Category Archives: Gospel of John

  1. God sees into the heart (1 Samuel 16.1-13; John 7.24) [sermon 10-22-2017]

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    October 21, 2017 by jmar198013

    All that is gold does not glitter. God looked past the surface and saw into David’s heart–a heart in tune with God’s own heart. As a creative, a shepherd, and a warrior, David imaged God as a leader of God’s people. What does God see in our hearts?

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  2. God reveals his name (Exodus 3.10-15) [sermon 10-1-2017]

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    September 28, 2017 by jmar198013

    What’s in a name? When it comes to YHWH–the name God revealed to Moses, translated in English Bibles as the LORD (all caps)–there’s really quite a bit in the name. That mysterious name is jam-packed with significance.

  3. GOD, my shepherd (Psalm 23) [Sermon 6-23-2017]

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    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.

  4. The gift(s) of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2.1-4; Galatians 4.1-7, 5.16-26; Luke 11.11-13) [Pentecost sermon 2017]

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    May 31, 2017 by jmar198013

    In Acts 2, Peter told those who were baptized at Pentecost they would “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” We see that this gift didn’t show up primarily in the form of speaking in tongues and other flashy miracles, but in the Spirit creating a family out of a bunch of strangers.

  5. Falling towers and fruitless fig trees (Luke 13.1-9, 31-35) [sermon 3-12-17]

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    March 8, 2017 by jmar198013

    The story of this fig tree receiving special attention—extravagant mercy and generosity—calls us all to see ourselves as that tree. Like Jesus said elsewhere: “Much will be demanded from everyone who has been given much.” We’ve been given much. Maybe we need to see a warning hidden in all our blessings: a judgment is coming if we don’t bear fruit worthy of repentance.

  6. “I’m here; send me!” (Isaiah 6.1-8) [Sermon 11-13-2016]

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    November 10, 2016 by jmar198013

    Like Isaiah, we live in unsettled and unsettling times. Things are changing, which is a constant in our world. But so many feel left behind. Lost. Unheard. Many are afraid of what the future holds for them, if anything. Many live in despair. In fear. In rage. In confusion. We also live in a time when so many unclean lips go unchecked, and the words they speak do real harm. We are surrounded by the walking wounded. In such a time, may we be people with clean lips. God needs us to be his lips, to speak words of hope, comfort, and healing to our wounded neighbors. To use our words to build others up, not tear them down.

    God’s invitation extends to us, from Isaiah’s day to our own: “Whom should I send, and who will go for us?”

    May you and I—all of us—respond as Isaiah did: “I’m here; send me.”

  7. The LORD has given … and taken? (Job 1.1-22) [Sermon 07-03-2016]

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    June 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    After Job lost everything in a single day–his flocks, his herds, his household servants, and all ten of his children–he famously uttered these words: “The LORD has given. The LORD has taken. Bless the LORD’s name.” These words have become a classic expression of piety; a source of comfort for people suffering inexplicable evil; and even popular hymnody.

    But what if Job was wrong? Or at least, only half-right? And what if it’s okay that Job was wrong? Furthermore, what if the person telling the story wants us to know that Job is wrong?

    What if it wasn’t the LORD who took?

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