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Sermon 1615                          Matthew 21.28-32                    October 15, 2017

Jesus was driving them crazy.  Sunday he came riding into town and riots broke out.  Well, not riots exactly.  Impromptu parades.  People singing and laughing and dancing, right into the Temple courts.  People were happy to be at church.  That had to stop.

Then he objected to all the fund raisers they were having.  The sheep stalls and the tables of the money changers practically blocked the entrances so people couldn’t get in.  The cattle were mooing so loudly you couldn’t hear the sermon.  Why didn’t anybody ever clean up all that manure?  They objected to Jesus’ objections!  How were they ever supposed to keep the place going?  People weren’t just going to give out of the goodness of their hearts, were they?

Then Jesus started teaching Bible classes in the Temple.  They tried to nip that in the bud right away.  Where are your credentials?  Where’s your Seminary diploma?  “By whose authority are you doing all these things?”  And Jesus actually answered them!  “Well, by the same authority that John the Baptist baptized!  Who do you think told him to do what he did?”

It was clear Jesus was waiting for an answer and so were the crowds who were packing his Bible class.  (Why didn’t they come to Caiaphas’ Bible class?  His two volume book on filleting the tensor fascia latae from the middle gluteal tendon had received critical acclaim!).  “We don’t know,” they lied.  They knew very well.  They thought John was a fraud because he had never attended a day at Jerusalem U studying under them, but you couldn’t say that in front of this crowd.  And Jesus was a rabble rouser just like John.  “Then I won’t tell you, either,” Jesus said, with a wink to the clapping crowd.

Oh, if only Mary had been barren!  Jesus was driving them crazy.  He was even trying to get them to

Change Your Mind About Jesus

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Sermon 1614                          Galatians 6.1-10                       October 8, 2017

What option do we have?  Can we go off the grid so no news ever reaches us?  Can we crawl under a rock and hide out the rest of our lives?

What option do we have?  Can we so restrict our circle of friends and acquaintances that we will never, ever hear about the misfortune of someone who is close to us?  Can we wall off the emotions of our heart so the only feeling we have is relief that it wasn’t us?

What option do we have?  For you, for me, there are no options.  As God’s chosen people, knit together by his holy plan, there is only

The Burden of Love

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Service of Prayer for the Victims of the Las Vegas Shooting        John 11           October 2nd, 2017

"Daddy, I'm scared!" says the little child. The Father squats down, opens his arms wide and waits as the child runs to him. He picks her up. Holds her tight. Promises her that everything is going to be OK. In the arms of her loving Father she knows that's true. We run to our Father in times of tragedy and listen to the comfort that he gives us. 

Hold On

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Pentecost 17                           Matthew 18:21-35                                            October 1st, 2017

God knows that you are going to keep making mistakes. He knows that we think if we have enough time we could straighten everything out and make everything right. But we can’t. So he forgives us. He completely forgives the whole debt that you owe. He took the loss with the death of his one and only son on the cross. He made you debt free. You owe him nothing. It’s true. Jesus has paid every last cent of your debt. He has paid for every big sin that you never want to talk about and every little sin that you write off and say, well everyone does that. He paid that debt. We are Free!!!

Debt Free

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Pentecost 16                         Ezekiel 33:7-11                                            September 24, 2017

God calls Ezekiel a watchman. What does a watchman do? He is supposed to watch out for danger. And if there is danger he is supposed to tell someone about it!  What if you had to check your fire alarms in the morning to see if you had a fire last night. If there is danger you want to know about it right now. Even if it means waking up in the middle of the night, even if it is uncomfortable, the information is time sensitive you need to know now!

You don’t have to run in fear like the rest of the world. When you feel guilty for your sins, you know that it’s not just you that forgives yourself, but it’s God who sets the standard for what is good and evil. He has forgiven your sins. That’s something really special. When there is turmoil in this world. You know that it’s not just random acts of violence and you should be terrified, but you know there is still a God who loves you that is in control of everything. You know that beyond this life and death there is everlasting happiness for all who believe. You get the opportunity to share those messages with this world. 

The Watchmen

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Sermon 1613                          Romans 12.1-8                                              September 17, 2017

Everybody in construction, from the architect to the plan checkers, from the general contractor and the foreman to the tile layers, knows how interconnected everything in the building is.  It all has to fit and it is all important.  Got a six inch duct for the HVAC?  But there’s only 5 inches of clearance!  No problem, raise the second floor two inches for good measure.  Then the support beams will be 2 inches too short!  “Hey, isn’t there supposed to be a fire sprinkler system in this building?  You are going to need another water line.”

If everyone were geniuses, there would be no change orders and the buildings would come in under budget.  On earth, dealing with human beings all around, we are just happy when a construction project gets done at all.

How different it is when God put together his holy, Christian Church!

Jesus Put Us Here for Each Other