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Unchartered Territory Ahead

New Sermon SeriesGenerosity A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.J. A. Shedd For the first time in decades, we as a congregation find ourselves heading out of the safety of our fiscal harbor. Most of the investments that provided financial security for us have now been dedicated to the construction of a new building. Consequently, this m...

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Four Interesting Things to Know About Jeremiah

Jeremiah is an anti-Moses. There are many parallels between Moses and Jeremiah. For example, they both responded to God's call with reluctance, saying they were unable to speak well. Jeremiah's preaching also draws heavily on Moses's preaching in the book of Deuteronomy. But, Jeremiah is a kind of "anti-Moses." Whereas Moses led the people out of captivity in Egypt to the ...

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What About the In-Between Part of the Story?

We commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross on Friday, and celebrate his resurrection on Sunday. Twice. (You will be coming to the Sunrise Service, won't you?) But what about the in- between part of the story? Most of us, when we read the story of Jesus' life, tend to go straight from his death to his resurrection. Almost without thinking, we go from "He gave up his ...

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Cries From the Cross

It is noon. Jesus has been on the cross for three pain-filled hours. Suddenly, darkness falls on Calvary and "over all the land" (Matthew 27:45). By a miraculous act of Almighty God, midday becomesmidnight. The physical darkness points to the absence of light that normally comes from the face of God. A deeper, more fearsome darkness descends as the Father turns his face aw...

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Amazing Wrath

book's Prayer of General Confession, which includes a request for the forgiveness of the sins of "miserable offenders." Why, then, were the monthly magazines pulled? The official comment: "We don't want to give the impression that the doctrines of the Christian faith cause people emotional trauma." While I'm not convinced that calling people "miserable sinner...

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Your Problems are Greater Than You Can Solve

Last week we reflected on what God had to say to us through Leviticus 16. It's a rather tedious story with a lot of emphasis on ceremonial concerning what happened on the Day of Atonement. Most notably, Leviticus 16 tells us that the scapegoat which took the sins of the people into the wilderness, never to return. The story of the scapegoat points forward to the Ultimate S...

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Behold, the Goat of God

Several years ago something happened that really got my goat. It began one fine Sunday morning as we made our way home from church. As we turned the corner onto our street, we were shocked by what we saw in our front yard. Police were everywhere. My first fear was that our house was on fire. But there was no smoke, no firemen, and no fire truck. Then I saw the problem. Our...

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Pride and Pepto-Bismol

This Sunday, we will begin a new sermon series on the book of Obadiah. We will also be finishing our sermon series on Obadiah this Sunday. Obadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament, with only 21 verses. But even though it's short enough to cover in one sermon, Obadiah deals with a big issue: sinful pride. I attempted to begin-and-end this sermon series several wee...

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Does Heaven Matter?

Public-opinion polls show that most Americans not only believe in God but also anticipate some kind of Heaven. A Gallup survey conducted in June, 2016 indicates that about eight in ten say they believe in God and one in ten say they aren't sure. About seven in ten say that they believe there's a Heaven. Among those believers, three out of four rate their chances of getting...

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When Knowing the Bible Isn't Enough

Knowing the Bible doesn't necessarily mean you know God. You can have a thorough knowledge of Scripture, and still have a darkened heart toward God. This was the case with Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish Ruling Council. He was known as the most outstanding Bible teacher in Jerusalem. Only the High Priest was better known in the capital city than Nicodemus. Yet, despite a...

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