Sermon for February 23, 2020 Transfiguration Sunday

Ex.24:12-18 • Psalm 99 • 2 Peter 1:16-21 • Matthew 17:1-9 The theme this week is the Lordship of Jesus. Throughout Scripture, we see the power and majesty of the Son of God. In Exodus 24, we read of Moses returning to the mountain to receive the tablets of stone upon which God had written the law and the commandments. There “the glory of the Lord settled,” and it was “like a devouring fire.” The Psalmist writes about the Lord being king and sitting among the cherubim. Moses, Aaron and Samuel called upon him and he answers—speaking to them in the “pillar of cloud.” In Peter’s letter, he talks about being an eyewitness of Jesus’ majesty and the Father acknowledging Jesus as the “Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well... Read the article

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Sermon for February 16, 2020

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 • Psalm 119:1-8 • 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 • Matthew 5:21-37 The theme this week is the community of God. Each passage discusses the ideals and vision of what it means to be part of God’s family. Deuteronomy 30:15-20 discusses the giving of the law as the path of true life—truly being the community of God. Psalm 119:1-8 talks about walking in the way of the Lord and the joy of the community that does. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-9, Paul encourages the church community that they are God’s building, God’s field, united by love and kingdom purpose. The sermon this week is on Matthew 5:21-37, in which Jesus lays out the connection between broken relationships with others and a broken relationship with God. Take a Deep... Read the article

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Sermon for February 2, 2020

Micah6:1-8 · Psalm 15:1-5 · 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 · Matthew 5:1-12 The theme for this week is the “foolish” wisdom of God; his ways are not our ways. Micah 6:1-8 narrows down all the complexity of ritual and theology to acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. Psalm 15 tells about the humble, plain-speaking person, not the sophisticated or proud, who enters God’s presence. In 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, Paul cuts through the fad-addiction of that community to tell them that “God's foolishness is wiser than human wisdom.” The sermon is based on this passage. Finally, in Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus lays out the counter-intuitive heroes of the kingdom: the meek, the mourning, and the poor in Spirit. Jesus Plays the Fool ... Read the article

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Sermon for February 9, 2020

Isaiah 58:1-12 • Psalm 112:1-9 • I Cor. 2:1-12 • Matthew 5:13-20 The theme this week is our generosity to others brings glory to God. The Psalmist points out the blessings of being generous and gracious to others; it helps us grow stronger in our relationship with God. The prophet Isaiah uses the illustration of fasting to remind us the reason we fast (humble ourselves) is not for our glory, but to grow closer to God and see opportunity to love and serve others. Matthew reminds us this is why we are the salt of the earth, and a light on a hill, so others see our good works and give glory to God. Paul tells the church in Corinth that manifestations of the Spirit—spiritual gifts—are given for the common good, to be a blessing to... Read the article

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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 147:12-20 • 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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