Browsing articles tagged with " John"
Mar 10, 2015

That’s Not Fair

A conversation based on John 3:16-17 and written by Rosemary Broadstock and Ann Scull.
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A: ‘For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everybody who believes in him may not die but have eternal life’.
B: But that’s not fair!!! What about the likes of Hitler and Stalin – the people who start terrible wars and cause the death of millions of innocent people and cause the destruction of whole countries which take decades to rebuild.
A: But God has shown us how much he loves us – it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us.
B: But that’s not fair either!!! Does that include the people who dominate powerless people? What about those who rip off the system and make us all pay more? What about people who are cruel?
A: This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.
B: Hey, come on, this really isn’t fair!! That can’t possibly include the thieves and the murderers, the people in our jails, the criminals, the liars and the cheats, the ones who abandon and mistreat their children and families, the ones who fight and drink too much.
A: Absolutely nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
B: But its still not fair!!!! What about the people who are self satisfied and thoughtless? What about those who gossip and are jealous, the ones who are selfish and lack compassion, the ones who break promises, the ones who are always critical, the ones who carelessly hurt other people’s feelings….. Come to think of it – it’s all of us really, isn’t it?
A: This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.

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Jan 20, 2015

Called and recalled

How hot does your faith burn?
Is your sense of calling as strong as Martin Luther King’s?

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Dec 25, 2011

Reality Check, Part I

Today’s Reading is from John 1:1-18. I preached about that for Epiphany 2011. Please listen to my sermon titled “Reality Check, Part I”.

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Dec 10, 2011

What do you do when the wine runs out?

Today’s reading John 2:1-12 raises an important question: “What do you do when the wine runs out?” An excellent sermon by Richard Hall discusses that in detail.

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Dec 9, 2011

Who is Jesus to you?

Today’s reading John 1:35-51 introduces us to the first followers of Jesus and includes several confessions of faith. What do these first followers say about him?
– Lamb of God
– Rabbi
– Messiah
– son of Joseph
– from Nazareth
– real Israelite
– Son of God
– King of Israel
This is obviously an open-ended list because it only stems from one brief chapter of one Gospel. Feel free to add your own!

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May 7, 2011

Children of God

Humans are humans and only God is God, right?
Well, with Jesus the story is a little more complicated than that. In today’s reading John 10:22-42 he was confronted by temple authorities: “You are only a man, but you are trying to make yourself God!”
His answer sounds so easy but is so hard to grasp: Don’t you call all people God’s children?

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May 6, 2011

One Flock, One Shepherd

Sometimes the lost sheep do not want to be found. Today’s Reading is John 10:1-21. Please read my sermon from May 2009.

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Apr 26, 2011

John 21:1-25

Today’s Reading is John 21:1-25.
Here you have a second account of the miraculous catch of fish. The first instance was told in Luke 5:1-11 when Simon Peter was called to be a fisher of people. Now the problem about Peter’s ministry is that is has always had its ups and downs. Ultimately he denied Jesus three times. That does not read like a great resume for the greatest church leader. Four generations and one continent away the Peter story finally gets a happy ending. The leader is reinstated by three times confessing his love for Jesus literally reversing the triple denial. Jesus charges him with the office of a shepherd: “Take care of my sheep.” In God’s heart there is always more room than we can imagine – especially for lost sheep turned shepherd like Peter.

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Apr 25, 2011

John 20:1-30

Due to a busy Holy Week Schedule I have missed quite a few readings. Hopefully I will be able to catch up.
Today’s Reading is John 20:1-30.

For the first part may I refer to my slide-show Easter sermon of 2010:

For the second part may I refer to my sermon for the second Sunday of Easter 2009.

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Apr 24, 2011

Matthew 28:1-20

Today’s Reading is Matthew 28:1-20.
It contains three pericopes:

Verses 1-10 The Women and the empty tomb
All four gospels agree in their emphasis upon the event taking place on the first day of the week and that those who found the tomb empty were women, all give prominence to “Mary” and attention to the stone that had closed the tomb. They do not appear to agree on the time at which the women visited the tomb, the number and identity of the women, the purpose of their visit, the nature and appearance of the messenger(s), whether angelic or human, their message to the women and the response of the women to the visitor in the tomb. (from wikipedia)

Verses 11-15 The bribing of the guards
This strange episode deals with the fact that resurrection is incomprehensible. Something similar happens in the other gospels:
Mark 16:12-13 Jesus appears to two disciples
Luke 24:13-35 Jesus walks to Emmaus
John 20:24-29 Doubting Thomas needs to see
Well, relating to the mystery of Easter takes a leap of faith, the bribe is not a sufficient explanation and there really is no way the human mind could wrap around this bigger-than-death concept.

Verse 16-20 The Great Commission
Here again is that leap of faith: Baptize all people first, then secondly teach them!
Faith only works from a perspective of: What have I gotten myself into now.

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