Mary Magdalene and You: Resurrection Day 2017

Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction It’s no accident that the very first eyewitness of the resurrection was Mary Magdalene. Her testimony has been remembered and celebrated since the earliest days of the Christian faith and remains a wonderful encouragement to us. Who Was Mary Magdalene? Tradition has suggested that Mary Magdalene may have been the unnamed sinful…

Peter Pan & Palm Sunday

Mt. 21:1-16 Introduction “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” cried the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that first triumphal entry (Mt. 21:9). “Hosanna to the son of David!” cheered the children as Jesus drove out those who were buying and selling in the temple and healed the blind…

An Armory for Modern Christians #12

The Inescapability of Slavery Introduction We are coming up on one of America’s feast days: Tax Day. Some of you don’t celebrate it at all, as Uncle Sam requires you to give your “fair share,” but for many Americans they begin planning vacations, acquiring new cars or boats, and the like as they see the…

New York vs. Mount Zion

The Book of Revelation is a behind the scenes look at what happens in worship. The Bible teaches that all true worship happens in heaven. We have been raised into the heavenly places in Christ Jesus by the Spirit, and when we gather together, when we say Lift up your hearts/we lift them up to…

The Sin of Cynicism

Luke XLII: Lk. 11:29-36 Introduction We live in an age of skeptics. Often this is presented as a thoughtful, intelligent position to take, but Jesus addresses the skeptics of his ministry as cynics and sloths. Jesus condemns those “who were seeking a sign” (Lk. 11:16) as evil and full of darkness. Therefore, it’s very important…

Facing the Future like a Christian

1 Sam. 2:1-10, Heb. 11:32-12:2, Jn. 14:1-17 Introduction Fall is a busy time of new beginnings: new school years, new seasons of life, new living situations. Add to this the regular (but significant) transitions of new marriages, welcoming new children into your home, sending children off to college, or various goodbyes, and then of course…

My Country: What’s Left of Thee?

I mean it as an honest question. What’s left? Of course, only God knows. The Creator, the Sustainer, the Lord our Governor, He knows what remains, how many sands are still up in the hourglass of our story. And if we have learned anything at all it is that nations rise and fall, civilizations are…

Foundations of Mercy & Mission #3: The Politics of Sex

Ps. 19:1-14, Rev. 21:1-8, John 4:5-26 Introduction One periodic objection leveled at Christians when it comes to the topics of sex and marriage is that we are unnecessarily politicizing private preferences. The implication is that the Christian impulse to care about the way our culture speaks about and enacts our sexuality is like turning food…

I Saw Satan Fall

Luke XXXVII: Lk. 10:1-24 Introduction One of the most important lessons of the Bible is that things are not always what they seem. Here, we have the relatively unassuming record of Jesus sending out the seventy to proclaim peace, heal the sick, and announce the arrival of the kingdom of God, but in this event,…

Far Better

Ascension Day 2016 Jesus said, “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you.” (Jn. 16:7) The ascension of Jesus is one of the harder things to understand as Christians. From our perspective, it seems like Jesus leaving made everything a…