1. Bring in your kingdom (Luke 11.2c) [Sermon 08-21-2016]

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    August 18, 2016 by jmar198013

    Sermon on the Mount

    One day God’s kingdom will come in its fullness. There will be a new heavens and a new earth. Our bodies will be raised imperishable. Death and sorrow will be no more. God will wipe every tear from every eye. We will dwell with God and God with us forever in a greened city—the new Jerusalem. Ultimately, this is what we’re praying for when we ask God to, Bring in your kingdom. In the meantime, because we pray these words, we are called to live in their light. That can mean doing things like planting gardens. Cleaning up litter. Wiping away each others’ tears, even as we cry together. Bringing healing to sick and wounded bodies. We are totally only limited by our imaginations! The point is, we bring heaven’s touch to this earth, this life, right here and now. That’s our work as disciples. That’s our work as the church. That’s God’s kingdom, working.

  2. Father, uphold the holiness of your name (Luke 11.2b) [Sermon 08-14-2016]

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    August 13, 2016 by jmar198013

    Sermon on the Mount

    Jesus didn’t teach us to pray to an Unmoved Mover; nor to an Angry God who barely tolerates our mere existence. No, Jesus said: “When you pray, say: ‘Father.'”

  3. The resurrection of Job (Job 42.7-17) [Sermon 08-07-2016]

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    August 5, 2016 by jmar198013

    blake_job_god_grt

    Job 42.7-17 describes Job’s restoration to life–I like to call it a resurrection–after an intense period of loss and suffering, and a crisis of faith. God calls Job to intervene for his accusing friends with sacrifice and prayer. Job is restored when he does this priestly duty.

    Job is restored to life and the human vocation–to be God’s priests, representing God in his earthly temple. God blesses Job as Job chooses to embrace life with all its risk. Job takes back up the human vocation to be fertile and multiply; and take charge of the beasts. So God blesses him with ten children, and double the animals he had before.

    Job’s restoration gives us all hope for the time described in Rev. 21. When the heavens and earth will be renewed as God’s temple forever; God will wipe away all tears; and dwell among his people.

  4. What will Job’s answer be? (Job 38.25-27; 41.1-8; 42.1-6) [Sermon 07-31-2016]

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    July 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    Behemoth_and_Leviathan_Butts_set

    In Job 42.1-6, Job declares that he is done protesting. He’s finished lamenting. He’s ready to climb off of his ash heap and get back to work.

    And what is that work? Well, God has made us to be gardeners and warriors and artists and teachers and healers and lovers and nurturers and thinkers and builders and all sorts of other work we can do in God’s image and likeness. We can choose to live out the human vocation. To work for and fight for the things that are in our power.

    And leave what is out of our power—Behemoth and Leviathan, whirlwinds and death and the satan—up to God.

  5. The LORD answers Job (Job 31.35-37; 38.1-11) [Sermon 07-24-2016]

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    July 8, 2016 by jmar198013

    Blake Job Whirlwind

    After Job suffered multiple injustices, he saw that the world is often not predictable, orderly, or fair. His eyes were opened to a world of unjust suffering. And he wanted to know why God allows such chaos and evil.

    God appears to Job in a whirlwind, and shows Job that God is not the author of chaos and evil. God has been fighting against the chaos, and working to restrain evil, from the beginning. And he challenges Job: “Gird up your loins like a man!” In other words, God calls Job to come off of his ash heap, and be involved in life. God calls Job to join him in the hard work of fighting against chaos, evil, and injustice.

  6. Stop the world and let me off! (Job 3.1-10; 4.1-9; 7.11-21) [Sermon 07-10-2016]

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    July 4, 2016 by jmar198013

    Blake Job

    When Job spoke honestly to God about his suffering, Job’s friend Eliphaz tried to correct his theology. Instead of empathy, Eliphaz blamed Job for the tragedies that had befallen him.

    Seems like our culture is crawling with Eliphazes. Whenever we learn of some tragedy, Eliphaz is unleashed on social media–especially the comments sections! So many speak words of blame and shame.

    Perhaps we all need our theologies corrected. And perhaps that correction should begin with empathy.

  7. The LORD has given … and taken? (Job 1.1-22) [Sermon 07-03-2016]

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    June 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    Job

    After Job lost everything in a single day–his flocks, his herds, his household servants, and all ten of his children–he famously uttered these words: “The LORD has given. The LORD has taken. Bless the LORD’s name.” These words have become a classic expression of piety; a source of comfort for people suffering inexplicable evil; and even popular hymnody.

    But what if Job was wrong? Or at least, only half-right? And what if it’s okay that Job was wrong? Furthermore, what if the person telling the story wants us to know that Job is wrong?

    What if it wasn’t the LORD who took?

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