Post-Enlightenment moderns, but because he’s the guy that kept showing up, absent empirical evidence and verifiable truth. Everybody else got a sneak preview, right? Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: [ web][1] | doc [1]:

  • Death (Isaiah 65:17-25)

    Death (Isaiah 65:17-25)


    I’ve heard a story about a different world, a world unlike the one we inhabit—where Death is king and we are his pawns and victims. I’ve listened to the tales of another world where there’s enough to eat and everyone has a safe place to lay their heads at night, where people don’t have to wonder whether they’ll be welcomed and embraced because of the color of their skin, or the country of their birth, or the people they love. I’ve heard a story about a different world where on Friday Death is King, but by Sunday Death is dead. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: [ web][1] | doc [1]:

  • Whistling Past the Graveyard (Ezekiel 37:1-14)

    Whistling Past the Graveyard (Ezekiel 37:1-14)


    We have a chance to be the miracle God is unleashing on a world plagued by deaths of despair. We can bring hope to the hopeless, a light to a dark world. Hang on. God is still breathing. The spirit still comes from the four winds. Life may seem to be having a rough go of it in the valley of the dry bones right now. But God’s isn’t finished yet. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: [ web][1] | doc [1]:

  • Life on the Margins (John 4:5-42)—Nicole Hardin preaching

    Life on the Margins (John 4:5-42)—Nicole Hardin preaching


    Subscribe to us on iTunes!Sermon text: [ web][1] | [ doc][2] [1]: [2]:

  • Heading Out (Genesis 12:1-4a)

    Heading Out (Genesis 12:1-4a)


    God says, “Go.” And Genesis says, “So he went.” Don’t you find that peculiar? Faced with a choice between a past he knows and the promise of a future he can’t quite wrap his head around, Abram throws up his hands and walks into the unknown. We who live in a world beset by a whole caravan-load of problems ourselves—problems that make the future just as uncertain for us as it was for old Abram—we understand how difficult a choice he must have had. With the fate of healthcare for millions of people up in the air, with questions about Russian interference in our elections, with the fate of millions of immigrants and refugees in doubt, with the stock market taking another swan dive, with the Coronavirus and a president who’s never met a doctor he didn't' think he knew more than prompting people to wonder whether or not we’re in some kind of apocalyptic Hollywood blockbuster, we know that the future is much more unstable than we’d antic

  • Why Politics Isnt a Dirty Word (Matthew 4:1-11)

    Why Politics Isn't a Dirty Word (Matthew 4:1-11)


    Oh, people talk about “the road less traveled,” but I mean, come on, the reason it’s less traveled is that it’s difficult. And most folks avoid difficult like the Kardashians avoid anonymity. It’s hard to imagine a world in which the difficult is not only possible but every bit as good as it’s cracked up to be. It’s tough to picture a world in which there is enough for everyone, where the poor and the forgotten are just as important as the politicians who so regularly forget about them, where the embattled and the beleaguered can find some rest because everyone else is vigilantly standing watch over them, where the depressed and the addicted can find support instead of stigma and punishment, where straight kids and trans kids and gay kids can become who they’re meant to be without sacrificing who they are on the altar of conformity, where black parents don’t have to have “the talk” with their children in an attempt to inoculate th

  • No Matter Where, No Matter What (Matthew 5:13-20)

    No Matter Where, No Matter What (Matthew 5:13-20)


    But the church has never existed for the purpose of inviting people to be successes. The church has steadfastly maintained the unenviable claim that its sole purpose is to invite people to failure—at least failure in the way much of the rest of the world sees it. We’re a people who claim to take the side of the powerless against the powerful, to worry more about securing food and housing and healthcare for the poor than securing tax breaks for the wealthy. In a world in which the beautiful, the influential, the successful get all the attention, we followers of Jesus opt for failure by being called to love those for whom so many others can manage only fear and hatred. But a people who follow a criminal executed by the state can never get too caught up in what everybody else understands as success anyway. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Bizarro World (Matthew 5:1-12)

    Bizarro World (Matthew 5:1-12)


    The Beatitudes aren't nice little self-help nuggets cross-stitched onto grandma's throw pillows. They're the revolutionary announcement of Jesus that the world we take for granted as the way things are always going to be, where rulers lie, cheat, and steal because nobody has the courage to stop them, where the hungry have their food stamps reduced, where the stranger in the land is no longer welcome—all of that is going to be displaced in favor of something new, something that couldn't stand in starker contrast to the kingdoms of this world shown to Jesus on that mountaintop in the wilderness, something that blesses those who’d have a difficult time recognizing happiness if it came and sat down next to them at the supper table. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • The Empire Will Always Fail (Matthew 4:12-23)

    The Empire Will Always Fail (Matthew 4:12-23)


    But you see, fishermen are the perfect place to start for a new kingdom—one that will challenge the Roman Empire, which was always and only about enriching the people who already sat atop the food chain. The Roman Empire cared nothing for the peasants, the merchants, and those who fished for a living … except how best to pacify them, to keep them in line so they didn't cause trouble down at the country club. But this new kingdom Jesus announces is the kind of good news that appeals to everybody else—the other 99%. In fact, the news is so good that, according to Matthew, "Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in [the] synagogues and proclaiming" it—healing the social, physical, and economic disease in the land. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Thats Great for You, But What About Us? (Isaiah 49:1-12)

    That's Great for You, But What About Us? (Isaiah 49:1-12)


