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Sermons

Home for the Holidays

Each of the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—approaches the story of Jesus in a unique way and with a different purpose and audience in mind. Entering into the world that each of these storytellers creates is like walking into someone’s home and encountering sights, sounds, and smells...

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...

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 Christian church. Despite its relative brevity compared to other New Testament texts, Ephesians is dense with insight, inspiration, encouragement, and hope for a church seeking to discern the shape of faithful living in a messy world.

The Same Power

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Audio Video Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church is simple: that they would see and experience the power of God at work among them and through them. At a time when so much seems to be out of control and we so often experience feelings of powerlessness, could there be any better prayer for the church today?

By Grace

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Audio Video Ephesians 2:1-10

For Protestant Christians, this portion of Ephesians forms a theological center of gravity for the whole of the Gospel: we are saved by grace. And despite the many complications Christians have constructed around the notion of salvation, it really is almost this simple. And that is Paul’s point as he writes this letter to the church. God’s gracious power is at work in us, rescuing us from the messes we make of ourselves and of this world.

One

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Audio Video Ephesians 4:1-16

When the resurrection power of God is at work in God’s people, we—who once were dead—are rescued and made alive in Christ. And having been saved by the grace of God, our life together as a Christian community takes a different shape: instead of being characterized by division and contempt, it is defined by humility, peace, and unity.

Evil Days

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Audio Video Ephesians 5:8-20

Paul uses Light and Darkness to help the church understand its relationship to the world. But we need to be careful not to assume that the divisions between the two are perfectly clear, nor that living as Christians in the world is a simple matter of sheltering ourselves from the world. The days may be evil but God is good, and that has profound implications for who God is calling the church to be.

Our Struggle

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Audio Video Ephesians 6:10-17

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.