Sermon for November 29, 2020 Advent 1

Psalm 80-1-7, 17-19 • Isaiah 64:1-9 • 1 Corinthians 1: 3-9 • Mark 13:24-37 The theme this week is all passes away, mercy endures. In the call to worship in Psalm 80, the poet pleads with God to bring mercy on them and reclaim them as his people. In Isaiah 64, the prophet begs for mercy for God’s people who are clay in the hands of the Potter. In 1 Corinthians, Paul talks to this troubled community about how God will keep them and hold them until the last day. Our sermon is based on Mark 13, which gives the terrifying apocalyptic image of the temple’s destruction in AD 70, an early signal that God’s glory no longer rests there, but with the new community in Christ. A Seat at the End of the World Mark 13:24-37 ESV One of... Read the article

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Sermon for November 22, 2020

Psalm 100:1-5 • Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24 • Ephesians 1:15-23 • Matthew 25:31-46 This week’s theme is Christ the King. This week’s “call to worship” Psalm invites the sheep of the pasture to sing praises to the Lord who is worthy of universal glory. The text of Matthew governs the other lectionary texts as it focuses on Christ’s coming enthronement to glory. Matthew’s text calls along as a companion the text in Ezekiel where the Lord likens himself to a Shepherd taking care of his sheep. The New Testament passage will provide the majestic opening text of Ephesians that culminates with the exaltation of Christ reigning in full dominion. The Shepherd King Matthew 25:31-46 Are you the type of person who doesn’t mind... Read the article

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Sermon for November 15, 2020

Psalm 123:1-4 • Judges 4:1-7 • 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 • Matthew 25:14-30 The theme this week is God is in charge. Psalm 123 calls us to worship, and it sings of God’s mercy that we depend on. Judges 4 gives us an account of God sending Israel victory when they depend on him. 1 Thessalonians 5 talks about the end of days when God re-establishes his rule on earth in Christ. Our sermon, “Royalty in Exile,” is based on this reading. Matthew 25 tells us how God is in charge and we should make the most of the life he gave us because our time is finite. Royalty in Exile 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 ESV Begin by reading 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 ESV. Falling in love. Getting bit by the love bug. Taking love potion number 9. Puppy love.... Read the article

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Sermon for November 8, 2020

Psalm 78:1-7 • Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 • 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 • Matthew 25:1-13 The theme for this week is hope and promises, which encourages us to consider God’s promises and allow them to fuel our hope. The “call to worship” Psalm reminds us to tell the generations of the “praiseworthy deeds of the Lord.” Joshua reminds the Israelites of the many times God delivered them and he encouraged them to base their commitment on this evidence of God’s faithfulness. This week’s sermon outline is based on 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, where Paul addresses the big question about God’s promise of resurrection to us. Lastly, Matthew tells the parable of the foolish bridesmaids who weren’t ready, thus encouraging us to wait... Read the article

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Sermon for November 1, 2020

Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 • Joshua 3:7-17 • 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 • Matthew 23:1-12 The theme for this week is God lifts up the humble. The Revised Common Lectionary readings always begin with a psalm as a call to worship; this week it is Psalm 107, which beautifully describes the streams and harvest that God gives to those who depend on him. Joshua 3 tells the story of Joshua beginning his leadership for the desert-weary children of Israel and how God goes before them. Matthew 23 is a word of judgment against the Pharisees who are enjoying their “box seats” in society but who should be servants. Our sermon is based on 1 Thessalonians 2, which gives us a picture of Paul doing his humble work as a tentmaker to support his ministry. ... Read the article

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Sermon Pericopes for RCL Year B

The revised common lectionary provides four scripture passages for each week of the year. The Psalm is primarily used as a call to worship. We choose one passage (pericope) to build each sermon upon and our Gospel Reverb podcast focuses on the four or five pericopes for each month. In addition, we often use a different passage for the Speaking of Life script. Click on the image below to download the list of the pericopes for year B of the RCL. Read the article

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Worship Presentation Platforms

Helping you plan a good worship experience. By Tim Sitterley, US Regional Director, West Those of us who have been a part of a church remember the infamous “worship wars.” We began to introduce songs that were not in a hymnal. New music, often written by young worship artists, spoke words relevant to the current generation. The challenge was how do we integrate the rich hymnody of the church with a worship song currently playing on Christian radio. For most congregations the early solution was the overhead projector. A blinding light shining through thin acetate illuminating a bare wall or screen. And it worked…sort of. It was hated by those who were familiar with holding a book and loved by those who wanted to be free to do... Read the article

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Churches Make a Difference

While we all acknowledge there is much to do as we "grow in grace and knowledge", it is good to note that Christianity has made significant contributions to matters of race and equality By Marty Davey, GCI Pastor, Jacksonville, FL and Woodbine, GA. We can probably all come up with examples of Christians or Christian churches doing or saying something that was—whether intentionally or not—racially biased or discriminatory. There are embarrassing examples in history of churches and preachers justifying slavery, even misusing Bible verses. In modern times we know there are hate groups who misquote or take scriptures out of context and burn crosses. While they may use his name, these are not true representatives of Jesus Christ. As... Read the article

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Grace and Hope

As we end Ordinary Time and prepare ourselves for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, it’s good to reflect on the source of our hope­—Jesus. By Robert Regazzoli, GCI pastor in Australia In the story of Les Miserables, Jean Valjean, upon release from prison, is invited into the residence of a bishop, and given a meal and a room for the night. During the night, Valjean steals some of the silverware and runs away, only to be caught by the gendarmes, who bring him back to the bishop with the stolen items. Rather than bring charges against Jean, the bishop gives him two silver candlesticks, and gives the impression that he had given the other items to him. Jean Valjean, who had been hardened and cynical as a result of his years in prison... Read the article

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His Light, His Life, His Love

We often talk of sharing the life and love of Jesus, but we are also called to share that he is the light of the world. The three seasons (cycles) of the GCI Worship Calendar help us focus on his light, his life and his love. History was not my favorite subject in high school. Some of the stories were interesting, but I couldn’t see the value in knowing what I considered the trivia that always showed up on tests—specific quotes, exact dates, minute details. As I got older and learned more, I realized there was significance to some of this “trivia.” A quote or specific date might have been what inspired someone to start a movement. The “minute details” often led to events that changed the course of history. I have come to... Read the article

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