No Judgments, Just Jesus

Epiphany II – God’s Kind of King: The Temptation of Christ (Matthew 4:1-11)

After his baptism, the Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted. Unlike the first parents who failed in the fullness of Paradise, Jesus resists temptation in the barren wilderness. By trusting in and obeying God’s word, Jesus succeeds where all others had previously failed. He is thus the new Adam and the truly faithful Israelite – the Beloved Son in…

Equal Under Christ: Redeeming Household Codes, Part Two (Ephesians 6:1-9)

Paul subversively undermines the patriarchalism and slavery of his day by calling all people – male/female, young/old, slave/free – to “be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ”. By doing this, Paul lights a fuse that will undo the oppressions and injustice of his culture by working within the cultural institutions and applying the Gospel to societal norms. Join us…

Epiphany I – Walk Wet: Why Baptism Matters (Mark 1:1-11)

Unlike Matthew and Luke, Mark hits the ground running – ignoring the details concerning Jesus’ birth and heading straight into Jesus’ baptism. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Mark’s account is that “the heavens are town apart and the Spirit descends like a dove on Jesus.” The rending of heaven language draws attention God’s “invasion” of our world in the person of…

Be Subject to One Another: Redeeming Household Codes, Part One (Ephesians 5:21-33)

In addressing how the Gospel should be implemented in family structures, Paul subversively transforms the dominant culture’s perspective by calling for mutual submission guided by love and respect for the other. Though his culture is patriarchal, he sows the seeds of equity and justice by calling on all to stand by, for, and with the other, instead of capitulating to controlling and…

Christmas II – A Matter of Time (Ephesians 5:15-17)

In contrast to God, our lives are short, fleeting, and uncertain. We do not know what tomorrow may bring. We are not even promised that tomorrow may come. James condemns boasting about time without regard for the Lord. Followers of Christ are to walk wisely in a world full of obstacles to holy living. This has relevance in regard to the use…

Christmas I – Senior Moments (Luke 2:21-40)

Simeon – an aged and righteous man – blesses the Lord for allowing him to live to see the Christ-child. He also warns Mary that Jesus will serve as a catalyst. Some will respond positively; some, negatively. Ultimately, Mary’s heart will be pierced with grief by the coming crisis. The prophet Anna proclaims good news to all who will listen. Both Simeon…

Advent 4: “Let It Be…” (Luke 1:26-38)

Through the angel Gabriel, God visits a lowly peasant girl named Mary and announces that she will bear a son and call him Jesus. This one will be great, “the Son of the Most High,” and will be given an eternal kingdom in the lineage of the house of David. In Jesus, God’s promise to provide a deliverer for Israel (and for…