Category Archives: love of enemies

  1. Walking in the ways of Elijah and Elisha (Luke 7.1-17) [sermon 2-5-2017]

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    February 3, 2017 by jmar198013

    When the people saw Jesus at work, they said: “God has come to help his people.” And just maybe, if we follow Jesus—bringing the Good News of God’s salvation to the dark and desperate corners of our time, even across enemy lines—people will also see our work, and conclude that God has come to help them. Through his people.

  2. Setting the Sabbath free (Luke 6.1-16) [Sermon 1-29-2017]

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    January 27, 2017 by jmar198013

    The Sabbath was meant for the release, rest, and healing of those who had been slaves. But what happens when a law that was meant to give comfort to former slaves morphs into another form of bondage? How can it be a day of rest and release if you’re so worried about doing it wrong, you can’t really celebrate it? Those Pharisees would have people become slaves to the Sabbath. Jesus came to set people free. And he came to set the Sabbath free. So it could serve humanity, the way God meant it to.

  3. 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.

  4. Not as the world gives (John 14.23-26) [Sermon 05-01-2016 Easter 6c]

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    April 28, 2016 by jmar198013

    During John’s telling of the Last Supper, Jesus tells his disciples many things as he is preparing for his death, and resurrection; and finally, to return to his Father, God. One assurance he gives them during all the turbulence and upheaval that will follow his departure is: “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.”

    How does the world give? The world does not give peace. The world gives us fear so we will buy their versions of peace: military, personal, financial, or material security. But Jesus gives his peace. A peace that comes from knowing that we are perfectly loved by the Father; and “perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4.18).

  5. Glorified by love (John 13.31-35)

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    April 23, 2016 by jmar198013

    A few hours before he was arrested and executed, Jesus told his followers: “Everyone will know you are my disciples if you love one another as I have loved you.”

    He didn’t say everyone will know his disciples by their right doctrines, their fancy buildings, their cutting-edge programs, their animatronic Noah’s Ark exhibits, their wealth, their fancy worship productions, their politics, or their family values. He said everyone will know his disciples by their love.

    And since people are prone to say and do all kinds of things to each other and call it love, Jesus put an even finer point on it: “Love each other as I have loved you.”

    How has Jesus loved you?

  6. The shepherd’s voice (John 10.22-30) [Sermon 04-17-2016, Easter 4c: Good Shepherd Sunday]

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    April 17, 2016 by jmar198013

    In John 10.22-30, Jesus says that his sheep listen to his voice and follow him.

    Do they listen because they are his sheep? Or are they his sheep because they listen? Do they follow Jesus because he is their shepherd? Or is Jesus their shepherd because they follow?

  7. Once upon a dinner table (Luke 15.1-3, 11b-32; 2 Cor. 5.16-21) [Sermon 03/06/2016, Lent 4c]

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    March 1, 2016 by jmar198013

    When the Pharisees unloaded on Jesus for eating with sinners, Jesus told them a story about a father with two sons who needed to be reconciled. The story was set around a dinner table, where a feast was in full swing.

    Hidden in the story Jesus told was an invitation to the Pharisees: “Come join us for this meal. There’s room for you at the table, too.”

    And there’s still room at the table. For prodigal children and judgy older siblings. For Pharisees and sinners. Even for you and me and the people we’d rather write off.

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