Category Archives: miracles
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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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March 24, 2017 by jmar198013
The rich man—who was used to getting his way—wouldn’t let up. “No, Father Abraham!” he argued. “But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will change their hearts and lives.” Abraham said, “If they don’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.” And that gives the story a new twist. Because we know Jesus, the one telling the story, would himself rise from the dead later. But even that wouldn’t convince a lot of people. When you invest yourself in getting more stuff, gaining more status, and winning at any cost—like the Pharisees—you become blind to many things.
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October 14, 2016 by jmar198013
Pentecost: Out of the shadow of Babel (Genesis 11.1-9; Acts 2.1-21; Romans 8.14-17) [Sermon 05-15-2016, Pentecost 2016)Leave a comment
May 13, 2016 by jmar198013
The church is God’s alternative to what we see in a world that lives in the shadow of Babel. A world where people mistrust and fear each other for their differences. A world that routinely disintegrates into fiery conflicts and violence and wars. The church lives in the world as God’s new creation, God’s new humanity. Gathered together by the Holy Spirit in Christ, where “there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3.28). Although we have been scattered in the world by race and color and gender and language and culture and social status, at Pentecost God began to gather us all into a new family. A family where we learn that our differences don’t have to tear us apart, but can be a source of strength. We all have so much to learn from each other. As God calls us into his family, this new creation, we each bring our particular stories; experiences; ideas; dreams; hurts; hangups; traditions; and perspectives with us. We are never called to leave those at the door when we are adopted into God’s new family. We are called to live and move and work together in Christ; to “accept one another” as Christ accepted us (Rom. 15.17); and “to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph. 4.3).
April 17, 2016 by jmar198013
April 8, 2016 by jmar198013
February 5, 2016 by jmar198013
Jesus took his disciples, Peter, James, and John on a mountaintop to pray. Moses and Elijah showed up, and Peter blurted out: “Let’s build three shrines: One for you, one for Elijah, and one for Moses!” God came in a cloud and corrected Peter: “This is my chosen Son! Listen to him!”
In the church today, we abstract all sorts of “biblical principles” to address the issues of our time: marriage, money, capital punishment, war, who to vote for, how to discipline children, poverty, and the good life. But are we really just building shrines to Moses and Elijah? What if we actually paid attention to what God said on the mountain: “This is my Son. Listen to him!”?