4/11/21 – Easter 2 – “Believing Thomas” – John 20:19-31

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. I’m not entirely sure why the Apostle Thomas has gotten such a bad reputation. In the church, when we think of the Apostle Thomas, we tend to think of “Doubting Thomas”—our story for today. But, believe it or not, Thomas is the Apostle who church tradition credits with bringing the Gospel message to India where he was later martyred for his faith. In John’s Gospel, Thomas is portrayed as loyal, though admittedly some-what pessimistic man. Though he maybe wasn’t the brightest bulb in the chandelier, he was undeniably a dedicated, passionate man. The first time Thomas makes an appearance in John’s Gospel is in the episode with Lazarus in John 11. Continue reading

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4/4/21 – Easter – “You Will Not Abandon My Soul” – Psalm 16:8-11

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is from Psalm 16—a biblical text that from the earliest of times has been associated with the resurrection of our Lord. If you read the story in Acts 2 of that first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles, you’ll find that Peter stood up to preach. As a part of his sermon, he said: Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. Continue reading

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3/28/21 – Palm Sunday – “The Unexpected King” – John 12:12-19

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this Sunday of the Passion is from John 12:12-19: The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13). Today is the Sunday of Holy Week, a day that we know as Palm Sunday. But what is the deal with these palm branches anyway? We’ve become quite accustomed to them in our celebrations as we do what the crowds did in welcoming Jesus, but what is the deal with these palm branches? Continue reading

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3/21/21 – Lent 5 – “Greatness in the Kingdom of God” – Mark 10:32-45

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. What does greatness look like? That’s a question humans have sought to answer for all of recorded history. Think, for example, about the ancient Greeks. Some would say that greatness looks like a mighty Spartan warrior who was a world-class soldier and afraid of no one. Others might say that greatness looks like one of the great Athenian minds, like Socrates or Plato, who literally changed the course of human thinking. Or think in more modern times. Some people would say that greatness looks like Steve Jobs—a man who started a small computer company out of his garage and then went on to lead the charge in some of the most significant technological advances our world has ever seen which literally changed the way that our world operates in just about ever way imaginable. Continue reading

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3/14/21 – Lent 4 – “The Poison of the Serpent” – Numbers 21:4-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is the Old Testament reading from Numbers 21:4-9. It’s this strange, short episode that occurs in the middle of two of the most important moments in the book of Numbers. In chapter 20, Moses infamously rebells against God at Meribah by disobeying the Lord’s command. Then in chapter 22, the incident involving Balaam and his talking donkey is told, which is, in a lot of ways, the climactic moment of the book of Numbers. But here, in the middle of chapter 21 is a small story of rebellion that would be easy to overlook. But there’s something incredible that happens in this story as God’s justice is transformed into a source of life. Let me show you what I mean. Continue reading

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3/7/21 – Lent 3 – “Loving the Law” – Exodus 20:1-17

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. A number of years ago, my family drove from our home in St. Louis, Missouri to visit my brother in California…yes, we drove that whole way! We got on I-70 in Wentzville, Missouri and drove all the way across the states of Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and into Utah. Eventually we made our way south through Arizona and Nevada into California. But I’m not going to lie, out of all of the states that we drove through on that trip, my favorite by far to drive through was Utah. Why? One simple reason: the speed limit. Continue reading

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2/28/21 – Lent 2 – “Peace Through Our Lord Jesus Christ” – Romans 5:1-11

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is the Epistle Reading from Romans 5:1-11. And in this reading we learn that God gives us peace through our Lord Jesus Christ, which sounds really nice, especially in our current world, doesn’t it? I mean it just seems like one thing after another that throws our lives into chaos…If it’s not a global pandemic or a highly contentious presidential election, then it’s vaccine headaches or legislations passing through Congress. Continue reading

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2/21/21 – Lent 1 – “Desire & the Word of Truth” – James 1:12-18

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. What do you want in life? Think about it. What do you really want in life? The way you answer that question is probably going to be vastly different than the people around you based on a variety of factors like your age, your stage in life, your talents & interests, and any number of other things. But regardless of who you are, this is a question you need to be thinking about: What do you want in life? Believe it or not, when I was in high school, more than anything I wanted to be a professional soccer player. And I’m not going to lie, I was a pretty good soccer player. Continue reading

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2/14/21 – Transfiguration – “Listen to Him” – Mark 9:2-9

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Today is the final Sunday before the season of Lent begins. And this morning, we celebrate the Transfiguration of Our Lord. Jesus’ Transfiguration is arguably one of the most significant moments of Jesus’ earthly ministry, sitting only behind the events of Christmas and Holy Week. And so, this morning we are going to take some time to meditate on Mark’s account of our Lord’s Transfiguration. But before turning to our text for today, it’s important that we take a quick look back at the events which happen at the end of Mark 8 which gives us the context for today’s Gospel Reading. Immediately preceding our reading for today is Jesus’ first Passion Prediction in Mark’s gospel. Continue reading

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2/7/21 – Epiphany 5 – “Bearing God’s Name” – 1 Corinthians 9:16-27

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

1. Our text for this morning is the Epistle Reading from 1 Corinthians 9. And I have to be honest with you, this text is an extremely challenging text. In it, Paul talks about the responsibility we Christians have been given to bear God’s name to the world. What do I mean by the phrase, “bear God’s name”? Well, let me give you an example to illustrate this. Prior to attending Seminary, I worked for the Geek Squad. For a part of that time, I had the interesting job of driving the company Volkswagen Beetle (we called it the “Geekmobile”). I would drive to people’s homes or small businesses and help them with whatever computer or networking problems they might have. Continue reading

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