Sermon for February 27, 2022 — Transfiguration Sunday

Psalm 99:1-9 · Exodus 34:29-35 · 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2 · Luke 9:28-36, (37-43a) This week’s theme is transformed by God’s presence. The call to worship Psalm introduces the central focus of the transfiguration by alluding to Moses, Aaron, the pillar of cloud and the holy mountain, while calling for the people’s response of worship to the kingship of Yahweh. The reading in Exodus recounts Moses’ change in appearance after being in God’s presence on Mt. Sinai. The Gospel reading in Luke centers on Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain, which leads to transformation for others after he comes down the mountain. Paul makes use of Moses’ veiled face to contrast the unveiling of God in Jesus where we see God face-to-face,... Read the article

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Sermon for February 20, 2022 — 7th Sunday after Epiphany

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40 ∙ Genesis 45:3-11, 15 ∙ 1 Corinthians 15:35-38, 42-50 ∙ Luke 6:27-38 The theme this seventh Sunday after Epiphany is living by God’s generosity. Our call to worship Psalm recites God’s generosity for those who wait on his timing and provision. Genesis 45 is the story of Joseph’s God-fueled generosity to his abusive brothers. 1 Corinthians 15 talks about the quantum generosity at the resurrection—replacing a perishable body with the imperishable. Our sermon is about Jesus’ manifesto of the generous life his people are to live, trusting in his provision. Pressed Down and Shaken Together Luke 6:27-38 ESV Read, or have someone read Luke 6:27-38 ESV. Malcom Muggeridge, a British journalist who came to... Read the article

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Sermon for February 13, 2022 — 6th Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 1:1-6 · Jeremiah 17:5-10 · 1 Corinthians 15:12-20 · Luke 6:17-26 In this sixth week after Epiphany, our theme is God’s disruptive ways — how God will challenge how we think about things. The call to worship Psalm advises us to avoid following in the seemingly natural path of the wicked. Jeremiah warns his reader not to trust in the strength of other people. Rather, we should trust in the Lord. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul is challenging the conventional wisdom of the ruling class who do not believe in the resurrection. In Luke, we read an account of Jesus sketching the outlines of his upside-down kingdom. The Blessed Poor Luke 6:17-26 When you think of the poor, who comes to mind? Perhaps you think of someone who is... Read the article

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Sermon for February 6, 2022 — 5th Sunday after Epiphany

Psalm 138:1-22 ∙ Isaiah 6:1-8, 9-13 ∙ 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 ∙ Luke 5:1-11 The theme for this 5th Sunday after Epiphany is speak the word. In the call to worship Psalm, the poet speaks the echoing praises of God the creator and Lord. Isaiah 6 tells us about Isaiah’s encounter with God and his command to go and speak. 1 Corinthians 15 holds some of the earliest words spoken by the Christian community—possibly the first creed. Our sermon comes from Luke 5 in which Jesus calls his inner circle of disciples to speak the word alongside him. Put Out into the Deep Water Luke 5:1-11 ESV Read Luke 5:1-11 ESV. You may have grown up with them in your town: The factory workers and trades people after a long shift, headed home with their... Read the article

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Church Hack: Digital Connect Cards

The ability to worship together through online services is a blessing that allows us to share the good news of Jesus beyond the walls of our building. We know that the Sunday service is just one aspect of church life and discipleship. Download this month’s GCI Church Hack, which shares the why and how of developing digital connection cards. These provide a way for online guests to connect with your congregation beyond the service. #GCIchurchhacks https://resources.gci.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/2021-CH12-Digital_Connect_Cards.pdf Read the article

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Imitating Incarnation

When Jesus “moved into the neighborhood,” he set an example for us in how to effectively work with others. We recently celebrated the Advent season and gave special attention to Christ’s first coming, second coming, and continual presence with us. Following Advent, we celebrated Christmas – the incarnation – when the Son of God entered our world and became the Son of man. He became one of us. For those striving to disciple young people, it is good to take a new look at John 1:14 and note how Eugene Peterson interpreted the verse. It gives us a good point to focus on as we strive to follow Jesus’ example. The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind... Read the article

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The Trinitarian Blessing

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:13) By Bob Regazzoli, Pastor, Australia This scripture listed above is found in Paul’s last letter to the believers in Corinth and is often used as a benediction – the invocation of a blessing upon the congregation at the end of a worship service. Within this one verse we see the life of the Triune God and how our participation in this life is a key to being a healthy church. Gordon Fee, biblical scholar, theologian and Professor Emeritus at Regent College, said: In many ways this benediction is the most profound theological moment in the Pauline corpus…. As Barth put it with extraordinary insight,... Read the article

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Epiphany: The season of Manifestation

By Bill Hall, National Director of Canada Coming just after the Christmas season, Epiphany is the next major observance in the Christian calendar. It comes from the Latin word meaning manifestation or shining forth. It is interesting to me that the very term “epiphany” has become a part of our day-to-day language. The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that it means: “a moment in which you suddenly see or understand something in a new or very clear way.” In his volume of the Pilgrim Year: Epiphany, Canadian Christian artist Steve Bell makes this observation speaking of his series of books based on the liturgical year: As we continue to chart our course by way of this pilgrim map of the liturgical year, we have seen how Advent... Read the article

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On Mission with God

 The Love Avenue of a Healthy Church is going and participating with God. By Heber Ticas, Superintendent of Latin America The Love Avenue of a healthy church is perhaps the most challenging of the three ministry avenues. In the Love Avenue, a healthy congregation will create spaces for missional participation as a corporate body. Significant holistic health as a body cannot be attained without the proper understanding and calling of the church to participate in the mission of God in the world. It is often said, and rightly so, that missional participation apart from Jesus is not possible. It is by the Spirit that the church joins Jesus in his missional activity in our neighborhoods and communities. The participation part of the... Read the article

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For the Sake of Other People

Continuing our focus on Healthy Church, the 2022 theme for Equipper and our GCI media team is “Compelled by Love.” The church of Jesus Christ exists for the sake of other people. I spent most of my life with an “us and them” point of view. The main “us and them” concerned those who believed in Jesus and those who didn’t believe in Jesus – for simplicity I referred to these two groups as believer and unbeliever. Believers were included; unbelievers were excluded. But my erroneous point of view went beyond that. I also believed in an “us and them” among those who professed belief in Jesus. If you believed what I believed and followed certain commandments, I believed were more important than others, you were among the... Read the article

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