Monthly Archives: August 2015

Out of the Heart…

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Biblical Text: Mark 7:14-23
Full Sermon Draft

This is the second part of the Jesus’ discussion in Mark chapter 7. The first part (last Sunday) focused more on the centrality of the Word of God. In the words of the Lutheran confessions that would is the sole norm of life and faith. It is the norming norm. All of our traditions must conform to the Word of God. The second part Jesus turns from false source of authority to the source of our problems with it. It is not that we don’t know the Word of God, but that naturally, out of the heart of man, come evil designs. What we take into the body cannot defile us as Mark comments settling the question of foods once. But we naturally take part in wickedness and fall into foolish ways.

The sermon examines Jesus’ comments on both wickedness and foolishness and puts it in the context of the larger bible’s discussion of understanding and foolishness. It then bridges into the good news. Out of our natural hearts come wickedness, but God is about replacing those hearts.

God Has the Power…Hold On!

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Biblical Text: Mark 7:1-13
Full Sermon Draft

The text is one of those that is actually real easy to apply today, but preaching that sermon to this congregation isn’t matching audiences. I think you have to look a little to correctly apply it. Putting it in doctrinal terms the text is one about the simplicity of scripture or the perspicuity of scripture. What that means is simply that the meaning of scripture is plainly available to those who read it fairly. That doesn’t mean we accept it, just that we can understand what it says. What Jesus gets mad at in the Pharisees is not that they reject it outright, but that they end up putting forward theological arguments and rationalizations that negate the simple word of God. Their higher theology allows them to break the law yet claim they are keeping it. And this is done with the blessing of the institutional form of the religion. The easy marks are in the introduction. To correctly apply though means understanding the simple or catechism word and then looking at how we might deny it.

We had VBS last week, so what I used as the simple Word were the daily slogans from VBS which told the really simple faith – creation, comfort, healing, forgiveness, eternity. And then it mulls these over a little deeper and takes a look at how we, not others but ourselves, might elevate a higher theology against that simple faith. The bottom line is that any higher or deeper theology must be consonant or allow the simple faith. I’ll make a physics analogy, Quantum mechanics must allow for Newtonian Physics. Quantum mechanics can never completely negate Newtonian Physics. We are being Pharisees when we negate portions of the law yet say we aren’t because of complex rationalizations. Like the response line to the simple VBS statements, we Hold On to the simple word.

Some More VBS Pictures

Some further photos from today. Thanks for coming to Everest. We had a great time climbing…

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VBS 2015 – Day 5 Video

The day 5 video has the theme song we’ve been singing this week and a bunch of outtakes from the day’s activities…

VBS 2015 Klymer Photos and Group Photos

Here are some of the photos with our buddy Klymer and our group photos. Each kid will get a copy of the group photo tomorrow. The candids are in the videos. I’ll see tomorrow about uploading some of them separately…

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VBS 2015 Day 4 Video

Here is the video from Day 4…

VBS 2015 Day 3 Video

Here is Day 3…

VBS 2015 Day 2 Video

Here is the video of day two – bible story told with pictures of the kids…

VBS 2015 – Day 1 Video

These are the presentations that we end each day with. They are stuffed with pictures taken during the day telling the story and bible point of the day…

The Indwelling Word

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Biblical Text: John 6:51-69
Full Sermon Draft

This is the third and last sermon on the “Bread of Life Discourse” in John 6. The typical and easiest way to understand the entire discourse where Jesus says we must eat his flesh and drink his blood is as a reference to the Lord’s Supper. That isn’t wrong, but we do have to ignore that fact that when Jesus said it the crowds who heard it had no recourse to the sacrament. What this sermon attempts to do is proclaim the gospel from this most perplexing text with the sacrament not as first resource but as an gift that embodies for all time the truth.

What I latch onto is Jesus’ embellishment of eating the flesh and blood as the gateway or image of Christ abiding or indwelling in us. Just as the Father dwells in Christ or Christ as the perfect icon of the Father, by eating Christ he dwells in us. Creation has always been about building a dwelling place or a temple for God. In Christ we have the perfect temple, and we are made the living stones as God dwells in us. As Christ is the icon of God, we become the body of Christ and icon of a sort (although that might be a little strong this side of the New Jerusalem). That flesh and spirit incarnation is always a scandal to the world which wants to keep them separate.

Yet as Peter says – these are the words of eternal life. The second part of the gospel explored is Peter sequence where we believe first and then come to know. We must eat first – take Christ into us – to know. The body and blood of Christ give us a sure foundation. We can know because he is the bread that has come down. If we keep it outside of us, we can’t know. Belief comes first and it is belief from the heart.