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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Jonah

How are those who have experienced the grace of our Lord Jesus to respond to the brokenness and injustice we encounter in the world. Do we overlook sins? (boys will boys... just forgive and forget) Do we seek retribution? (an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth). Is there a place where justice and mercy meet?... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Thomas

During the children's story I read from a 'Ripley's Believe It or Not!' cartoon which claimed that some scientist's had discovered a way to 'unboil' an egg. When I asked the congregation if they believed this was possible they responded with a choir of 'no's. But the congregation was wrong. It is possible to... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Resurrection

In today's sermon we were introduced to Mary Magdalene. She was a woman who had experienced Jesus' healing power, provided financial support for Jesus' ministry, and witnessed both Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Mary is an important character in the Bible. The Gospels mention her twelve times, more than most... Read More

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A Testimony of Generosity: "Play Ball!"

This story was shared by Dave Stasich during worship last Sunday. I thought it deserved to be more broadly broadcast, so I'm publishing it here with permission. "PLAY BALL! That was the only thing on this 11 year old boy's mind in 1956 because, I desperately wanted to play 'Little League Baseball'. The only... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Denials & Faithfulness

In today's Scripture lesson we listen to Peter deny Jesus. Peter denies Jesus three times. This betrayal seems even worse when we consider how Peter had boasted earlier: "Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (John 13:37 NIV)  Of course Jesus knew better. He knew what people were... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Jesus Washes Feet

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John 13:17 NIV At our Bible Study on Friday I recalled a particular act of service by someone in the group. I asked that person if they felt 'blessed' for having served in that way. Their response was honest--the person did not feel particularly... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Jesus Raises Lazarus

Today's sermon about the raising of Lazarus can be a source of great consolation. Jesus demonstrates with Lazarus what he has declared to Martha: "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die." (John 11:25,26)... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: The Man Born Blind

Today's passage again reminds me of Jesus' willingness to reach out to people. Not only did Jesus stop to heal this needy man, Jesus went out searching for him afterwards, when Jesus heard that he had been thrown out of the synagogue (John 9:1-41). By comparison I often walk straight past needy people. Sometimes... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: The Woman at the Well

If you look at both the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman and Jesus and Niocodemus in tandem, the challenge of today's sermon becomes more apparant. Who are we most like? Are we the respectable well-educated religious insider who is curious about Jesus but unwilling to commit to him. Or are we the outcast... Read More

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Unpacking Sunday's Sermon: Born from Above, Born Again

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." John 3:8 NIV Today's Bible passage has Jesus in conversation with a devout man named Nicodemus. Through the course of their conversation it becomes... Read More