Sermon for March 26, 2023 – Fifth Sunday of Easter Preparation

Psalm 130 • Ezekiel 37:1-14 • Romans 8:6-11 • John 11:1-45 This week’s theme is living into life. The call to worship Psalm is an individual’s prayer offered in hope that the Lord will save him from trouble on account of the Lord’s steadfast love. The Old Testament reading from Ezekiel offers a vision of dry bones coming to life as a prophecy to Israel that they will be delivered from the death of exile to live again in their own homeland. Romans records Paul’s comparison of life in the Spirit with death in the flesh. In the Gospel reading from John, Jesus raises Lazarus to life after being dead four days. A Mindset of Life and Death Romans 8:6-11 (ESV) We are now five Sundays into Easter Preparation (referred to as Lent... Read the article

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Sermon for March 19, 2023 – Fourth Sunday of Easter Preparation

Psalm 23:1-6 · 1 Samuel 16:1-13 · Ephesians 5:8-14 · John 9:1-41 This is the fourth week of the Easter Preparation season (Lent), a time when we ready ourselves to commemorate the atoning work of Christ on the cross, and when we prepare to celebrate the glorious empty tomb of our resurrected Lord. To participate in the process of examining our walk with Christ, we have to recognize our inability to accurately discern spiritual things. We need God to reveal us to ourselves to be aware of the ways in which we need to spiritually grow. It is only by the Spirit that spiritual growth takes place. This week’s theme is God leads us through spiritual darkness. In the call to worship Psalm, we read how the Lord leads the psalmist peacefully... Read the article

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Sermon for March 12, 2023 – Third Sunday of Easter Preparation

Psalm 95 • Exodus 17:1-7 • Romans 5:1-11 • John 4:5-42 This week’s theme is thirsting for love. The call to worship Psalm presents a liturgy of praise celebrating God’s provision of water in the wilderness to his people, while also using their example of complaining as an admonishment against hardened hearts. The Old Testament selection from Exodus recounts this story of Israel complaining about thirst, which is met by God’s gracious act to provide water through a rock Moses was instructed to strike. The epistolary text in Romans provides a contrast to Israel’s complaining hard hearts, using Paul’s picture of endurance that flows from God’s love poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. In the Gospel reading... Read the article

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Sermon for March 5, 2023 – Second Sunday of Easter Preparation

Psalm 121 • Genesis 12:1-4a • Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 • John 3:1-17 This week’s theme is the eyes of faith. In our call to worship Psalm, we have the psalmist lifting up his eyes to God to trust and see God’s care for him. In Genesis, we see God asking Abraham to leave behind everything and to trust that God will show him where to go. In Romans, Paul confirms that Abraham did trust God by faith in what was unseen to him. And in John’s gospel, Jesus talks to Nicodemus about being born from above and seeing the kingdom of God as a result. Abraham’s Children: By Law or by Faith? Romans 4:1-5, 13-17 (NRSVUE) Today, we find ourselves in the second Sunday of Easter preparation. This is a time to reflect on the importance of... Read the article

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Sermon for February 26, 2023 – First Sunday in Easter Preparation

Psalm 32:1-11 • Genesis 3:1-7 • Romans 5:12-19 • Matthew 4:1-11 In our first week of Easter preparation, we reflect on Jesus’ reversal of the sinful state of mankind. Our theme is the dominion of life over death. In the call to worship Psalm, King David reminds us of our need to bring our sins before God to receive his abundant forgiveness and love. In Genesis, we witness how the dominion of death came about through the sin of Adam and Eve, leading to their shame and guilt. Paul explains to believers in Rome how the grace and life given to us by Jesus heals the death and separation caused by sin, and it establishes us in his new and better life. In our scripture passage today, Jesus enters the wilderness and reminds the devil... Read the article

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Sermon for February 19, 2023 – Last Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 2:1-11 • Exodus 24:12-18 • 2 Peter 1:16-21 • Matthew 17:1-9 This week’s theme is on the mountaintop. The psalmist prophetically looks ahead to the time in which God would install Jesus as king on Mt. Zion. In Exodus, Moses is sent by God to the top of the mountain where he witnessed the glory of the Lord. In Matthew’s gospel, he records the transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Zion. And in 2 Peter, he confirms that he was present on the mountain with Christ during the transfiguration event. The Transfiguration of Christ Matthew 17:1-9 (NIV) When was the last time you had a strong sense of anticipation? As a kid, I was so excited that I could hardly sleep on Christmas Eve because of the anticipation of unwrapping presents... Read the article

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Sermon for February 12, 2023 – Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 119:1-8 • Deuteronomy 30:15-20 • 1 Corinthians 3:1-9 • Matthew 5:21-37 In this sixth week of Epiphany, our theme is the challenge of righteous living. Speaking to the Israelites as they prepare to enter the promised land, God urges them to choose life over death by following his commandments and decrees. In Psalm 119, the psalmist extols the blessings of a life lived in accordance with God and laments the inevitable decline that follows a lapse in judgment. The Apostle Paul mourns that quarrels and pettiness have prevented the Corinthian church from learning the deeper lessons of faith. In our sermon passage from Matthew, Jesus declares the chilling challenges of leading a truly righteous life. In the Sermon on the Mount, he... Read the article

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Sermon for February 5, 2023 – Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 112:1-9 • Isaiah 58:1-9a • 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 • Matthew 5:13-20 As we continue in the Epiphany season, contemplating the God revealed by Jesus Christ, we should take time to consider our response to that revelation. We should seek to humbly and diligently follow his word. Therefore, the theme for this week is authentically worshipping God. In the call to worship Psalm, we read about the generational blessings awaiting those who wholeheartedly worship the Lord. In Isaiah, the prophet condemns empty religion and echoes God’s call for justice, liberation, and care for those most in need. In the Corinthian passage, Paul spoke about the Christian’s reliance on the Holy Spirit to reveal the gospel and God’s plan for... Read the article

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Sermon for January 29, 2023 – Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 15:1-5 • Micah 6:1-8 • 1 Corinthians 1:18-31 • Matthew 5:1-12 This week’s theme is the kingdom of heaven. The call to worship Psalm reflects on what is required to be in the presence of God. The Old Testament reading from Micah speaks of doing God’s will that involves justice, mercy, and humility. The text in Corinthians records Paul’s statement of the cross where God’s foolishness conquers man’s wisdom. In the Gospel reading from Matthew, we have Jesus’ teachings on the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice and Be Glad Matthew 5:1-12 (NRSV) Today our epiphany will come, not from a story about Jesus, but by his words spoken to us. You have probably heard these words many times. They are the words known as... Read the article

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Sermon for January 22, 2023 – Third Sunday after the Epiphany

Psalm 27:1, 4-9 • Isaiah 9:1-4 • I Corinthians 1:10-18 • Matthew 4:12-23 The theme for this week is not us and them, but all of us. Our call to worship in Psalm 27 presents the inclusive full range of a Christian’s experience, including the high points of faith and the low points of lament and doubt. Isaiah 9 focuses on our release from oppression, whether it comes from within us or without, by our Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace. In Matthew 4, Jesus calls Simon Peter and his brother Andrew to become fishers of people, snagging hurting hearts with the good news of God’s love and acceptance of all people. Our sermon text is 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 which addresses the problem of tribalism and how we can solve it. The... Read the article

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