"Featured" Tagged Sermons

"Featured" Tagged Sermons

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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…

We Will See His Face

The Bible is replete with theophanies–special occasions when God revealed himself to people in incredible ways. Think of God’s glory passing by as God covered Moses’ face in Exodus 33, for example. But even at these special times God’s appearance is obscured or mediated in some way so that people can’t see him in all his glory. Apparently, it’s because of this: “No one may see me and live” (Exodus 33:20). There’s something so special about God’s holiness that we–presumably…

Living in Exile

Most people in the church know something of this storyline: Judah rebelled against God and persisted in idolatrous practices in spite of myriad warnings, so God eventually sent Babylon to conquer Jerusalem and take many captives to Babylon. What many people don’t know is how this theme actually reflects something much more than just that relatively short period of history. The entire biblical story–and many of the stories within Scripture–can be framed in terms of Exile and Return, and I…

I Have Found a Book

These days were some of the darkest in Judah’s history. Manasseh’s fifty-five-year reign of terror was followed by the two-year reign of his son Amon, which was little better. Then came Josiah at the tender age of eight. He began his reign when the people had never known a king who cared about God. Idol worship filled the land, the priesthood was largely corrupt, and the people were lost. And then one day several years later when Josiah had come…