Sermon for September 26, 2021

Psalm 124:1-8 • Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 • James 5:13-20 • Mark 9:38-50 The theme this week is what God’s grace looks like in our world. American author and theologian Frederick Buechner (pronounced BEEK-ner) says that grace is like God saying to us, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you.” Psalm 124, our call to worship, reminds us that even when difficulties arise, we can be brave because God is supporting us. An example of this is found in Esther’s intervention on behalf of her people, as discussed in Esther 7 and 9, which was possible because she was willing to risk everything and do what needed to be done. Mark 9 reveals Jesus speaking strongly about our... Read the article

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Sermon for September 19, 2021

Psalm 1:1-6 • Proverbs 31:10-31 • James 3:13-4:3, 7-8 • Mark 9:30-37 The theme this week is living in God’s world by God’s wisdom. Our call to worship Psalm tells of the growing, bountiful life of the wise person. Proverbs 31 tells the story of the exemplary wife who lives in wisdom, giving joy to her family and living a fulfilled life. In Mark, Jesus shares God’s wisdom with the disciples—approach like a child, don’t argue about who’s the greatest. Our sermon is from James 3 and 4, and looks at the telltale marks of godly wisdom. Wisdom from the Brother of Jesus James 3 & 4 Read James 3:13-18; 4:3, 7-8 ESV. You wonder if the sight was familiar to him. Maybe he’d once watched his brother up there on that... Read the article

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Sermon for September 12, 2021

Psalm 19:1-14 • Proverbs 1:20-33 • James 3:1-12 • Mark 8:27-38 The theme this week is wisdom comes from the Lord. In our call to worship Psalm, the psalmist states that the law of the Lord is more precious than gold. Proverbs 1 speaks about the wisdom of God crying out in the streets, but not everyone listens. James speaks about the wisdom of seeking the Lord to control the tongue. In Mark 8, Jesus explains the wisdom of sacrificing all to follow him. Taming the Tongue James 3:1-12 We recently commemorated the 20th anniversary of 9/11, a tragic day for America and the world. The hijacking of four passenger planes by terrorists on September 11, 2001, resulted in the deaths of 2,977 people, 6,000 injuries, $700M of damage to the... Read the article

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Sermon for September 5, 2021

Psalm 125:1-5 • Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 • James 2:1-17 • Mark 7:24-37 Our theme this week is the God of mercy and strength. The call to worship Psalm shows us the mountain-like strength of those who trust God. Proverbs 22 commends us to show God’s mercy to the poor and afflicted who can’t defend themselves. Mark 7 shows us the overflowing mercy of Christ who heals the daughter of the Syro-Phoenician woman who presses her way into his story. Our sermon is from James 2, which gives us James’ antidote to favoritism—showing mercy to those whom God shows mercy to. The Shabby Clothes of Christ James 2:1-17 ESV Read or have someone read James 2:1-17 ESV “All the crème de la crème watching us watching them.” This is... Read the article

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Sermon for August 29, 2021

Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9 • Song of Solomon 2:8-13 • James 1:17-27 • Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 This week’s theme is receiving God’s Word. The call to worship Psalm and the passage from Song of Solomon paint in lavish terms a relationship of lovers attuned to one another’s voice, and point to how we build relationship by hearing and responding to God’s voice. The reading from James displays the generosity of the Father whose words of salvation can be received as a blessing flowing from a trust relationship with him. The Gospel reading presents Jesus as the Word to listen to over and against the traditional interpretations aimed at avoiding the purposes of the law. Do Not Be Deceived James 1:16-27 (ESV) Begin by reading James... Read the article

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Sermon for August 22, 2021

Psalm 84:1-12 • 1 Kings 8:22-30, 41-43 • Ephesians 6:10-20 • John 6:56-69 The theme for this week is God’s romance with us. The call to worship Psalm talks about being in God’s loving presence (“courts”) better than being anywhere on earth. 1 Kings tells the early story of this romance, the ancient memories of the Ark of Covenant and God’s covenant people. John 6 is the strange and beautiful story of Jesus being with us and uniting himself with us at the Lord’s supper. Our sermon is from Ephesians 6, the story of us taking on our Lover’s armor, which he took on first for us. The Second-Hand Armor of God Ephesians 6:10-20 One of the runaway hits of 2021 is the Disney series The Mandalorian. This science-fiction saga... Read the article

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Sermon for August 15, 2021

Psalm 111:1-10 · 1 Kings 2:10-12, 3:3-14 · John 6:51-58 · Ephesians 5:15-20 The theme for this week is wise choices and the well-lived life. The call to worship Psalm expands on how developing “the fear of the Lord” includes a healthy dose of gratitude as part of a well-lived life. Solomon’s prayer for wisdom, rather than long life or riches, is detailed in 1 Kings 2. In John, Jesus, the Bread of Life, explains how the sacrament of Communion nourishes us with its symbolism about the bread and the way that Christ dwells in us, becomes part of us, and guides our lives, enabling us to astutely move through the world. Our sermon text comes from Ephesians 5, where Paul exhorts us to spend our time carefully considering the... Read the article

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Sermon for August 8, 2021

Psalm 130:1-8 • 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33 • Ephesians 4:25-5:2 • John 6:25, 41-51 The theme for this week is the God who restores. The call to worship Psalm is a cry out to God, waiting for his restoration. 2 Samuel 18 tells us about how David is brought back to kindness and mercy, even while mourning for his rebellious son. John 6 is about Jesus, who steps into the metaphor of the bread of life who sustains and restored Israel, and now restores us. Our sermon is on Ephesians 4. Paul gives us part of what it means to live as people being restored into the image of Christ. Listening to That Other Voice Ephesians 4:25-5:2 ESV We’ve all been through transitions. Some of them were scary, some exciting, some disappointing, but all... Read the article

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Sermon for August 1, 2021

Psalm 51:1-12 • 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a • Ephesians 4:1-16 • John 6:24-35 Receiving mercy from the Bread of Life is this week’s theme. Our call to worship Psalm focuses on David’s repentance after the 2 Samuel story of taking another man’s wife, then murdering her husband. While David received consequences for his sinful actions, God showed him mercy and David sought restoration from the Lord. In Ephesians 4, Paul explains how believers should respond to the mercy and grace we have received in Christ by living in unity. Paul also details the systems Jesus has put in place to spiritually develop his followers and keep them united. John 6 points out that Jesus fed the 5,000 even though many followed him for superficial reasons.... Read the article

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Sermon for July 25, 2021

Psalm 14:1-7 • 2 Samuel 11:1-15 • Ephesians 3:14-21 • John 6:1-21 The theme this week is God gives us all we need, and then some. The call to worship Psalm is a reiteration of faith in the God of Israel who will provide more than they need. 2 Samuel 11 is the painful story of David going around God’s provision to steal another man’s wife. John 6 tells of Jesus providing a feast for a crowd from a sack lunch. Our sermon comes from Ephesians 3, Paul’s prayer that this church can explore the unreachable depths of identity in Christ. Paul’s Crescendo of Prayer Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV Any symphony will have a crescendo—perhaps a few, as the piece goes on. You know it, it’s the loud part—that deafening roar at the end when... Read the article

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