Category Archives: Isaiah

  1. God isn’t a God of disorder, but of peace (Genesis 1.1 – 2.4a) [sermon 9-10-2017]

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    September 4, 2017 by jmar198013

    Gen. 1.1 – 2.4a tells the story of creation in a very particular way. A God who delights in order and peace created our cosmos as a temple to dwell in, and commune with his creation. And he placed humans in the creation to serve as priests in his temple. Human sin disrupted the relationship between heaven and earth, and defiled the temple. The rest of the Bible is a ramshackle story about God working to reunite heaven and earth; restore his temple; and redeem his rogue priests.

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  2. The Lord’s Supper: celebration, thanksgiving, and anticipation (Mark 14.12-25) [sermon 9-3-2017]

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    August 31, 2017 by jmar198013

    Jesus gave the church the Lord’s Supper to remember him by. The Lord’s Supper comes to us from the Passover. But sometimes missing from the Christian observation of the Lord’s Supper are the notes of celebration, thanksgiving, and anticipation of the future we find in the Passover. Those should be restored to make it the meal Jesus intended.

  3. Baptism: a story as old as heaven and earth (Acts 2.37-42) [sermon 8-13-2017]

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    August 8, 2017 by jmar198013

    In Acts 2.38, Peter told the assembly: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” When 3000 came forward to be baptized, they were plunged into an old, old story that promised a new beginning. Baptism tells a story as old as the heavens and the earth. And it’s a story that will be re-told in the new heavens and new earth.

  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. 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.

  6. Fulfilling Isaiah (Acts 8.26-39) [sermon 5-7-2017]

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    May 6, 2017 by jmar198013

    The work of the church is to continue what God and Jesus and Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch began. To “take up the cause of all the black sheep,” the ones who have been considered unclean and excluded from God’s people. To bring them to the Good News of God’s salvation—that God has heard them crying out in their shame and humiliation. That they are not strangers to God. That God knows and loves all his children. That Jesus has borne their shame and rejection in his cross. That in the incarnation, death, resurrection, and glorification of Christ, Father God has “embraced the company of the lowest.” Our work as the church is to keep fulfilling Isaiah 56 through the Good News of Isaiah 53. We need to know who the foreigners and eunuchs of our time are to do this. I believe we are wise enough to know this.

    Because the bottom line is, God has embraced the church in our shame and uncleanness through the waters of baptism. And Jesus’ word to us is the same as it ever was: Do unto others as I have done for you.

  7. Sight to the blind (Luke 18.31 – 19.10) [sermon 4-2-2017]

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    March 31, 2017 by jmar198013

    In Luke 18.31-19.10, the meaning of Jesus’ word is hidden from his disciples. A blind man begs for sight. A tiny tax collector named Zacchaeus climbs a tree to see Jesus through a crowd. There’s all sorts of reasons people can’t see. But Jesus cures not only the blindness of the eyes, but of the heart and spirit.

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