"Featured" Tagged Sermons

"Featured" Tagged Sermons

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The Word That I Have Spoken

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who…

Your Heart

Last week we introduced our theme for 2020: “Focus on what matters: ‘This one thing I do.’” I think probably everyone in our congregation realizes the importance of priorities, and we know that we have the tendency to get them out of order. The “one thing” that we know ought to get our focus sometimes gets relegated to a lesser position, even though we know it shouldn’t. And so we try to do better. We make resolutions and commitments. We…

Fresh Wineskins

Some people are quick to disregard old things, as if everything traditional is bad. Other folks, on the other hand, are irrationally committed to old ways, even when new approaches might work better. This partly explains the ongoing tension between generations that always seems to be felt. Jesus might’ve waded a little into a discussion like that with his challenge of the religion of his day. Many religious leaders rejected him because he was bringing something new, and for them,…

Out of Egypt

Christmas is a time of year when many people reflect on the birth of Jesus. It has arguably become quite commercialized, of course, and sometimes it reflects attitudes that are considerably dissimilar to those that characterized Jesus. But any occasion that gives us an opportunity to talk about Jesus in meaningful ways is good. Sunday we’ll study Matthew 2–about the wise men, about Herod’s decree, but particularly about Jesus’ trip to Egypt as a child and how that reflected a…

“In That Day” – Waiting on God

Most of us don’t like waiting, and yet one characteristic of the walk of faith is its emphasis on living in the present on the basis of what one anticipates in the future . . . on what one is waiting for. All of the Old Testament patriarchs, as Hebrews 11 tells us, believed that certain things would come true, even though they never got to experience them. They believed that God would give them the land of Canaan, though they…

Do Not Lose Heart

Depending on our particular situation, we can probably relate to Paul’s reminder that the “outer self is wasting away” and that “the tent that is our earthly home [may be] destroyed.” And we, like Paul, sometimes “groan” while we “are still in this tent.” We feel the effects of aging, we get bad results from an MRI, we hear the news of a good friend’s death . . . and we’re reminded again about the brevity of this life as…

Faith Works

Easy believism. Cheap grace. It’s called by different names, but it’s been around for awhile, probably since the beginning of time. Some people claim to believe, but they don’t live like it. James apparently had people in his community of faith who made a big deal of their faith, but their lives didn’t show it. Some of them were showing favoritism to the rich, while others weren’t helping the needy even though they had the means to do it. To them…

Which Do You Want?

Two weeks ago we looked at Jesus’ predictions concerning his upcoming crucifixion, and last Sunday we studied his taking the Passover meal and reinterpreting it for the apostles (and for the church). Tomorrow we’re going to reflect on a part of one of his trials that began early on that fateful Friday morning. The religious leaders had brought him before Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea, whose primary goal was to keep the locals peaceful and relatively happy so that…

He Must Go (and so Must We)

The disciples spent much of their time being confused, and they pretty much stayed that way until they were filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What really messed them up was when Jesus started talking about going to Jerusalem to be mistreated and then to be killed. If he’s the Son of God, how can anyone kill him? The Messiah is supposed to conquer his enemies, not be conquered by them. Three times in our readings for this week…

The Son of David

To be honest, the genealogies of Scripture are the parts we probably skim (or skip!) most frequently when we’re reading the Bible. After all, who cares that that Jehoshophat’s son was Joram, right? It might even be more perplexing that after reading the Old Testament for a long time and (finally) getting to the New Testament, the first page of Matthew is mostly names, many of which we don’t even really know or care about. But as we probably ought…

But He Was a Leper . . .

Naaman had everything, it seems, except one thing: “he was a leper.” Depending on what the text means when it says “leprosy,” Naaman’s condition was at best a disease that marred his appearance and at worst something that devastated his entire life. But the turning point of this story is what he does when he’s given the opportunity for the leprosy to be taken away. But he refuses to obey. Was it because he didn’t really believe it would happen?…

The Hope

The world is a scary place, you know? People in our church family—including some of you, no doubt—are struggling with different kinds of anxieties and concerns today. Perhaps it’s an upcoming medical test, a troubled marriage, or tension and stress at work. Unfortunately, fear is part of what it means to be human—at least in the world as we experience it now. But God offers a different way. Permeating the Bible from beginning to end is something called hope. I’ve…