Mark 4:35-41, Revelation 14:13: Donna Kind-Gappa’s Funeral Sermon: Blessed are the Dead Who Die in the Lord

The story is the tale of your life, soaked into the bones and marrow of your being.  The sun warms your face, but distant thunder cleaves your ears.  Soon, dark clouds banish the brightness, and blackness descends, unasked for and unwanted. The still waters rebel and lash out in chaos.  Venomous bile stings your throat, […]

Sandy Webb’s Funeral Homily: Baptism Does What?

John 3:1-7, 14-17; Genesis 7:11-13, 22-23; 8:1, 9:8-15; 1 Peter 3:18-21 Sometimes, someone enters your life who speaks the truth, flowing from a heart of love, without pretense or agenda.  Whenever a friend like this becomes part of your life, don’t let him go.  Such people are rare.  Don’t allow being comfortable to obstruct genuine […]

Being Fully Human: Lesson 3

In His Body, Christ Redeemed Us, Bringing Us into His Body To save us, Jesus became incarnate, which means the eternal God also became fully human by His human birth.  As both God and man, He considered it necessary to become a physical being to save us physical beings.  In His human nature, He became […]

The Baptism of Our Lord: Genesis 1:1-5: Creation Teaches Us About Re-Creation

To the first ticking of time, and before the creation of time, Moses takes us back to the beginning.  From his words, he allows us to peek into those moments of prehistory when only God existed, and we find primordial chaos.  One thing is evident—in the emptiness of the void, life is powerless to blossom […]

Reformation 2: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 9-14; Romans 6:1-4; John 3:1-6, 16: Baptism

A Syrian commander, a well-respected military leader, who won the respect of his King.  Still, something can come along in your life and undo much of what you built up over the years.  Such is Naaman.  For a fearsome affliction—leprosy—now overshadows his imposing warfighting skills and combat prowess. To protect others from the infectious contagion, […]

Church History, Lesson 9: Letters to Non-Christians about Christ and His Church

Intro Today, we focus on two sets of letters written to non-Christians.  The first is by Pliny the Younger, a provincial Roman governor; the second by Justin Martyr, a Christian.  Both lived in the 2nd century.   Pliny the Younger (61- 113 AD) As the Governor of Bithnia, in 112-13 AD, Pliny wrote to Emperor […]

Church History, Lesson 1: The New Covenant Begins

This is a new study series, which begins with Jesus establishing the New Covenant and finishing (we hope) with the Church recognizing and listing the texts of both the Old- and New-Testament Scriptures in 397 AD. Jesus Establishes What Is to Take Place in His Church   The New Covenant Ready to go to the cross, […]

The Passion and the People: Nicodemus

John 3:1-9, 14-16: From Bystander to Believer   With Jesus crucified, the Apostle John identifies Nicodemus as “the man who earlier visited him at night” (John 19:39).  So, we travel back to their first meeting to learn of Nicodemus.  “A man from the Pharisees and a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus, came to Jesus one […]

Matthew 3:13-17: The Baptism of Jesus

You’re standing in the wilderness across the Jordan River.  A voice calls out from a distance, “Prepare the way of the Lord!”  A figure approaches, a wild-haired, bearded man.  His skin is bronzed by the sun, his eyes ablaze with prophetic fire. He comes adorned like a prophet from the pages of Scripture.  Coarse camel’s […]

Romans, Lesson 11: God’s Work in Baptism Frees You from the Law

In Romans 5, Paul spoke of what Jesus did objectively for all: save them.  He also spoke that faith receives and trusts in what Jesus did and does.  We know we need salvation because the Law shows how much we’ve trespassed against God.  But God’s grace reigns all the more, leading to eternal life.  So, […]