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…

God Wants Your Heart

Sixth Sunday in Epiphany Lessons: Dt. 30:15-20, 1 Cor. 3:1-9, Mt. 5:1-37 Introduction As we noted last week, the commandments of God have always been meant to offer God’s people life with Him. And those who looked to God in faith tasted some of that fellowship (e.g. Moses, David, etc.). But the law simultaneously displayed…

Salt, Light, and Law

Fifth Sunday in Epiphany Is. 58:1-12, 1 Cor. 2:1-16, Mt. 5:13-20 Introduction As we continue to celebrate the season of Epiphany, we are studying what it looks like for the light of Jesus to shine in and through our lives. As we noted last week, this light is God’s wisdom, His righteousness, which is the…

Open Your Mouth Wide: The Beatitudes

Fourth Sunday in Epiphany: Mic. 6:1-8, 1 Cor. 18-31, Mt. 5:1-12 Introduction The theme that ties our lessons together is the surprising wisdom of God. God loves to work through unlikely people and situations because it highlights His grace and inspires our praise. Another name for this is God’s blessing. But the real challenge is learning…

A Light to the Nations

Life in our New Building I Is. 42:1-9, Acts 10:34-43, Mt. 3:13-17 Introduction Epiphany means “sudden burst of light,” and since the earliest days of the Christian Church, God’s people have continued celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world, especially the beginning of His ministry and how it revealed the Light of God for…

Wrath, Love, and Christmas

First Sunday after Christmas Lessons: Is. 63:7-9, Heb. 2:10-18, Mt. 2:13-23 Christmas is not always an easy time of the year. Of course children love it. They give us some of the best facial expressions, some of the best responses to the gifts, to the lights, to the candy. Their intensity, their joy, their delight…

God Invades Flesh

Fourth Sunday of Advent: Is. 7:10-16, Rom. 1:1-7, Mt. 1:18-25 Introduction Christmas means that God invades the ordinary. God invades our unlikeliness. God invades the details. What did Salmon think, marrying the recently converted harlot from Jericho? What did Boaz think, marrying the Moabite widow? Ask A Sign When Isaiah instructs Ahaz to ask for…

The Grace of Repentance

Second Sunday in Advent: Is. 11:1-10, Rom. 15:4-13, Mt. 3:1-12 Introduction Repent! When the Lord is about to come, when He acts to save, when He comes to judge, the announcement is: Repent! And from the first advent to the last advent of Jesus, this is one of the fundamental calls of the gospel: God…

What Are Women For? (Part 2)

Introduction Perhaps one of the most countercultural claims of the Christian faith is the goodness of created difference. This doctrine is rooted in our Triune God who holds equality and difference together in perfect harmony. A Word About Equality The Bible clearly teaches that the image of God is equally shared by male and female…

To Light Up the World

“You are the light of the world… let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 5:14, 16) Jesus says that people are for good works. Good works are words, actions, even thoughts that extend the first good work of creation….