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Sunday Message for 13 December 2020: “The Joy of Light”

Today’s message from John 1 emphasizes John the Baptist, a messenger who proclaimed Jesus as the true Messiah. John the Baptist was Jesus’ second-cousin, a man whose appearance and habits cast him as an odd religious celebrity. The gospel stories present John as a pivotal figure, a prophetic voice...
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Sunday Message for 6 December 2020: “Here’s Johnny!”

Today’s message from Mark 1:1-8 presents the odd religious personality of John the Baptist, who continues to provoke curiosity and controversy. John has been traditionally interpreted as a transition to Jesus: “As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who...
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Sunday Message for 29 November 2020: “Be Mindful”

Today’s message covers a universal cataclysm which will end history (Mark 13:24-37). It’s challenging to wrangle such a depressing topic into holiday cheer. Nonetheless, the death and destruction of the last judgment can be elevated into a more helpful narrative. What drives some peoples’ preoccupation with catastrophic biblical prophecies?...
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Sunday Message for 22 November 2020: “Compassion Avoids Fire”

This Sunday’s focus is Matthew 25:31-46, about how acts of compassion can help a person avoid a fiery judgment. The text reveals a Jesus who, along with angels, will come and gather all the nations, dividing everyone between good and evil, sheep and goats, right and left. Jesus places...
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Message for Sunday 15 November 2020: “Talented Multiplication”

Today message highlights Jesus’ teaching about talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus’ language focused on using talents—ancient units of money—in a manner that multiplies a wise investment. What was an ancient talent worth? The closest reckoning indicates that in Jesus’ day, one talent was the amount that an ordinary day laborer...
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Message for Sunday 8 November 2020: “Keep Your Fire Burning”

Today’s focus is Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus’ stark parable about bridesmaids and lamps. The story reveals five wise bridesmaids who were prepared with extra lamp oil, and five foolish bridesmaids who chose not to bring extra oil. The situation became serious when the arrival of the bridegroom, who became angry...
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Message for Sunday 1 November 2020: “Hypo-critters”

Today’s message reveals insights from Micah 3:5-12 and Matthew 23:1-12. The topic involves being wary of harmful people in authority while also avoiding hypocrisy by practicing what you preach. A verse in Micah speaks about the influence of evil prophets: “Thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who lead...
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Message for Sunday 18 October 2020: “Spiritual Currency”

Today’s lesson from Matthew 22:15-22 illustrates how Jesus’ critics attempted to trap him with a taxing issue. In response, Jesus distinguished between paying a government tax bill and what it is that God expects (hint: God seeks more than just a portion of your income). Who are the bad...
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Message for Sunday 11 October 2020: “Banquet Etiquette”

Jesus’ teaching from Matthew 22:1-14 involves a monumental invitation. Jesus’ metaphor of a king sending slaves to invite people to a wedding banquet is code for God’s historic connection to the Jewish nation, and the celebration for the king’s heir is a reference to Jesus as God’s son. The...
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