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Sunday Message for 2 December 2018: “The End is Dear”

Today’s reading from Luke 21:25-36 is a cautionary tale, about which Jesus cited profound environmental disturbances preceding the end of history. Jesus also admonished the listeners about being ready and alert as a way of preparing for the end. The interesting part of this apocalypse topic revolves around timing...
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Sunday Message for 25 November 2018: “Pilate’s Flight”

Today’s message from John 13: 33-37 is a story of how Jesus stood before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea. Jesus had already been arrested and accused by the Jews. Next, Pilate decided if Jesus was worthy of death for treason. In Roman times, anyone who declared themselves king...
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Sunday Message for 18 November 2018: “Stop Animal Sacrifices!”

Today’s message comes from Hebrews 10:11-25, which highlights the new covenant that God seeks to establish in peoples’ hearts and minds, rather than through sacrifices or ruinous religious rules. Once upon a time there was only the Old Testament Jewish law, dramatized by the Ten Commandments on the stone...
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Sunday Message for 11 November 2018: “Spiritual Abundance”

What contributes to your spiritual wealth? The scripture selection from Mark 12:38-44 reveals relevant insights. Before wading into this topic it’s good to mention one type of religious bureaucrat, a group Jesus singled-out for criticism. Jesus said “[b]eware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes,...
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Sunday Message for 4 November 2018: “Love!”

Today’s lectionary passage is Mark 12: 28-34, where we find Jesus responding to a key question by a studious observer. Jesus had just finished winning arguments with religious bureaucrats near the Jerusalem Temple when a man asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” Jesus’ response provides humanity with the answer...
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Sunday Message for 28 October 2018: “Restoration!”

Today’s message focuses on restoration, first of the Old Testament man Job (Job 42:1-6,10-17) and then the New Testament Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52). The Book of Job is a long tale about a legend—Job—who is one of the Bible’s textbook examples of personal tragedy and restoration. It all started when...
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Sunday Message for 21 October 2018: “Love’s Service”

Have you ever been asked to do something extreme? Such a question came from two status-seeking apostles (brothers James and John). This pair had asked Jesus if they could occupy the choice spots on either side of Jesus’ heavenly throne (Mark 10:35-45). Jesus first responded by declaring to the...
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Sunday Message for 14 October 2018: “The Greatest”

Today’s lesson involves an anonymous man who asked Jesus about gaining eternal life. “‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ “(Mark 10:17). The question is fair, although Jesus seemed to have a problem with the way the man addressed him. “Why do you call me good?...
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Sunday Message for 7 October 2018: “A Kid in God’s Eyes”

Mark 10: 2-16 is the lectionary selection guiding today’s message. In these verses is a lesson that’s all about children: “Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15). Jesus wasn’t saying that only children can...
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Sunday Message for 30 September 2018: “The Other”

Mark 9: 38-40 reveals how Jesus’ closest followers (the apostles) complained about outsiders exorcising demons in Jesus’ name. This problem demonstrates how easy it is to think of apparent outsiders as the threatening “other.” Jesus’ closest followers were special but their smugness led to a feeling of separating themselves...
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