Category Archives: grace

  1. The story of the valuable coins (Matthew 25.14-30) [sermon 4-7-19]

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    April 9, 2019 by jmar198013

    Jesus once told a story about a man leaving on a journey who divided his wealth between three employees, entrusting it to their care. When he returned, two of them had doubled the investment he had left them, but one had buried it in the ground and gained nothing. This story teaches us that God has set us up to succeed. So we can work creatively to build up and beautify his Neighborhood without living in fear of failure.

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  2. The last will be first … : a visit in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe (Matthew 20.1-16) [sermon 3-17-19]

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    March 17, 2019 by jmar198013

    Jesus once told a story about day-laborers who were offended by their boss’ generosity. He told this story to show us that, in God’s Neighborhood we do not earn our way. We receive gifts from God. The Bible word for this is grace. And grace is completely countercultural to dominant mindsets, like entitlement and meritocracy.

  3. Do unto others as God does unto you: life in God’s Neighborhood, part 3 (Matthew 7.12) [sermon 2-10-2019]

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    February 19, 2019 by jmar198013

    Most everyone knows the so-called Golden Rule (Matt. 7.12): “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But there’s a very important word we tend to leave out: “Therefore.” That word connects how we treat others to how our heavenly Father treats us (Matthew 7.7-11). Using God as our standard means using our imaginations, asking questions, and remembering God’s mercies toward us.

  4. Jesus’ family quilt (Matthew 1.1-17) [sermon 12-30-18]

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    December 30, 2018 by jmar198013

    In a family quilt, each square remembers an ancestor. Matthew began his story of Jesus by showing us his family quilt. Jesus’ family quilt is full of foreign women and notorious sinners. They are all sewn into his family quilt by God’s grace. We are also squares sewn into Jesus’ family quilt by grace. Jesus didn’t disown his ancestors, and he will not disown us, either.

  5. You are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14-16) [sermon 12-16-18]

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    December 17, 2018 by jmar198013

    Jesus says the church is the light of the world. We’re supposed to shine, so that others see the good we do and glorify God. But we often don’t feel like the light. Because we know the dark places we’ve been, and the darkness that dwells in us. In this message, we look to a fun source for tips on how to be the light of the world: fireflies.

  6. Amen! [sermon 11-25-18]

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    November 25, 2018 by jmar198013

    The Apostles’ Creed tells God’s story from creation to new creation. From birth to death to resurrection. And at the very end, it calls on us to say, “Amen!” to this story. What if “amen” isn’t just the word we say at the end of a prayer? What if “amen” is a way of life before the God who has said, “yes” to us–and will continue to say, “yes”?

  7. In the forgiveness of sins [sermon 11-11-2018]

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    November 12, 2018 by jmar198013

    Forgiveness is something we all depend on. We all need to forgive and be forgiven. And yet, forgiveness can be very hard both to receive and give. This message focuses on what forgiveness means to relationships, and how it’s rooted in God’s own Name and character.

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