Sermon: “True Reconciliation”

Romans 4:23-5:11

Accountants like Jackie and Joe talk about reconciling numbers, making sure that the numbers are in agreement with one another.  At times we discover that we have to simply reconcile ourselves with a situation or an idea that we don’t like, making peace with it, accepting it.  But this morning I invite you to explore with me a different kind of reconciliation.   Reconciliation that the apostle Paul describes, reconciliation which is being put into friendship with another.  He is a deep and sometimes confusing theologian, and his letter to the Romans is especially so.  He is trying to get across to a gentile community the essence of God’s grace offered in Jesus Christ.  It is a totally new concept and Paul uses many chapters to try to explain and teach about what it means to be a recipient of God’s grace. Our text for this morning is part of his argument.   Continue reading

Sermon: “Baltimore, Why?”

1 John 4:7-21

At first it seemed like footage from a movie.  Or maybe the news from a country full of unrest.  But the images were next door, literally.  A member of our church, Josh Banks, saw the flames out his apartment window on Monday night as parts of an urban farm burned.   Like many of you, I have gotten calls and emails from people in other parts of the country, and even from Cuba, worried about my family and concerned for our church and our city.

We all should be concerned for our city.  Continue reading