Category Archives: conflict

  1. New eyes for a new vision (John 9.1-41) [sermon 2-11-18]

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    February 11, 2018 by jmar198013

    When Jesus met a man who’d been born blind, his disciples asked a question that proved they were more blind than he was. They didn’t see his suffering–they only saw him as a problem to be solved, or argument to be won. Sometimes we’re blind in the same ways they were. But by healing that blind man’s eyes, Jesus promised to heal our blindness, too.

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  2. Tired of all the fighting? (John 4.1-42) [sermon 2-4-18]

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    February 3, 2018 by jmar198013

    In John 4.1-42, Jesus was tired after a long journey. At Jacob’s well, he met a Samaritan woman who was tired of having to always come to the well to draw water. But I suspect what they were both really tired of was the hundred years of hurt and conflict between their peoples. And so Jesus began a conversation with her. A conversation that made way for the healing of that deep division. At least for one woman and her village. This story is Good News for those who are tired of all the division, disrespect, and mistrust in our culture. Because it may show us a way through them.

  3. Healing Christ’s broken body (1 Corinthians 11:17-34) [sermon 8-27-2017]

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    August 25, 2017 by jmar198013

    In 1 Cor. 11.17-34, Paul envisions the Lord’s Supper not only as a time to remember the body and blood of Christ; but to heal the divisions in the body of Christ, the church. Jesus’ body was broken so his body, the church, would be whole.

  4. It takes diff’rent strokes to move the church (Ephesians 2.11-22) [sermon 7-23-2017]

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    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.”

  5. Reading the Bible like Jesus (Acts 15.1-18) [sermon 5-14-2017]

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    May 11, 2017 by jmar198013

    Acts 15 is a story of the leaders of the early church reading the Bible like Jesus. It’s a good example to follow. That’s why it’s there.

  6. Low points and high spots (Acts 6.1 – 7.2a, 44-60; Luke 23.33-34a, 46) [sermon 4-30-2017]

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    April 26, 2017 by jmar198013

    Many look to the book of Acts as a blueprint for how the church ought to be, but it’s really more of a portrait of how the church was–and often is.

    Luke makes sure we see both the low points and the high spots of the first decades of the church. We see some of these in our lesson today, as the church deals with a problem of neglect of minority widows; overwhelmed (and out of touch?) leadership; and the brutal lynching of one of its ministers. These stories all show us both low points and high spots in the life of the early church.

  7. Real talk on forgiveness (2 Corinthians 2.1-10; Matthew 18.21-22) [Sermon 05-29-2016]

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    May 27, 2016 by jmar198013

    The church just isn’t the church without forgiveness. After all, we Christians understand ourselves first of all (or at least we should) as people who need to be—and have been—forgiven by God. But then what does forgiveness mean? Does it mean, for instance, that once an apology has been offered and accepted, everything goes back to how it was before? Is forgiveness a reset button? Must we forget what we have forgiven? Or do victims get a say in setting future boundaries? Are there conditions that need to be met in order for forgiveness to take place? If we insist that victims extend unconditional forgiveness, isn’t that grace for the offender, and law for the victim?

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