Guest Preacher, Dr. Gail Stearns
Sometimes we can quote Scripture and violate it all at the same time. The point of Scripture is less about the specific words that Jesus or others use in their moment, but all about the real presence of God in that moment. The question is, in our words and actions, are we “scripturing the presence of God”?
“Are Christians called to be nice?” That question arises among many people of faith when facing the choice between keeping peaceful unity or to raising our voice of conviction. When Jesus says, “I have not come to abolish the law or the prophets,” he offers us a way out of the either/or of that choice.
The Sermon on the Mount begins with the “Beatitudes,” a radical upside-down vision of what constitutes the honorable life that says “everything our people taught us was wrong.”
What makes your heart sing? What makes your heart scream? For hearts that have been cultivated by the word of God and the discipline of living in community, those places where our hearts sing or scream are places where God is calling us to come and follow.
What does it mean to “behold the lamb of God”? John’s story moves us from beholding with our eyes to beholding with our feet, by following the one who captivates us.
In Matthew’s story, John resists baptizing Jesus because John’s baptism is a baptism of repentance. By submitting to a baptism of repentance, Jesus stands with us in our worst moments, and not our best moments.
Caesar Augustus demanded all the Empire to be registered, but it was at his circumcision that they called him Jesus, according to the name the Angel gave before his conception. Acts of worship are acts of resistance to imperial attempt to name us.