    If the church can’t find its voice when immigrants are being threatened in our own state, or when women bear the onerous burden of proof (while their abusers go on with their lives), or when houseless people are harassed because their very existence is inconvenient to society … if the church can’t stand together with the oppressed and the forgotten ones with all that going on, then whatever else it might think of itself, it’s not the church. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Bringing Forth Justice (Isaiah 42:1-9)

    Bringing Forth Justice (Isaiah 42:1-9)


    Justice isn’t going to be brought forth by hiring more police and investing in bigger prisons, or by some cease-fire that promises not to kill people if they promise not to kill us first. Justice will only finally be established when God raises up a people who embody the justice of God—the same God, who when faced with our propensity for violence and hatred, offered us not the sharp end of a stick but the fragile body of a Jewish peasant. That’s God’s idea of how you go about bringing forth justice. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Lift up Your Eyes (Isaiah 60:1-6)

    Lift up Your Eyes (Isaiah 60:1-6)


    The world feels perilous, the shadows long. But God has shined a light on us—and partly through us—a light that illuminates for all to see what kind of a world God is busy revealing. God shines a bright light on a new world, a new kind of community—one that feels so different from the kingdoms of this world that “nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Instead of the murderous regimes that exercise power over the powerless, jealously guarding that power with murderous precision, God offers us the opportunity to participate in a light-filled world turned on its head—where the last shall be first and the first shall be last, where those who’ve been barred entry because they didn’t fit with somebody’s idea of the caliber of people who should be included on the guest list are finally ushered up the center aisle as the guests of honor. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • God With Us (Isaiah 7:10-16)

    God With Us (Isaiah 7:10-16)


    With everything feeling like it’s going to seed, the world needs a sign of God’s salvation. The world needs a God who isn't afraid to jump in, stomp around in the mud, and get some dirt under the fingernails. The world needs a God who isn't ashamed to walk the roads we walk, who isn't afraid to be with us. We need a God who embraces our humanity, and not only our humanity but a God who embraces us in the midst of each of our weak and frightened humanities. When we cry out in the dry night of our shattered existences, we need a God who listens. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • It Depends on What Kind of World Youre Looking For (Matthew 11:2-15)

    It Depends on What Kind of World You're Looking For (Matthew 11:2-15)


    Jesus announces a different way of thinking about what's inevitable in the world, and about what's necessary to change it, to heal it. God is busy creating a new world, one that isn't characterized by its ability to mete out redemptive violence, but by its ability to usher in a new way of living together where everyone has what they need, and all are welcome—a world where the rich and the powerful no longer call the shots, leaving the vulnerable to scratch out a living, always on the verge of isolation and death. Because here's the thing, redemptive violence doesn't bring true peace—it merely offers up the flag of a temporary cease-fire, planted on a mountain of corpses. True peace, the shalom of the Bible, requires healing and restoration, not war and destruction. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Being All Judgy (Matthew 3:1-12)

    Being All Judgy (Matthew 3:1-12)


    But conventional wisdom notwithstanding, judgment and repentance aren't merely calls to sinners to feel bad about their sins. They are the way systems of oppression and domination are named, as well as the direction we must turn to walk away from those systems and toward a new way of living together as God's children. John the Baptist calls out some religious folks who were confident that their celestial grades came not from their practice of the faith, but from their reputations as religious smarty-pants. The Pharisees and the Sadducees came to check out what John was doing, and he told them that they shouldn't count on their sanctified bloodlines to cause God to look the other way. Believing the right things isn't a shield against judgment. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Nicole Hardin Preaches at DBCC

    Nicole Hardin Preaches at DBCC

  • Done to Death (Luke 23:33-43)

    Done to Death (Luke 23:33-43)


    No. On Reign of Christ Sunday, the final Sunday in the Christian year, holding up the crucifixion of Jesus is counter-intuitive just to the extent that what the world is generally looking for in a ruler is exactly the opposite of what Jesus provides. The world doesn’t want a God who’s willing to be done to death, but a God who never gets put in that lethal situation in the first place. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Tearing It Up By the Roots (Luke 21:5-19)

    Tearing It Up By the Roots (Luke 21:5-19)


    Jesus, upon entering Jerusalem immediately heads to the temple, the very heart of the problem of injustice in Jewish Palestine, and stages an epic political protest against a system that oppresses the children of God. And in our passage today, Jesus says that what has to happen is that those kinds of systems have to be torn down, dismantled, torn up by the roots. Whenever this new world God is creating displaces the old world, for the people used to being picked first in life, it's going to feel like the zombie apocalypse. Subscribe to us on iTunes! Sermon text: web | doc

  • Jesus and the #MeToo Movement (Luke 20:27-40)

    Jesus and the #MeToo Movement (Luke 20:27-40)


    In other words Jesus says to the Sadducees: "Sure, if you want to talk about the future, fine. But it's a dumb question. Because the fact of the matter is, God is a God of the living. God isn't biding time until some future day of reckoning; God isn't pushing off questions of justice until some distant time to come, a time where God can easily remedy the injustices suffered in this life. God has reminded us that eternity starts now, that the life of resurrection is one we participate in in this place and time, that justice isn't something that can be put off until God makes it right in the hereafter. No, God cares about this woman before she ever gets to the pearly gates. And do you know what that means? It means that people like you Sadducees, who are supposed to be in her corner right now, should already be helping ensure the security she needs before she dies, so that she need not live under any man's power and control." Subscribe to

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