Sermon for November 28, 2021 – Advent 1

Psalm 25:1-10 • Jeremiah 33:14-16 • 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 • Luke 21:25-36 Our theme for this Advent week is hope is the final word. In the call to worship Psalm, the poet reminds himself that God has been keeping his promises since the beginning and will continue. Jeremiah talks about the “Branch to spring up from David” – singing hope as Israel burned around him. In his first Thessalonians letter, Paul reminds them of Jesus’ second coming and their great hope to persevere. In Luke 21, Jesus prophesies about the horrible destruction of the temple in A.D. 70, and how the hope of the Son of Man will triumph even then. On Permanent Sojourn Luke 21:25-36 Begin with a reading of Luke 21:25-36. All scripture quoted here is... Read the article

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Sermon for November 21, 2021

Psalm 132:1-12, (13-18) • 2 Samuel 23:1-7 • Revelation 1:4b-8 • John 18:33-37 This week’s theme is the kingly reign of Christ. This royal theme is given voice by the call to worship Psalm, which recalls God’s act of establishing the Davidic dynasty. 2 Samuel 23 records the last words of King David, which serve as a herald of God’s everlasting covenant. The Gospel reading in John 18 uses irony with the interaction between Pilate and Jesus to indicate who the true king is. The reading from Revelation is more direct by praising Jesus as the “ruler of the kings of the earth.” Jesus Is Not a Co-Pilate John 18:33-37 (NRSV) You have probably seen the bumper sticker that says, “God is my Co-Pilot!” On the surface this... Read the article

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Sermon for November 14, 2021

1 Samuel 1:4-20 • 1 Samuel 2:1-10 • Hebrews 10:11-25 • Mark 13:1-8 The theme this week is waiting on God. 1 Samuel 1 tells us about Hannah waiting on God for a child. 1 Samuel 2 is Hannah’s song of rejoicing about God keeping his promise. Mark 13 tells about the incoming of God’s kingdom and waiting watchfully for his timing. Hebrews 10 is the basis for our sermon about the culmination of the waiting and promises of Israel: Jesus Christ. To Enter Boldly Hebrews 10:11-25 ESV Read, or have someone read, Hebrews 10:11-25 ESV. The first thing you run into at Fort Knox, Kentucky, home to about half of the U.S. gold reserves, is the steel fence. Make it over that and you must deal with who-knows-how-many landmines in the... Read the article

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Sermon for November 7, 2021

Psalm 127:1-5 · Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17 · Hebrews 9:24-28 · Mark 12:38-44 The theme this week is God provides a way without shame and blame. Psalm 127, our call to worship, reminds us that God provides for us, and anxiously working, worrying, or feeling ashamed as we live and move in the world is unnecessary. God provided for Naomi and Ruth, as written in Ruth 3 and 4. By allowing a Moabite woman to be part of Jesus’ lineage, God reveals how social constructs that shame and exclude people are not the way God’s love operates in the world. Mark 12 further illustrates this when Jesus honored the widow who gave her two small coins at the temple. Our sermon text, Hebrews 9, helps us understand that God isn’t interested in shaming or... Read the article

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Sermon for October 31, 2021

Psalm 146:1-10 • Ruth 1:1-18 • Hebrews 9:11-14 • Mark 12:28-34 The theme this week is being the people of God. Our call to worship Psalm discusses the fleeting quality of life and the permanence of God and God’s people. Ruth 1 tells us about Ruth choosing to identify as one of God’s people and then becoming a great hero of the faith. Mark 12 is an expansion of the Shema, which Jesus called the greatest commandment in the law. Our sermon is on Hebrews 9, discussing Jesus as the end and aim of the Hebrew faith, what it ultimately means to be the people of God. The Real Footstep in the Hallway Hebrews 9:11-15 Read, or have someone read Hebrews 9:11-15. Kids are consummate imitators. They are wonderfully, sometimes manically... Read the article

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Sermon for October 24, 2021

Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22) • Job 42:1-6, 10-17 • Hebrews 7:23-28 • Mark 10:46-52 This week’s theme is faithful responses. The call to worship Psalm forms a response of faith in a God who rescues the needy upon hearing their humble prayers. Job 42 records Job’s final response to God as a penitent expression of faith in the Lord who “can do all things,” along with the Lord’s answer of restoration for Job after his journey of suffering. This response of faith is echoed in the reading in Mark’s Gospel with the story of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, who receives healing on account of placing his faith in Jesus. It is this same Jesus who is declared to be the permanent and faithful High Priest for all who approach God for... Read the article

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Sermon for October 17, 2021

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c • Job 38:1-7, (34-41) • Hebrews 5:1-10 • Mark 10:35-45 The theme this week is God made low— the creator of the universe becoming a humble servant. The call to worship Psalm portrays the almighty God “wrapped in light.” In Job 38 we glimpse the frightening depths of God’s power in creation. In Mark 10, Jesus explains that the greatest is the servant of all. Our sermon is based on Hebrews 5, which shows us how Jesus entered the complete helplessness of being human in order to become our priest. The High Priest Made Low Hebrews 5:1-10 ESV Begin with the lectionary reading: Hebrews 5:1-10. “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes” is a well-worn cliché about reserving... Read the article

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Sermon for October 10, 2021

Psalm 22:1-15 • Job 23:1-9 • Hebrews 4:12-16 • Mark 10:17-31 This week’s theme is God’s strength in our weakness. Following Christ does not mean that we won’t get hurt or discouraged. However, it does mean that whatever we go through, Jesus goes through it with us. The call to worship Psalm is a messianic psalm that prophesies the pain Jesus would suffer on the cross. In it, the psalmist laments because he feels far from God. In Job, we encounter a man unable to see God in the midst of his suffering. Hebrews 4 speaks about our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is able to sympathize with our weakness. Finally, in Mark 10, we encounter a man whose attachment to money robs him of the conviction to follow Jesus. God in Our Weakness... Read the article

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Sermon for October 3, 2021

Psalm 26:1-12 · Job 1:1, 2:1-10 · Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12 · Mark 10:2-16 The theme this week is humanity – the jewel of God’s creation. The call to worship Psalm describes the daily choices we make. God cares about them because he cares about us. Job 1 and 2 tell us about Satan challenging God by saying humanity is a waste of his time, and God rebuking him. Mark 10 tells the story of the Pharisees trying to trip Jesus up with a complicated human question contrasted with the story of Jesus spending time with children. He tells them that the childlike simplicity, not the tired sophistication of society, is what pleases God and what he loves about us. Our sermon looks at Hebrews 1 and 2, which tell of God’s romance with the jewel... Read the article

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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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