Showing posts from April, 2024

Forward in Christ (preaching resource for Ascension Sunday, 5/12/24)

This post exegetes Ephesians 1:15-23, providing context for the 5/12/24 (Ascension Sunday) RCL Epistle reading. This exegesis draws on commentary from Karl Barth.  "Without Purse or Script" by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with artist's permission) Introduction So far in Ephesians, Paul has been explaining the gospel truth that, through the grace of adoption , all humanity has, “in Christ,” been included in the life and love of our triune God. Now in Ephesians 1:15-23, Paul presents his prayerful hopes for those who know and believe this truth. Note Karl Barth’s translation of this passage:  Therefore, since I learned about the faith which exists among you in the Lord Jesus and about your love for all the saints, I have not ceased to give thanks for you and to remember you in my prayers, that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of God, the illumination of the eyes of your heart, that you

The Four-Fold Fruit of Christian Maturity (preaching resource for Easter 6, 5/5/24)

This post exegetes 1 John 4:17-5:5, providing context for the 5/5/24 (Easter 6) RCL Epistle reading. This exegesis draws on commentary from Warren Wiersbe ("Bible Expository Commentary"), Stephen Smalley ("Word Biblical Commentary") and Leon Morris ("New Bible Commentary").  "Last Supper" by Liz Lemon Swindle (used with artist's permission) Introduction  In 1 John 4:16, the apostle makes this astounding statement: “ God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him .” God is the loving communion of the Father, Son and Spirit. Through the incarnation of the Son, this communion includes all humanity. To abide (live) in God, is thus to participate as God’s dear children in a divine-human communion of love. And now in verse 17, John urges us to grow in this participation whereby God’s love “is made complete” (mature; given full expression) in and through us. John thus defines Christian maturity not as adherence to external rules or