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.
August 8, 2017 by jmar198013
In Acts 2.38, Peter told the assembly: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When 3000 came forward to be baptized, they were plunged into an old, old story that promised a new beginning. Baptism tells a story as old as the heavens and the earth. And it’s a story that will be re-told in the new heavens and new earth.
August 1, 2017 by jmar198013
In the classic sitcom, “The Greatest American Hero,” a regular guy is given a superhero suit that empowers him to fight against dark forces. Christians are also given a sort of superhero suit, which the apostle Paul called “the full armor of God.”
July 25, 2017 by jmar198013
What can the church learn from the classic sitcom, “Cheers”? Probably a lot, according to Ephesians 4.1-16.
July 22, 2017 by jmar198013
In times of conflict, you’ve probably heard someone say: “Let’s put our differences aside and work together.” But in Ephesians 2.11-22, Paul says: “Let’s put our differences together, and watch God work through us.”
June 27, 2017 by jmar198013
We often invite people to join us in prayer when we’re hurt, scared, or confused. But how often do we invite our friends to join us in prayers of thanksgiving, as a community, when our prayers have been answered? Psalm 30 affirms the prayer of lament, but also making our personal joy a time for community praise and celebration. This way, it helps us both to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice.
June 22, 2017 by jmar198013
The Psalms not only give us new language to speak to God with; they give us new and colorful ways to describe God, imagine God, and experience God. This leads to deeper and richer conversations with God. Psalm 23 imagines God as both a shepherd guiding us through scary places; and a host who wines and dines us in his own home. Other psalms portray God as a warrior, food and drink, and even a mother with a nursing baby at her breast. When we learn to imagine and speak to God with these metaphors, we learn God’s faithfulness to meet all our needs.