Shaun continues the series in Malachi with the charge aginst the people and priest of bringing insincere sacrifices. Though we no longer practice burnt offerings in the same way that Malachi’s contemporaries did, we are still called to approach God reverently and to offer whole-hearted worship.
Shaun begins a sermon series from Malachi with the first of God’s responses to an accusation/question from Israel: how does God love Israel? Israel had followed Esau in a pattern of transactional devotion, yet God had preserved and continued to call Israel.
When we look at the story of Bathsheba in light of the Gospel, or the message of Jesus’ coming, it is a message of hope for ordinary people who don’t really see any astounding victories in their lives and who may feel more hurt than heroics.
Max Harris speaks of the Holy family using exegesis to explore its composition (and the practical implications thereof), theology to discuss the relevance of that composition, and the significance of Jesus’ role in our lives the flesh-out the impact on our family dynamics and experiences.
Chris Vogel continues the Advent sermon series with a reflection on the pattern of God’s work that was demonstrated in His interaction with Joseph in the days of his engagement to Mary. As declared in Joseph’s dream, God’s deliverance and presence are required; that requirement comes at the cost of Joseph’s comfort, sense of competence, and sense of control.
Michael Vogel looks at the genealogy of Jesus at the beginning of the book of Matthew. While the list includes many notable and kingly figures, it also points out the shortcomings of these famous Jews and the outsiders that are key to the royal line. God’s plan for salvation includes sinners and outsiders – both historic and present – so we need to remember that God’s message is for everyone, even the people we think are outsiders today.
Shaun kicks off the the advent sermon series with a reflection on the wise, yet confusing ways of God. Paul comments on the overlap of these ideas, and Shaun notes part of Paul’s conclusion: we are made to be worshiping beings, formed according to those confusing ways of God because of His infinite wisdom.
Psalm 95 calls us to respond to God with soft hearts and worshipful celebration for all He has done.
Shaun reflects on Psalm 75–a Psalm of Thanksgiving and praise that nevertheless wrestles with the incompleteness of God’s establishment of justice in the world. Shaun’s observations revolve around how the Psalm describes the ways of God and how those patterns instruct us to cling to His goodness while we live in this era.
Shaun concludes the series on 1 Corinthians with the final chapter, Paul’s “chatty” farewell. In Paul’s closing and sign-off of the letter, we see a picture of Paul and what drives him. Throughout the variety of topics in the book, Paul has always been working for love because of the grace God has shown us. As we move on in our daily lives, we also should be driven by the reconciling love of Christ.