Grace at Hand

Condemnation is the inexorable result of a guilty conscience. A sinner in the grip of guilt knows and feels the vast, impossible Grand Canyon between himself and the goodness of God and the goodness he was made for. In other words, condemnation underlines one reality — the reality of sinners before a just and holy…

The Long Game

Minor Prophets XVII: Zechariah 7-14 Introduction We saw last week that God was calling Israel to see the work of rebuilding the temple as a cosmic reality – that as they put God and His worship first, God would be remaking the world, scattering their enemies, and exalting His people. The rest of Zechariah is…

The Day of Joy & Judgment

Minor Prophets XIV: Zephaniah 1-3 Introduction Zephaniah is a prophecy of God’s coming in judgment on Jerusalem, but Zephaniah gives us a glimpse of the joy that drives the judgment. The Text: Zephaniah ministers during the reign of King Josiah, probably around 639-629 B.C., before the fall of Nineveh (1:1, cf. 2:13) and probably before…

Battle Feast

One of the things we do that is different from many Presbyterian and Reformed congregations is how we serve and partake of this meal. The minister eats first and then the elders and deacons, and then you all serve one another with the assistance of ushers in the aisles. And I frequently receive questions about…

Come and See

So little is said to Abram in the beginning. There is no introduction to monotheistic theology, no comparative religion class, no worldview comparison chart. There is no context. There is apparently not even any relationship. There was no courtship, no period of getting to know each other, no personality tests, no compatibility worksheets or workshops….

The Parable of the Cross

The first half of the life of Jesus is a parable. It’s full of parables, but it is itself parabolic — it’s mysterious, enigmatic, and constantly pressing a question: Who is this? What does it does it mean? What does He mean? And perhaps most importantly, how will you respond, what will you do? And…

Hospitality is not a Selfie on Instagram

Tim & Kaylee’s Wedding Homily Hospitality is at the center of the Christian faith, and this is because the gospel itself is God’s amazing hospitality extended to a fallen, sinful world. Paul says, “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But…

Only Counts Faces

How do you imagine God? Is He a scrooge counting every penny, recording every infraction? Is He distant and oblivious, an old man who’s hard of hearing? How do you imagine God? In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus tells us about a Father who loves and gives. His younger son is greedy and…

You Weren’t & You Hadn’t

Jesus warns that forgiveness is a difficult thing. In one place he says “take heed to yourselves.” Watch out for this. And after hearing the exhortation, the disciples gape and plead with Jesus to give them more faith. Christian forgiveness is not for the faint of heart. So what does Jesus teach? He says that…

Called to Discipleship

At the beginning of worship every week, you are called to worship. The Call to Worship is labeled Entrance in your bulletin and includes our processional hymn, the Greeting, and our opening Prayer, the Collect for Purity. At the beginning of the worship service, you are summonsed by the God of the whole universe to…