Sermon January 26, 2020

Readings: Isaiah 9:1-4 • Psalm 27:1, 4-9 • 1 Cor. 1:10-18 • Matthew 4:12-23 The theme this week is focusing on the light. Jesus is the "great light" Isaiah talks about. The Psalmist understood this and said, "The Lord is my light" and then talked about his desire to dwell in the house of the Lord and gaze on the beauty of his face. In Matthew, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah as he tells his disciples to drop what they are doing and follow him. Paul reminds the believers in Corinth that it's not about who baptizes who, it's about being in the light of Christ. Unity, Not Uniformity 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 As we can see in our own families, every human being is unique. Even though our kids might have the same genetic... Read the article

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Sermon January 19,2020

Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7 • Psalm 40:1-11 • 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 • John 1:29-42 The theme for this week is “Come and see.” In Isaiah 49:1-7, God speaks his promises over his people inviting them to come and see in the adventure of obedience. In Psalm 40:1-11, the author invites us to come and see the goodness and deliverance of God through telling his own experience. In 1 Corinthians 1:1-9, Paul invites the young church to embrace their identity and inheritance in Christ. In John 1:29-42, Jesus’ gets his first disciple Andrew with the invitation “Come and see.” Andrew dedicates his life to extending that invitation to the world. Andrew, the Shadow Disciple John 1:29-42 Can anyone tell me Donald Trump’s sister’s name?... Read the article

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Sermon for January 12, 2020

Readings: Isaiah 42:1-9 • Psalm 29 • Acts 10:34-43 • Matthew 3:13-17 This week's theme is the baptism (anointing) of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah foretold that Jesus was the servant of God, the chosen one. The Psalmist reminds us to give glory to the anointed one and reminds us who he is. In Acts, Peter shares with Cornelius---and seems to come to a much deeper understanding himself---of who Jesus is and says, "We are witnesses of everything he did." Matthew recounts the story of Jesus' baptism and subsequent anointing by the Holy Spirit. Matthew 3:13-17 (NRSV) Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But... Read the article

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Sermon for January 5, 2020

Readings: Psalm 157:12-20 • Ephesians 1:3-14 • John 1:1-9;10-18 • Jeremiah 31:7-14 The theme for this week is God’s riches. Each passage discusses feasting and celebration because of God’s riches given to us. The sermon, "The Discipline of Feasting," is based on Jeremiah 31:7-14. Psalm 147:12-20 envisions God providing the seasons and controlling the weather. Ephesians 1:3-14 tells of the lavish inheritance we have in Christ. John 1:1-18 praises God’s generous plan to redeem us through giving His son. The Discipline of Feasting Jeremiah 31:7-14 NRSV Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year? Most of us did, in some kind of absent way as we put back the last of the dishes or stood on the scale in the morning. The... Read the article

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GCI Worship Calendar

Each week, as we gather in our GCI congregations around the world, most of our pastors are preaching from the Revised Common Lectionary. Using these same passages, and often the same sermon outlines published in Equipper is incredibly unifying. Reading and responding to the same truth about our Triune God is a wonderful way to create connection within our global fellowship. The scriptures chosen week to week align with each season of the Christian calendar. As the graphic below illustrates, during each season we celebrate and remember the good news of Jesus. In Advent we celebrate, Jesus is coming; in Christmas, we rejoice, Jesus is born; during Epiphany we commemorate, Jesus is ministering; during Lent, we remember, Jesus is saving;... Read the article

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Sermon for December 29, 2019

Readings: Isaiah 63:7-9 • Psalm 148 • Hebrews 2:10-18 • Matthew 2:13-22 This week’s theme is God always with us. Isaiah speaks of the steadfast love of the Lord who became our Savior, took on our afflictions, redeemed us and lifted us up. The author of Hebrews reminds us Jesus is the one who sanctifies and became the atonement for our sins. He is our help. The psalmist reminds us this is why we praise the Lord: he has raised up a horn (a symbol of strength) for his people. Matthew reminds us that Jesus is the one who was prophesied—even going to Egypt to fulfill a scripture reminding us that God’s plan was to be with us. The sermon reminds us we are never alone—God is always with us. Never Alone Hebrews 2:10-18 NRSV ... Read the article

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Sermon for December 24 or 25, 2019

Readings: Isaiah 9:2-7 • Luke 2:1-20 • John 1:1-14 This week’s theme is Christmas—the celebration of the birth of Jesus. This message may be used either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It is recommended you give extra time for singing Christmas hymns. One method would be to alternate Christmas hymns with Scripture readings, or simply telling the story in your own words. There are numerous Christmas videos that will enhance your special service. Do a search but be sure to use only those allowed under your copyright license. The sermon is text heavy; you may want to assign different people to read different parts. Have them practice ahead of time for smooth transitions. Celebrating Jesus Luke 2:1-20 NRSV Read with enthusiasm... Read the article

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Sermon for December 22, 2019

Readings: Isaiah 7:10-16 • Psalm 80:1-7 • Romans 1:1-7 • Matthew 1:18-25 This week’s theme is the intervention of God. As God’s people, we believe that he not only makes sense of history, he also intervened in it. Isaiah 7:10-16 discusses the intervention of God in the strange, multi-meaning words about a virgin that will one day bear a child. Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19 is a lament asking for God’s intervention on Israel’s behalf. In Romans 1:1-7, Paul introduces the gospel as God’s great narrative history throughout history that culminated in God Himself entering history. Matthew 1:18-25 tells the story of God's intervention in the lives of two young people to change history forever. The sermon is based on this Matthew passage... Read the article

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Sermon for December 15, 2019

Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10 • Psalm 146:5-10 • Luke 1:46-55 • James 5:7-10 • Matthew 11:2-11 This week’s theme is Jesus brought the kingdom of God. The prophet Isaiah said the kingdom is coming and you will see people healed, the blind will see, the mute will sing praises. The Psalmist looked forward to the time when God gives food to the hungry, sets the prisoners free and gives sight to the blind. Matthew recounts Jesus telling John’s disciples to describe what they see, “the blind receive sight, the lame wall… the deaf hear, the dead are raised…” Mary sings of this kingdom in her song. The sermon is from Mary’s song in Luke 1 and reminds us that a significant part of the kingdom message is that God has chosen us to... Read the article

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Sermon for December 8, 2019

Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10 • Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 • Romans 15:4-13 • Matthew 3:1-12 The theme of these passages is the arrival of the kingdom. The kingdom, which arrived with Christ, is discussed or hinted at in these passages. Isaiah 11:1-10 describes the kind of supernatural peace and joy of the kingdom. Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19 shares a vision of a kingdom well-ruled which points to the wholeness of the kingdom. In Romans 15:4-13, Paul rings out the call of the gospel to the Gentiles—the unity of the kingdom in that now all people are God’s chosen people. Matthew 3:1-12, on which the sermon is based, tells of John the Baptist heralding the arrival of the rightful king—God himself. Prepare the way of the Lord! John the Baptist:... Read the article

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