Category Archives: Beatitudes

  1. 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.

  2. Jesus and John (Luke 7.18-35) [Sermon 2-12-17]

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    February 10, 2017 by jmar198013

    John came calling the people to cry, and he was right. Jesus came calling the people to dance, and he was right, too. The Pharisees and scribes thought John was demonic and Jesus was a drunk. And they were wrong. You know what that means? It means there are times and seasons when we need to hear a call like John’s to weep over our sins and repent. But Jesus also calls us to joyful celebration, to acknowledge God’s justice, and feast on God’s love.

    Children of wisdom will know when it’s time to cry, and when it’s time to dance.

  3. Feed us and forgive us (Luke 11.3-4) [Sermon 08-28-2016]

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    August 25, 2016 by jmar198013

    Jesus taught us to pray for our bread; and to pray that we will be forgiving as well as forgiven people. But he also gave us a meal—one we share every week—that binds the story of our forgiveness to the bread we eat.

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

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    August 18, 2016 by jmar198013

    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.

  5. Real talk on vulnerability (2 Corinthians 4.1-15; Matthew 5.13) [Sermon 06-05-2016]

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    June 3, 2016 by jmar198013

    The vulnerable places in our lives don’t have to be places of shame or blame or anxiety or endless frustration. They can be the very places where God’s awesome power pours into our lives, and baptizes every bit of us in his transforming grace.

    A wise old rabbi named Bob Dylan once said: “Ain’t no use jiving, ain’t no use joking: everything is broken.”

    A few years later, another wise old rabbi named Leonard Cohen answered: “There is a crack in everything: that’s how the light gets in!”

    According to Paul, that’s how the light gets out, too.

  6. The shepherd’s voice (John 10.22-30) [Sermon 04-17-2016, Easter 4c: Good Shepherd Sunday]

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    April 17, 2016 by jmar198013

    In John 10.22-30, Jesus says that his sheep listen to his voice and follow him.

    Do they listen because they are his sheep? Or are they his sheep because they listen? Do they follow Jesus because he is their shepherd? Or is Jesus their shepherd because they follow?

  7. Epilogue (John 21.1-19) [Sermon 04-10-2016, Easter 3c]

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    April 8, 2016 by jmar198013

    In the Epilogue to John’s Gospel, the risen Jesus makes the word forgiveness become flesh for his estranged disciple Peter. The good news is, it isn’t just a story about Peter being reconciled to Jesus. It’s a story for each one of us, too.

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