Showing posts from April, 2023

The Trinity and Mission (preaching resource for 6/4/23, first Sunday after Pentecost, Trinity Sunday)

This post is adapted from a Surprising God post by Randy Bloom, Chairman of the Board of Directors for both Grace Communion International and Grace Communion Seminary. "Come and See" by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with artist's permission) Introduction At the end of the 28th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, we are given an important statement from Jesus to his disciples often referred to as The   Great Commission : 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they gworshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, h“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV) Notice here how Jesus connects the mission of the church to

One Spirit, One People, One Calling (preaching resource for 5/28/23, Pentecost)

This sermon addresses 1 Cor. 12:3b-13, drawing on commentary from various sources including "The Bible Expository Commentary" (Warren Wiersbe) and "The New Bible Commentary" (Bruce Winter).  "The Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost" by Cochin (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction On Pentecost Sunday, 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection, Peter addressed a crowd of Jews gathered as the result of the powerful signs that accompanied the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Jesus' disciples. Acts 2 records part of what Peter preached to that crowd, including this from the prophet Joel: In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.  Though some call this particular day of Pentecost the "birth of the Church," it is perhaps more accurate to call it the church's "re-birth." Understood as the people of God , the church actually began with Abraham, leading to Israel, the church formed and commissioned under

The Prayer of the Overcomer (preaching resource for 5/21/23, Easter 7)

This exegesis of John 17 provides context for the RCL reading in John for 5/21/23. It draws on multiple sources including "The Bible Expository Commentary" (Warren Wiersbe), "The New Bible Commentary," "The Parable of Joy" (Michael Card), and "The Gospel of John" (F.F. Bruce).  "Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles" by Duccio (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction The setting of John 17 is late on Maundy Thursday evening during Holy Week, perhaps still in the Upper Room at the Last Supper, or perhaps in or near the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus met often with his disciples to pray.  In any case, this chapter presents what Warren Wiersbe refers to as the “holy of holies” of the Gospels—an account of the prayer of God the Son conversing with God his Father just as Jesus is about to give his life as a ransom for us all.   This prayer makes it clear to us that Jesus truly is the Overcomer .  From a human perspective his arrest

Reassurance for Troubled Hearts, part 2 (preaching resource for 5/14/23, Easter 6)

This post exegetes John 14:16-31 to provide context for the RCL Gospel reading for 5/14/23. It draws on multiple sources including "The Bible Expository Commentary" (Warren Wiersbe), "The New Bible Commentary," "The Parable of Joy" (Michael Card), and "The Gospel of John" (F.F. Bruce).  "The Last Supper" by Maulbertsch (public domain via Wikimedia Commons) Introduction This post concludes a two-part exploration of  John 14, which records part of  Jesus’ Upper Room discourse on the night before his crucifixion. The chapter opens and closes with our Lord’s loving admonition to his disciples: “Do not let your hearts be troubled” ( John 14:1 ,   27 ). Between these ‘bookends’ are six  wonderful assurances designed to calm those troubled hearts. Part 1  covered the first three assurances: 1) We will be with God forever, 2) We know the Father right now, and 3) We have access to God in prayer. We'll now look at the last three: 4) We have t