116 N Academy St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130  615-893-3780

Sermons by “The Rev. Dr. Kristine Blaess”

Where is God to be found?

We have wonderful news. Jesus – his precious humanity, his death on the cross, his resurrection, these are the signs to us humans that God is here. It turns out, Jesus is the temple now. Jesus, crucified and risen, is where God is to be found. So, in the breaking of Jesus’ body in the bread of communion, God is here. In the body of Christ, the Church – the community of believers filled with Jesus’ spirit, God is here.

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Pilgrim hearts

More than anything, for the disciples, for us, the journey is a journey to the foot of the cross and through it. The cross is where our spirits are refined. It is where our longings and our loves are purified and returned to first things. All that we love more than we love God is captured, it is captivated, it is reordered, it is immersed in dying to self and brought again into new life. “If any want to be my followers,” Jesus says, “let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

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When We Fly Too High

In the strange and mysterious ways of God, it is precisely in coming back out of the glare of the sun, into the rest of Jesus, the son, that our lives are raised up. It is precisely in returning to ourselves as created selves, dusty selves, that we are brought into the full stature of the kingdom.

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Seeing and Hearing

Jesus speaks into our forgetfulness. He teaches us to hear his voice as he whispers to us, “I am the one who is the everlasting God. I do not faint or grow weary. I am the one who gives power to the faith and strength to the powerless. I am the one who flung the stars across heavens and I call them by name. I am the one who has named you, too. Who you are is numbered in each grain of sand. And you are called beloved.

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Jonah Meets the King

No longer does our story end with Jonah and with all the Jonahs of the world, sitting in the desert wrestling with God, angry enough to die. We are no longer people who have to wait for new hearts. Because the time has come. Jesus is here. The king is here. His heart has broken for us. He has poured himself out for us, so that his heart could become our heart, so that his eyes could become our eyes, his hands, our hands.

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Becoming Citizens of God’s Kingdom

Here is the glorious news: Because God has rescued us from darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his Son, we are people through whom power is perfected in weakness, wisdom in the foolishness of the cross, glory in humility. We are free to serve the people around us. We are free to serve the people in our country. We are free to serve without being swept up in efforts to wield power.

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The Light Shines in the Darkness

Christ comes in a birth that remains, like all life, a holy mystery. His is a holy mystery around which we can wrap our arms. He came in a tiny body that we can swaddle and rock. He came with needs for warmth, for milk, for nurture that even we can lay hold of. The Lord, love himself, came to us, giving us himself so that we could comprehend him. He came to us, giving us himself so we could receive him.

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God’s visit among the ordinary

God has been doing something new in each of us for quite some time — our whole lives, in fact. God is giving us a new beginning. God has made us his children. God is with us and will never abandon us. He rejoices over us. Have you not heard? Have you not seen? The angels, even tonight, are singing over us, rejoicing that the Savior has come.

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Ground Work

John the Baptist calls us to return. The reworking of our lives and the reworking of this creation is a painstaking process. It is slow, and deliberate, and careful, and patient work. And God is even now bit by bit and hour by hour, through the power of his Holy Spirit, remaking us.

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Meeting Jesus again as our Good Shepherd and as Christ our King

With the crucified Christ as our King, an encounter with Jesus can never be neutral.  For each of us, it presses the question, “Will you step into the life and freedom offered you through the life of Christ? Or will you hold on to your worldly influence and power, which as we can see, will eventually be eclipsed, devoured, destroyed by Christ’s true authority, power, and life?”

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