Tag Archives: theology

  1. Low points and high spots (Acts 6.1 – 7.2a, 44-60; Luke 23.33-34a, 46) [sermon 4-30-2017]

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    April 26, 2017 by jmar198013

    Many look to the book of Acts as a blueprint for how the church ought to be, but it’s really more of a portrait of how the church was–and often is.

    Luke makes sure we see both the low points and the high spots of the first decades of the church. We see some of these in our lesson today, as the church deals with a problem of neglect of minority widows; overwhelmed (and out of touch?) leadership; and the brutal lynching of one of its ministers. These stories all show us both low points and high spots in the life of the early church.

  2. Welcoming God’s salvation (Luke 2.21-38; Psalm 131) [sermon 01-01-2017]

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    December 30, 2016 by jmar198013

    Like Simeon, each of us can reach out for Jesus, and rejoice before God: “my eyes have seen your salvation.” And God’s salvation is a wide-open welcome that reaches down into our depths.

  3. The King is coming to rescue (Daniel 6.6-27) [Sermon 11-27-2016, Advent 1]

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    November 22, 2016 by jmar198013

    Suspicious of Daniel, the Jewish exile who prayed three times a day for God to liberate his people, royal officials of the Persian empire ramrod a piece of legislation that requires all prayers to be made to the emperor, King Darius. Or be fed to the lions. When Daniel disobeys, Darius learns too late that he has been conned. The man everyone is praying to cannot save his most trusted advisor, Daniel. He himself is limited by the law he signed. Only Daniel’s God–and ours–can rescue him. God’s people and the whole creation still live in the shadow of oppressive forces of the satan, sin, and death. But like Daniel, we await the King of Kings who will rescue his people and save the creation. That is the hope of Advent people.

  4. Jonah’s way, or God’s? [Sermon 11-06-16]

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    November 4, 2016 by jmar198013

    In the book of Jonah, God shows faithful mercy to both Nineveh and Jonah. Israel and the nations. That means we should not be surprised when God shows faithful mercy to the church and the world. To me, to you, and the other guy. And by leaving God’s question hanging in the air, our storyteller gives us a choice: Will we choose Jonah’s way? Or God’s?

  5. In the midst of death, God brings life (1 Kings 17.1-24) [Sermon 10-30-2016]

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    October 29, 2016 by jmar198013

    In a time of drought and famine, God provided Elijah a brook to drink from, and ordered ravens to feed him. When the brook dried up, God sent him to stay with a widow in enemy territory, and God fed his prophet, the widow, and her son through the duration of the drought. When the widow’s son got sick and died, God raised him. These stories lead us to the heart of God’s character, and to the heart of the Gospel: even in the midst of death, God is the giver of life.

  6. The house God is building (2 Samuel 7.1-17) [sermon 10-23-2016]

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    October 21, 2016 by jmar198013

    God promised King David that his offspring would reign forever, and that his son would build a temple for God. Those promises find their fulfillment in Jesus, who is a son of David, and a new temple for us.

  7. Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam. 1.9-11, 19-20; 2.1-10; Luke 1.46-55) [Sermon 10-16-2016]

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    October 14, 2016 by jmar198013

    God opened Hannah’s womb. And when he did, he opened up a new future for her. Her hope and future came to her as a son. When our hope and our future was as barren as Hannah’s womb, God sent us his Son Jesus, to make a future with hope for us all. Jesus is God’s faithfulness to us.

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