Category Archives: Abraham

  1. God brings low, and lifts up high (1 Samuel 3) [sermon 10-15-2017]

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    October 12, 2017 by jmar198013

    God’s word to Samuel brought down Eli’s corrupt family; even as it elevated Samuel, through whom God would anoint Israel’s greatest king–David. Will we, like Samuel, listen for what God is bringing low, and what God is raising up in our time?

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  2. Stairway to heaven (Genesis 27 – 28; John 1.50-51) [sermon 9-24-2017]

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    September 22, 2017 by jmar198013

    A Tarantino-inspired re-telling of Jacob stealing Esau’s blessing from Isaac, and fleeing into the wilderness where he sees a vision of a staircase leading into heaven. Told from five different perspectives: Rebekah, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and God.

  3. God sees to the future (Genesis 22:1-14) [sermon 09-17-2017]

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    September 15, 2017 by jmar198013

    In Genesis 22.1-14, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son Isaac as a burnt offering. And Abraham goes out to do it.

    What kind of God is that? And what kind of father is Abraham?

    Perhaps God is the kind of God who calls us to offer our future on the altar, trusting that God will see to our future. And maybe Abraham is the kind of person who shows us how deep that trust must go …

  4. God makes a way out of no way: Exodus, Jesus, and baptism (Romans 6:1-11) [sermon 8-20-2017]

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    August 18, 2017 by jmar198013

    In Romans 6, Paul combines narratives from the Exodus and the death and resurrection of Christ to help us understand the story baptism tells–and gives us to tell.

  5. Abraham’s story — and ours (Luke 1.68-79; Galatians 3.1-9, 23-29) [sermon 5-28-2017]

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    May 25, 2017 by jmar198013

    John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, sang a song just after he was born that saw what God was about to do through John and especially Jesus as a fulfillment to the promises made to their ancestor Abraham long before. In Galatians 3, Paul likewise sees what God had done through Christ as a new chapter in the story God began in Abraham. Through these readings, we learn to read scripture as a story of God’s faithfulness to his people and the world. And God’s faithfulness empowers us–like Abraham–to move forward in faith, going where God leads, to be a blessing to the world.

  6. Good fences make good neighbors? (Luke 16.19-31) [sermon 3-26-2017]

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    March 24, 2017 by jmar198013

    The rich man—who was used to getting his way—wouldn’t let up. “No, Father Abraham!” he argued. “But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will change their hearts and lives.” Abraham said, “If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” And that gives the story a new twist. Because we know Jesus, the one telling the story, would himself rise from the dead later. But even that wouldn’t convince a lot of people. When you invest yourself in getting more stuff, gaining more status, and winning at any cost—like the Pharisees—you become blind to many things.

  7. John baptizes Jesus (Luke 3.1-22; Ps. 51.6-17) [Sermon 01-08-2017]

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    January 6, 2017 by jmar198013

    Luke has recorded for us the precise moment when Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to preach good news to the poor. It was right after he was plunged into the same waters as the poor, the prisoners, the blind, the oppressed, and those who cried out for God’s favor. In other words, people just like you and me.

    He didn’t save us from on high.

    He got right down in that dirty, muddy water with us.

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