Sermons on Textual Studies

Sermons on Textual Studies

God in the Furnace

Where is God when we go into the furnace? Babylon, in some ways, was similar to many pluralistic nations today. Its leaders recognized the wisdom of tolerating all sorts of different deities in the private sphere, as long as everyone’s allegiance in public–at least nominally–was to the Babylonian gods. In other words, “Worship whatever God or gods you want to on your own time and in your own place, but when you’re in public, be willing to give homage to…

Free Servants: How Christians Relate to Political Powers

We’re in the middle of a sermon series on 1 Peter, a letter the apostle wrote to Christians who were struggling to figure out how they were supposed to relate to an increasingly hostile world. Like them, we sense a change in the cultural tides against the practice of historic, orthodox Christianity, and sometimes we’re confused about who we are and how we’re supposed to live. After laying the theological groundwork and encouraging his readers to remember the importance of…

God’s Broken Heroes

Many folks in our congregation are reading through the Bible again this year, and most reading plans–including the one we invited people to join–spend much of January in Genesis. One thing that jumps out at me every time I read through Genesis is this: these people God called aren’t particularly good people. I don’t mean that they weren’t at times characterized by faith or that they didn’t grow in their faith. I’m just always surprised again at some of the things…

Daily Practices for Anxious Times: Pure Scripture

As I mentioned last week, in December I’m deviating from the One Word devotional reading topics and doing something different. 2020 has been a hard year for many people, including many in our congregation. Anxiety levels for some people are higher than ever. Professional counselors are suggesting that they’re receiving a record number of requests from people who are seeking help for various problems. For December I’m preaching a short series called, “Daily Practices for Anxious Times.” I sense there’s a need for…

Truth Matters

Pilate’s question makes it sound like he would fit quite well in our post-truth society. Asking “What is truth?” with a tone of skepticism is fairly common these days. As we studied a couple of weeks ago when our emphasis was on Scripture, most folks are comfortable with “truths” but not “Truth.” They’re even less comfortable with the idea of the Truth being a Person. For whatever reason, Jesus wasn’t squishy on truth. Standing before the person who–from a human…

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…