Christmas Peace & Wisdom

Third Sunday in Advent: 1 Thess. 5:12-24 Introduction In some ways, this final section of Thessalonians is like the short hand exhortations of a coach to his team in the huddle before they sprint back onto the field. These are short summary commands that outline the way Christians are to be a ready people, prepared…

Sons of the Light

Second Sunday in Advent: 1 Thess. 5:1-11 Introduction Have you ever stumbled through a dark house at night? Ever tried to change a flat tire in the dark? Then you understand the importance of light, the necessity of light. You need light to see. You need light to find your way. Frequently, when hardships come,…

Stay Awake

First Sunday in Advent: Mk. 13:24-37 Introduction What is it like to feel drowsy? To be nearly uncontrollably on the verge of falling asleep? Perhaps you have felt this way after driving for many hours or you’ve seen a small child or an elderly relative with their drooping eyelids and head repeatedly nodding in their…

Prepare Him Room

As Christians, we insist that because of Jesus all is grace. Holidays, perhaps like no other time, press us, inquiring whether it really is all grace. Holidays are gifts. They are feasts. They are mini-Sabbaths. They mean grace, rest, relief, laughter. But there’s something about grace piled up, grace over flowing, kindness unleashed that tempts…

Beginning After the End

Minor Prophets II: Pentecost Introduction Today we continue our study of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. Last week we asked, “What is a Prophet?” And we said that a prophet is fundamentally a “friend of God.” The friends of God know God, speak to God, and God speaks to them. God wants to…

You are the Bread

“And you shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves of two-tenths of an ephah. They shall be of fine flour; they shall be baked with leaven. They are the firstfruits to the Lord.” (Lev. 23:17) You may know that just before Passover, the Israelites kept the Feast of Unleavened bread, and they spent a…

Pentecost for Kids

In Deuteronomy 16, God commanded His people to keep the feast of Pentecost like this: “You shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow who are among you…”…

Friends of God

Minor Prophets I: Ascension Sunday Introduction Today we begin a series of sermons on the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. This coincides with our celebration of the Ascension of Jesus and the pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2). What are the Twelve Minor Prophets? Hosea through Malachi. They are…

The Spirit of Forgiveness

Fourth Sunday in Easter: Jn. 21:15-25 Introduction Here, as the close to the breakfast episode, John zooms in on the restoration and forgiveness of Peter. This is not the first time John has highlighted forgiveness as proof of the resurrection (Jn. 20:23), and this comes immediately to the fore in his epistle (1 Jn. 1:5-10)….

A Toast for Mother’s Day

A toast I gave at the TRC Easter Festival last night: This is Easter Season, a celebration first and foremost of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. But it’s entirely fitting that our culture’s celebration of Mother’s Day falls during this Easter Season. It’s fitting to honor mothers who picture for us the gift…