Category Archives: Beatitudes

  1. Let justice roll down like waters (Amos 5.21-24) [sermon 11-12-2017]

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    November 10, 2017 by jmar198013

    The prophet Amos told the people of Israel that God hated their worship, and their songs of praise were off-key in God’s ears. Why? Because God would prefer a river of justice and mercy to flow from his people, than a stream of worship from people whose lives aren’t transformed. What would it mean if believers truly committed to “let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream”?

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  2. Where everybody knows your name (Ephesians 4.1-16) [sermon 7-30-2017]

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    July 25, 2017 by jmar198013

    What can the church learn from the classic sitcom, “Cheers”? Probably a lot, according to Ephesians 4.1-16.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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