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Showing posts from February, 2015

Listen to Jesus

(A sermon based on Mark 9:2-9 for Transfiguration Sunday 2015)

To whom do you listen?

So many voices vie for our attention and for our allegiance.

The voices of our past may call us to live in guilt or regret. The voices of our family and friends may call us to live our life the way they think we should live it. The voices of commentators may call us to view the world the way they see it. The voices of our fellow church members and of our preachers may call us to think about things from a point of view that calls itself “Christian” but may not have much to do with the actual way of Christ. The voice of our ego may call us to focus our energies on self-interest and self-protection.

The voice of God, though, calls us to listen to Jesus.

And we should.

Jesus is, after all, the One who is the culmination and the apex of God’s way in the world. He is, after all, the fulfillment of the promises of God. He is, after all, the beloved Son of God. He is, after all, the resurrected and glo…

Wait. Move. Stay. Go.

(A sermon based on Isaiah 40:21-31 & Mark 1:29-39 for Sunday, February 8)

What has you stuck? What has you stuck in a rut, stuck in a mess, stuck in a quandary, or stuck in your life?

Maybe it’s the state of the world that has you stuck. You look around you at all that is happening in the world and you wonder if anybody can do anything about it and if anybody even cares about it. You may even wonder if God cares.

That’s the way it was for many of the people addressed by the prophet whose words are found in Isaiah 40-55. They were in exile in Babylon, having been ripped from their homeland in Judah a few decades before the prophet spoke these words. Jerusalem had been destroyed and the temple within it had been levelled; the faith of many people was destroyed along with the buildings. Their thinking went something like this: Babylon had conquered Judah so Babylon was stronger than Judah; Babylon’s gods had defeated Judah’s God so those gods must be stronger than the Lord.

You c…

The Church is an Expectant Body

(A sermon based on Mark 1:14-20 & 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 for February 1, 2015)

“Blessed are those who don’t expect much for they shall not be disappointed.” So goes a saying I picked up somewhere along the road. It’s also a saying that I have decided to throw down on the ground and stomp to smithereens because it is, from a Christian perspective, an abysmally inappropriate attitude. We should be the most expectant people on the planet; we should be always on the lookout for what God is doing and for how God is calling us to help out.

We are looking for what is going to happen. We are looking expectantly for the coming of the Lord and for God’s bringing about of a new heaven and a new earth; we are looking for God’s fulfilling of all of God’s purposes and for God making all things like God intends for them to be. So Paul advised the Corinthians—and he is careful in 1 Corinthians 7 to say that he is offering his opinion and not a word from the Lord—to “deal with the world as though…