Category Archives: culture wars

  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. Believe it or not — that’s us! (Ephesians 6.10-20) [sermon 8-6-2017]

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    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.”

  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. Pentecost: Out of the shadow of Babel (Genesis 11.1-9; Acts 2.1-21; Romans 8.14-17) [Sermon 05-15-2016, Pentecost 2016)

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    May 13, 2016 by jmar198013

    The church is God’s alternative to what we see in a world that lives in the shadow of Babel. A world where people mistrust and fear each other for their differences. A world that routinely disintegrates into fiery conflicts and violence and wars. The church lives in the world as God’s new creation, God’s new humanity. Gathered together by the Holy Spirit in Christ, where “there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3.28). Although we have been scattered in the world by race and color and gender and language and culture and social status, at Pentecost God began to gather us all into a new family. A family where we learn that our differences don’t have to tear us apart, but can be a source of strength. We all have so much to learn from each other. As God calls us into his family, this new creation, we each bring our particular stories; experiences; ideas; dreams; hurts; hangups; traditions; and perspectives with us. We are never called to leave those at the door when we are adopted into God’s new family. We are called to live and move and work together in Christ; to “accept one another” as Christ accepted us (Rom. 15.17); and “to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4.3).

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