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…

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….

From Dust to Light

Ash Wednesday Homily Mk. 8:27-38 We’ve said before, and it’s no trouble to be reminded, that we think of the church calendar like a devotional guide. Over the course of the Christian Year, we are reminded of the most crucial, most important parts of our life in Christ: what it means to know Jesus and…

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…

The Gospel of the Well-Beloved Son

Graveside Service Homily Justice Drake Sumpter Mark 1:9-13 What does a father feel about a son? What does a father feel when his son accomplishes great things? I think we would generally say that a father feels pride, a deep gratitude and joy. A son bears a likeness to his father, and when a father…

What Is Sex For?

Introduction To begin with, it’s probably worth laying out a brief defense of a sermon on sex. First, Christian ministers need to preach on the topic of sex because God has spoken about it in His word – to fail to cover this topic is to fail to deliver His message. Second, human sexuality is…

With Christ in the Dark: Ps. 88

Sixth Sunday in Trinity Season: Psalm 88, 1 Pet. 4:12-19, Mk. 15:25-39 Introduction The Hebrew title of the book of Psalms means “praises,” but it may come as a surprise that that the most common kind of psalm is a lament. These are psalms that describe enemies or threats and cry out to God for…

She Shall Not Be Moved: Francis Atwood R.I.P.

Psalm 46: God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. There is a river,…

First Sunday of Advent: Seeing the City: Gen. 22:1-17, Heb. 11:8-22, Mk. 12:39-13:13

Introduction Advent means “coming,” and Advent celebrates God as the God who comes near to His people. This year we are using Heb. 11:10 as the thematic touchstone for the season: “For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Summary of the texts: Hebrews describes the faith of…