Category Archives: Genesis

  1. Your king will come to you (Luke 19.28b – 44) [sermon 4-9-2017, Passion Sunday]

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    April 7, 2017 by jmar198013

    When Jesus came to Jerusalem, he wept because the “City of Peace” didn’t “know the things that lead to peace.” Rather than judging ancient Jerusalem for not knowing better, God’s people today should rather ask ourselves: “Do WE know the things that lead to peace?”

  2. Jonah’s way, or God’s? [Sermon 11-06-16]

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    November 4, 2016 by jmar198013

    In the book of Jonah, God shows faithful mercy to both Nineveh and Jonah. Israel and the nations. That means we should not be surprised when God shows faithful mercy to the church and the world. To me, to you, and the other guy. And by leaving God’s question hanging in the air, our storyteller gives us a choice: Will we choose Jonah’s way? Or God’s?

  3. In the midst of death, God brings life (1 Kings 17.1-24) [Sermon 10-30-2016]

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    October 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    In a time of drought and famine, God provided Elijah a brook to drink from, and ordered ravens to feed him. When the brook dried up, God sent him to stay with a widow in enemy territory, and God fed his prophet, the widow, and her son through the duration of the drought. When the widow’s son got sick and died, God raised him. These stories lead us to the heart of God’s character, and to the heart of the Gospel: even in the midst of death, God is the giver of life.

  4. Dreams and schemes (Gen. 37.3-8, 17b-22, 26-34; 50.15-21; Luke 6.35) [sermon 09-25-2016]

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    September 22, 2016 by jmar198013

    Joseph had big dreams. His brothers had twisted schemes. But God had dreams and schemes of his own.

  5. God’s faithfulness, and Abram’s (Gen. 15.1-6) [Sermon 09-18-2016]

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    September 16, 2016 by jmar198013

    Whenever the faithful question or protest or demand answers from God, they are actually demonstrating great faith. They’re calling on God to be faithful to his own word. To be the God they already know he is: truthful, loving, just, and merciful. That’s what Abram was doing in our lesson today.

  6. God’s faithfulness from the beginning (Genesis 2.4b-7, 15-17; 3.1-8) [Sermon 09-11-2016]

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    September 8, 2016 by jmar198013

    God placed the human “in the garden to farm it and to take care of it.” On the surface, it sounds like he put humans on the earth to farm and garden. To till the soil, to prune, to dig irrigation ditches and the like. This is true. But the truth runs far deeper. The root meaning of those two verbs is to serve and to protect; or to serve and to preserve. Back in Gen. 1.26, 28, God said: “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge”; and he instructed humanity to: “Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and master it.” Our relationship to the earth and the other creatures is a major part of what it means to be made in God’s image and likeness. God created humans to master the earth and take charge of the other creatures. But Gen. 2.15 reveals a more essential aspect to God’s image in us: we’re only faithfully mastering and taking charge when we are serving and protecting the rest of creation. God’s sovereign rule is also about serving and protecting, serving and preserving. That’s why Jesus—who is the image of God for us—said that he “didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people” (Mark 10.45). God is the master, and God is in charge. But in Jesus’ life and death, we learn that God uses his sovereign freedom to serve us and protect us; to serve us and provide for us; to serve us and set us free. This is what God had in mind for humans when he formed us from the earth. God wanted us to be here for the rest of creation, as he is here with us and for us.

  7. Don’t lead us into temptation (Luke 11.4c) [Sermon 09-04-2016]

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    September 1, 2016 by jmar198013

    One of the passages Jesus drew upon when the devil tempted him was Deut. 6.16: “Don’t test the LORD your God the way you frustrated him at Massah.” This refers back to an event that happened in Exodus 17. The people came to a place where there was no water, and were afraid God had left them to die of thirst. They lost faith in God, and were about ready to kill Moses. Testing God means refusing to trust that our Father is good and generous and just, and at work in our lives and in his world. It means giving up on God and going our own way. If Jesus had succumbed to any of the devil’s temptations: turned the stones to bread; enforced his will through political means; or stunned people into submission with self-promoting miracles; if Jesus had done any of those things, he would have been testing God. Because that’s not the way God had made for him. God gave Jesus the way of suffering with people and serving them. Not the way of self-promotion and self-service. Jesus still had to go through the Exodus of death and resurrection. To lead us all through the Red Sea of his blood to set us free, and bring us to the home God has promised us.

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