Tag Archives: Jesus

  1. Abraham’s story — and ours (Luke 1.68-79; Galatians 3.1-9, 23-29) [sermon 5-28-2017]

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    May 25, 2017 by jmar198013

    John the Baptist’s father, Zechariah, sang a song just after he was born that saw what God was about to do through John and especially Jesus as a fulfillment to the promises made to their ancestor Abraham long before. In Galatians 3, Paul likewise sees what God had done through Christ as a new chapter in the story God began in Abraham. Through these readings, we learn to read scripture as a story of God’s faithfulness to his people and the world. And God’s faithfulness empowers us–like Abraham–to move forward in faith, going where God leads, to be a blessing to the world.

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Do you see this woman? (Luke 7.36-50) [Sermon 2-19-2017]

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    February 17, 2017 by jmar198013

    Jesus wants Simon—and everyone else—to “see this woman.” Because she’s the proof of the parable he’s just told about the two debtors. “This is why I tell you that her many sins have been forgiven,” Jesus says. “So she has shown great love.” The extravagant love she has poured out on Jesus is a sign that she already knows she’s been forgiven. God has released her and welcomed her home. All she’s doing is showing her deep love for the one who unleashed that forgiveness into her life.

  5. Jesus and John (Luke 7.18-35) [Sermon 2-12-17]

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    February 10, 2017 by jmar198013

    John came calling the people to cry, and he was right. Jesus came calling the people to dance, and he was right, too. The Pharisees and scribes thought John was demonic and Jesus was a drunk. And they were wrong. You know what that means? It means there are times and seasons when we need to hear a call like John’s to weep over our sins and repent. But Jesus also calls us to joyful celebration, to acknowledge God’s justice, and feast on God’s love.

    Children of wisdom will know when it’s time to cry, and when it’s time to dance.

  6. The King is coming, bringing joy (Isaiah 61) [Sermon 12-11-2016, Advent 3 2016]

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    December 9, 2016 by jmar198013

    The prophet Isaiah pointed back toward the Jubilee to inspire joy in the remnant of Israel in the present, and hope for their future. During the season of Advent, the church does something similar. We remember that the Messiah of Israel, God’s anointed king Jesus, came into the world bringing joy.

  7. When God repented (Exodus 32.1-14; Luke 23.34) [Sermon 10-09-2016]

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    October 7, 2016 by jmar198013

    Ps 15.4 blesses the person “who keeps their promise even when it hurts.” In our story today, we saw God keep his promises, even though it hurt him. Moses reminded God of the promises he’d made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And because God is a faithful God, he kept his promises to them. So God didn’t give up on Israel—even when they broke his heart, and he really wanted to.

    And he still hasn’t given up. Not on humanity. Not on his creation. He’s still the God who is faithful, even when it hurts. He proved that once and for all when an angry mob freaked out and committed an even graver sin than worshiping before a golden calf. As they nailed God’s Son Jesus to a cross, Jesus pleaded: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”

    So God did just that; he forgave.

    And he hasn’t stopped forgiving.

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