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Sermons

Being blessed through the struggle

This is the grace of it: It is exactly to the empty-hearted, the empty-handed, the desolate, that God comes. It is exactly into our exhausted, depleted selves, that he comes. In the half-light of morning, Jesus comes to us – his own face wrecked and his own feet limping from the suffering of his crucifixion, but bearing in his love the power of the resurrection, for us.

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The Mustard Seed

The Kingdom of heaven is like a wild, invasive plant. It breaks in and disrupts the status quo of our lives. And yet, even as it disrupts, the main purpose of the Kingdom is not anarchy or chaos, but shelter.

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The Lonely Place

God doesn’t need a lonely place to speak. Jacob needed the lonely place to hear. God doesn’t speak only in wilderness places, but often we only hear him speaking in the silence of the lonely place, when, like Jacob, our struggle for mastery over our own lives fades into silence

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A Lesson about Soil from the Master Gardener

Jesus invites us into introspection about the soil of our lives. Where do we receive his Word, and where do we not? The good news is that Jesus never tires of tending the soil of our lives and preparing us to put forth the harvest of his Kingdom.

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The Whole Passage

Apparently, Jesus (much like the John the Baptist) wasn’t very succesful. Although crowds would gather to catch a glimpse of him, very few embraced the radically different path he invited them to walk. In response, Jesus offers a stark warning and an extraordinary invitation, and it’s crucial that we hear both words for ourselves today.

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Type 2 Discipleship

Jesus invites us into situations where we are forced to ask: are we going to make it? This is Type 2 Discipleship. Only in the midst of the troubles and challenges Jesus guarantee we will face, do we learn what it means to lay down our old lives and take up His Resurrection life.

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On reciprocal wounds and the call to wholeness

Without all of us being whole, none of us are whole. When we are disconnected from ourselves or from other people, there is a wound. Writer Wendell Berry gives the insight that actually it is two wounds, reciprocal wounds that are the record of how the severed parts once fit together. This is true of our personal lives, of our family lives, of our community life, and of our national life.

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How Do I Look?

The Creation Song of Genesis 1 culminates on Day Seven, when God sanctifies the Sabbath. This reveals to us the nature of the relationship the Triune God has with the entire universe; this relationship is fundamentally non-utilitarian. Humans, the image-bearers of God, are invited to respond in worship and justice.

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Nativity on fire

The scorch marks in our lives remind us why we need and why we trust in a savior who is more than a babe lying in a manger. The fires in our lives and the fires in our cities remind us why we need and why we trust in a savior who, at the end of his life, came to us through fire of the cross.

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Christian friendship and its witness to the world

We are meant to live together with a distinct quality of life, with God-given and God sustained unity, because God wants the world to know that he has sent his beloved son Jesus to the world to save the world. God wants the world to know that he loves them even as much as he has loved Jesus.

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