Sermon for February 28, 2021

Psalm 22:23-31 • Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 • Romans 4:13-25 • Mark 8:31-38 This week’s theme is Following in faith. The call to worship Psalm points to the promise of all nations eventually turning to follow the Lord and worship him. Both the Old Testament reading and the text in Romans positions Abraham as a paradigm of faith in following God for all believers in every age. The Gospel reading in Mark records Jesus’ instructions concerning discipleship. Redefined Discipleship Mark 8:31-38 The season of Easter preparation (Lent) has a way of keeping any fairytale illusions of the Christian life at bay. After celebrating Advent and Christmas with all the festivities involved, we may be tempted to think the Christian faith is just... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for Sunday, February 21, 2021 First Week of Easter Preparation

Psalm 25:1-10 • Genesis 9:8-17 • 1 Peter 3:18-22 • Mark 1:9-15 The theme this week is the God who can be trusted. In the call to worship Psalm, the poet pleads with God for his help, appealing to his trustworthy character. Genesis 9 tells us about God’s promise to never destroy the world again—signified by the rainbow. 1 Peter 3 tells us about Jesus completing God’s epic, trustworthy plan of redemption. Our sermon is about Jesus’ temptation in Mark 1, where Jesus’ trust in the Father is tested in the wilderness. Mark 1: Wild Animals and Angels Mark 1:9-15 ESV Read Mark 1:9-15 ESV With Mark’s usual bullet-point brevity, Jesus appears, is baptized, starts his ministry, wrestles with the devil, and calls his first... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for February 14, 2021 (Transfiguration Sunday)

Psalm 50:1-6 • 2 Kings 2:1-12 • 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 • Mark 9:2-9 This week’s theme is the transcendent power of God. God’s power is beyond our imagination, and he has no rival or equal. The call to worship Psalm sings praises to the “mighty one.” In 2 Kings 2:1-12, God shows his power through the miraculous last days of Elijah. In 2 Corinthians 4:3-6, Paul explains God’s power to shine the light of the gospel through the darkness of this world. In Mark 9:2-9, we see God revealing Jesus’ power and divinity through the transfiguration. Underestimating God Mark 9:2-9 If you have any familiarity with Superman, you will know that his alter ego is Clark Kent, a mild-mannered reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper. Working... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for February 7, 2021

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c • Isaiah 40:21-31 • 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 • Mark 1:29-39 The theme this week is God’s great care. The call to worship Psalm tells us of God’s tenderness toward Israel through the centuries, and also his loving care for the natural world. Isaiah 40 gives us a vivid poem about God’s greatness and power, and then provides a tender image of him lifting up those who wait in him. Mark 1 gives us a touching story of Jesus taking gentle care of an elderly person and others who might have easily been overlooked in that society, and ours. Our sermon comes from 1 Corinthians 9, part of a longer discussion in which Paul calls us to reach out with God’s great care, putting relationships before our personal rights and... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 31, 2021

Psalm 111:1-10 • Deuteronomy 18:15-20 • 1 Corinthians 8:1-15 • Mark 1:21-28 The theme for this week is God at work, which challenges us to rethink our thoughts about work. Deuteronomy talks about God’s work among the ancient Israelites, using a prophet to speak to them when they said they could not handle speaking to God directly. 1 Corinthians discusses how we can get caught up in “works” or the practices that are important to us, to the point of forgetting that “anyone who loves God is known by him,” and Mark tells the story of Jesus’s work of casting out an unclean spirit from a man, releasing him from a burden. Normally the psalm is our call to worship, but this week it is our sermon text. Psalm 111 examines God’s... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 24

Psalm 62:5-12 • Jonah 3:1-5, 10 • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 • Mark 1:14-20 The theme this week is God’s unstoppable calling. The call to worship Psalm talks about God’s unstoppable power in the universe—we can’t stand against it; God has the final word. Jonah 3 tells about the repentance of Nineveh—a people that didn’t know or care about God. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul admonishes us to live with our calling in sight because the way the world runs is falling away before God’s incoming kingdom. Our sermon, from Mark 1, focuses on the calling of the disciples—imperfect people who were called into God’s unstoppable work. Mark 1: The Paradox of Calling Read, or have someone read Mark 1:14-20, then start by asking the... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 17, 2021

Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 • 1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20) • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 • John 1:43-51 This week’s theme is being known in the Lord. The story from 1 Samuel recounts Samuel’s first encounter of hearing the Lord’s personal call into service. 1 Corinthians 6 maps out some moral implications of being a disciple who lives “in Christ.” The Gospel text in John 1 presents Jesus’ intimate knowledge of those he calls to walk with him. While the Psalm is normally the call to worship, we built the sermon on Psalm 139, which explores God’s presence to us and his intimate knowledge of us. The Gift of Being Known Psalm 139:1-18 (NRSV) There was a recent poll by a local news station that showed 94 percent of participants agreed... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 10, 2021

Psalm 29 • Genesis 1:1-5 • Acts 19:1-7 • Mark 1:4-11 The theme for this week is the voice of the Lord in re-creation. The call to worship Psalm describes the tremendous power of the voice of God that rules over every last detail of creation. Genesis 1 tells us of the voice of God creating the universe out of nothing—speaking it into creation. Acts 19 shares about the re-creation of being in Christ, signified by receiving the Holy Spirit. Our sermon covers Mark 1, the baptism of Jesus. The powerful symbols of re-creation and re-telling of this moment of Jesus’ life culminate in the blessing of God’s voice ringing through creation: “I am well-pleased with you.” The Baptism of the Lord Jesus Immerses himself in Our Story ... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for January 3, 2021

Psalm 147:12-20 • Jeremiah 31:7-14 • Ephesians 1:3-14 • John 1:(1-9), 10-18 The theme for this week is God the gatherer, emphasizing God’s desire to include everyone, even those marginalized by culture. The call to worship Psalm discusses the ways God looks after and provides for human beings, including them in his blessings. Jeremiah talks about God’s plan to gather and comfort the ancient Israelites who were scattered as the result of foreign conquerors, and John tells about Jesus and how he gathered us into himself to become “children of God.” Last, Ephesians 1:3-14, our sermon text, reveals God’s wish to gather all people, in all their uniqueness, into loving relationship in Christ. God Gathers Diverse People ... Read the article

Read the article

Sermon for December 27, 2020

Psalm 148:1-14 • Isaiah 61:10–62:3 • Galatians 4:4-7 • Luke 2:22-40 The theme for this week hope in the God who is always in control. The call to worship Psalm encourages the whole world, from the smallest creatures to the mountains, to ring with praise for God who is over all. Isaiah 61 gives us a gorgeous picture of God’s bride, Israel, prepared for his love. Galatians 4 tells about the over-arching narrative of hope—God’s plan through the law and now the gospel. Our sermon is from Luke 2, the story of Simeon who blessed the newborn Jesus. He connects this baby into the story of hope that had been centuries in the making. Advent Also Starring: Simeon and Anna Luke 2:22-40 ESV Read, or have someone read, Luke 2:22-40... Read the article

Read the article