Benedictus Restored

Passage: Luke 1:67-79 Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection Sermon Summary We all long for a world invested with meaning and hope, and we are a people hungry for praise. And yet, disappointment with God can shut our mouths to praise. Zechariah’s story, in Luke 1, is a story of how God brings people…

God Reorders Power

Passage: Luke 1:46-56 Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection Sermon Summary Mary’s Song, or the Magnificat, situated at the beginning of Luke at the start of the Christmas story, is an ideal transition between the Old and New Testaments. It highlights the Old Testament themes of longing, desire, oppression, justice, mercy, faithfulness and trust,…

Jesus: Gentle Master

Read John 20:11-29 I was recently building a snowman with a 3 year old. It was an interesting dance of helping and not helping. She is at the stage where she “wants to do everything by herself.” In one moment, she would announce, “I can do it myself,” but in the next breath she would…

Jesus: Innocent Convict

Read John 18:28 – 19:16 The tension of this passage is as old as time – who holds power and how will it be used? In the case of Jesus, the religious leaders have found him guilty of blasphemy, but lack the authority to take his life. The Roman government has the authority to execute…

Jesus: Man of Peace

Read John 18:1-14 The Washington Post published a story that occurred on the streets of London in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Demonstrators clashed with far-right activists. A photographer in the crowd heard, “That’s not what we do!” At that moment, black demonstrator Patrick Hutchinson emerged carrying a white man over his shoulder. Hutchinson…

The Difference of Jesus: “Christ is Our Priest”

Passage: Hebrews 4:14-16; 7:23-27; 9:23-26 Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection Sermon Summary In this season of uncertainty, many of us daily feel the need for courage. In the book of Hebrews, the author consistently exhorts his listeners to courage through a confident assurance rooted in the truth that Jesus is our great high…

Jesus: Unity’s Source

Read John 17:2-26 We are a beleaguered people. A pandemic has frayed our social fabric; political discourse devolves into pejoratives that further polarize; natural disasters batter communities; the world over, citizens take to the streets over failures of leadership and social injustice; negotiated truces seem a meager match for historic hostilities. When one looks upon…

Jesus: The Vine

Read John 15:1-18 We are human beings, not human doings. —Attribution varies I don’t know about you, but I like to go. I like to do. Checklists abound in my life, and I always have a new way to fill any downtime. I’m not good at taking time to pause and reflect. I get so…