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Sermons

Ephesians: Salvation for Service

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus is less anchored in the actual circumstances of a particular faith community than some of Paul’s other letters are. Instead, Ephesians reads almost like a sermon, with Paul hitting head-on some of the most important theological issues of the early...

Holy Habits

Devout Christians have long sought after something called “holiness.” We have misunderstood this pursuit as a striving toward perfection, which is obviously out of our reach in this life. Holiness is better understood as spiritual strength or fortitude, and our spirits are not made strong...

Upside Down

Life in the midst of a global pandemic is not at all what we have come to expect it to be. In fact, it feels in some very significant ways that the world itself has been turned upside-down. This is disorienting and disconcerting. It changes our outlook, our actions, and our relationships. And it...

Grace in the Wilderness

The prophet Jeremiah declares that the people of God "found grace in the wilderness" (Jer. 31:2). Although Israel's years of wandering were filled with challenges, the wilderness was where God shaped them and where God's abundant grace was made manifest to them. We are living through our own kind...

Origins

Before the particular history of the people of Israel begins in earnest with God’s call to Abraham in Genesis 12, there is another history—a prehistory. The stories of Genesis 1-11 which make up this prehistory are origin stories: stories that invite us to think about why the world is the way that...

Maundy Thursday 2020

Everyone Will Know Thursday, April 9, 2020

Last Words

When the four gospel accounts are combined, Jesus speaks seven times from the cross, commonly referred to as the "Seven Last Words" of Christ. During the weeks of Lent we take a careful look at these important sayings of Jesus, spoken in his dying moments. In so many ways, they distill not only...

20/20 Vision

Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light" (Matt. 6:22). At the start of a new year and a new decade, it's a good time to get our (spiritual) vision checked. Are we seeing things clearly, or has our vision been blurred, blocked, or...

(Not Yet) Advent

"Advent" means arrival, and in the life of the church Advent marks a very special arrival: that of the Christ child, born to a poor family in a rural backwater of the Roman Empire. But the fact that Jesus has already arrived is only half of the story—the "already" of Advent is balanced by a deep...

James

The biblical book of James is a letter quite unlike any other, sometimes appearing to argue with other parts of the New Testament while still relying on the teaching of Jesus. This letter addresses the Christian community in the midst of trying circumstances and urges a faith that grows out of...

Samuel was called to be a prophet for Israel at a critical time in their history. The pressure from the surrounding nations was intense, and Israel was struggling to figure out what kind of people they would be and how they would interact with the world around them. Samuel sees them through uncertainty, turmoil, and transition, demonstrating to us three millennia later what happens when God's servants—you and I—answer God's call with courage and humility.

From Barenness to Hope

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Audio Video 1 Samuel 1:1-18, 20, 24-28

The story of Samuel begins with Hannah, his mother. Hannah was barren, without hope for the future, and God created new possibility where Hannah could see none at all. In Israel's barrenness and our own, God is capable of opening up possibilities that we would never imagine.

The Call

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Audio Video 1 Samuel 3:1-20

God calls Samuel with an audible voice, much the way we wish God would speak to us today. But there's more to this story than a booming divine voice—it reminds us that God is still calling to us, still speaking today.

Give Us a King

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Audio Video 1 Samuel 8:1-20

Israel tried doing things God's way, but just didn't feel like it was working, so they decided they wanted to have a king like the surrounding nations. They felt powerless and decided it was time to embrace worldly power to advance themselves. It is precisely this temptation that still draws the church away from its core purpose and identity.

God's People

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Audio Video  1 Samuel 12:16-25

Israel is preparing to enter uncharted territory as a people, moving away from the old ways and into the new. Samuel warns them of the dangers that lie ahead, but more importantly, he reassures them that no matter where they go, God remains faithful.