Sermon: Learning to Pray

I invite you to open your Bibles with me to the Gospel according to Matthew. Matthew, chapter 6, beginning in verse 5. Matthew is in the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. If you are in Zechariah or Malachi, you haven’t gone quite far enough. If you are in any of the other…

Sermon: God’s Will, My Way

As we have journeyed through the story of Abram, we have seen some amazing promises from God. But the story of Abram and Sarai is largely the story of the long wait for these promises to be fulfilled. In this way it foreshadows the long wait of Israel for the messiah and the long wait…

Prayer: Too Big, Too Small

A prayer on reading Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, o mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Exalted God, you ask too little and too much of us. You show us justice and mercy and…

Prayer: We are not ready

A prayer on reading Micah 1 Sovereign Lord, we long for your coming, but we are not ready. You come in your mountain melting, valley splitting, holy presence, but we are unprepared. We, who gather weekly – daily – to praise your name find ourselves trembling before your majesty. We want you tame and docile, We…

Prayer: Seeing Salvation

A prayer on reading Luke 2:21-38 Fairest Lord Jesus, eternal Son of the Father, you came down from heaven and became incarnate in the womb of Mary. You took on meekness, took on lowliness, took on humility. You subjected yourself wholly to the law – consecrated to the Lord – obedient in life – loving…

First Glance: Matthew 6:9-10

“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9a) For many Christians, the Lord’s Prayer is the first prayer we learned by heart. We may pray it every week in worship or every day at meals. This prayer has worn deep paths in our souls. However, our familiarity with the prayer Jesus taught…

First Glance: Luke 23:34

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (Luke 23:34) Jesus does not ask that his enemies get what they deserve (“Father, smite them, for they knew exactly what they were doing!”). Instead, he prays for their forgiveness. He prays…

First Glance: Luke 1:1-25, 57-80

“Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” (Luke 1:13-15a) I…

Review: Rejoicing in Lament

J. Todd Billings, Rejoicing in Lament: Wrestling with Incurable Cancer & Life in Christ. Brazos Press, 2015. It is a rare book that can hover between the academic and the personal in a way that enriches both realms. After he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma at age 39, J. Todd Billings’ life took a surprising…

First Glance: Luke 1:5-25, 57-66

“But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” (Luke 1:13a)   Advent is a season of longing. As we anticipate Christmas and the celebration of the coming of Christ, we are invited to long with Israel for the Messiah. Zechariah and Elizabeth had lived with longing. This…