Greater Works, John 14.8-17

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Guest preacher Jonathan McClure takes us through John 14.8-17. He shows us that our own impatience can blind us to Jesus being amongst us as he truly is. When we miss who we have and what we have in Jesus, we must look to what the Father has promised us in Jesus to bring our eyes back to Jesus. In doing that, we will see how Jesus displays the Father to us, realize that Jesus is working through us, and that Jesus provides the helper we need.

Image: Stain glass from Queen’s College, Oxford, by Abraham van Linge, c. 1635. Photo taken by Lawrence OP. Used under license CC BY-NC 2.0. Location: https://www.flickr.com/photos/paullew/2482601503.

Prayer and Ascension, John 17:20-26

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On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, he prayed for all that would believe in him through the word of his apostles. In that prayer he asked that we might all be one as he and the Father are one and that we would know the love of the Father for the Son in ourselves. In Jesus’ ascension forty days after his resurrection, this prayer began to be fulfilled. How does Jesus’ ascension connect to his high priestly prayer? Listen now to find out.

Image: Agony in the Garden, by El Greco [Public domain]. Image location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:El_Greco_019.jpg

Do Not Be Afraid, John 14.21-29

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Jesus can tell his disciples and us to not be afraid and to not let our hearts be troubled because of the great hope that he sets before us. What is that hope? Our hope is the coming of the Holy Spirit and the coming of the new Jerusalem. Both of these are a reality for us today. Listen now to find out how this is.

Image: Merciful Christ (Icon), photo taken by: Steven Zucker. License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. No changes made. Location: https://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/7173082023

A Love that Compels, John 13.31-35

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On the night that He was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples to love one another just as He had loved them. How is this even possible? Can a mere man give such a command to weak people? Listen to find out just how Jesus’ can tell his disciples to love one another and it actually be accomplished.

Image: Merciful Christ (Icon), photo taken by: Steven Zucker. License: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. No changes made. Location: https://www.flickr.com/photos/profzucker/7173082023

Comfort of the Good Shepherd, John 10.22-30

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What is the implication of Jesus being the Good Shepherd? How important is it that his sheep respond to his voice? What assurance is there that no one can snatch us from Jesus’ or the Father’s hands? Listen now to find out about Jesus being the Good Shepherd.

Image: Icon of the Good Shepherd, AnonymousUnknown author [Public domain]. Location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Good_shepherd_icon.jpg

Peace, Peace, Peace, John 20.19-31

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When Jesus appeared to his disciples on the night of his resurrection, he spoke peace to them. He again spoke peace a week later when he appeared again to them with Thomas among them. What is the meaning of this word of peace? Is it a mere greeting, or is there more to our Lord’s words? Listen now to find out more.

Image: The Maesta Altarpiece-The Incredulity of St.Thomas. Duccio di Buoninsegna [Public domain]. Location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The-Maesta-Altarpiece-The-Incredulity-of-Saint-Thomas-1461_Duccio.jpg

Seeking the Living Among the Dead, Luke 24.1-12

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What good is a dead Jesus? The resurrection of Jesus changes everything. He endured exile on our behalf and through his resurrection completes his work of salvation for us.

Image:The Resurrected Christ with a donor family, Lucas Cranach the Younger [Public domain]. Location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lucas_Cranach_d.J._-_Der_auferstandene_Christus.jpg

Donkeys and Palm Leaves, Luke 19.28-40

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There is a great deal going on when Jesus enters Jerusalem just a few days before Passover. From the selection of a donkey to palm leaves being waved to the very day of entry, there is great prophetic significance and fulfillment occurring in this moment. Father Jeremiah walks us through these things and their implications for us in his sermon from Palm Sunday.

Image: Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, from Nativity of the Theotokos Church, Macedonia. Photo take by Petar Milošević [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0), no changes made]. Location:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Цвети,_улазак_Христа_у_Јерусалим_(Church_fresco_-_Triumphal_entry_into_Jerusalem,_Bitola).jpg

The One Who Takes Our Shame, Luke 15.11-32

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In the parable of the Prodigal Son, we always focus on the return of the prodigal or the obstinance of the older son, but have we realized the reality of the how the father reacts to both of his sons? Father Jeremiah reveals to us the depth of love of the father in this story and how his very love is a reflection of how Jesus treats us sinners.

Image: The Prodigal Returns, photo taken by Jim Forest, used under license CC BY-NC-ND 2.0. Location: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimforest/5900168879

Repenting Fig Trees, Luke 13.1-9

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Jesus answers questions about seemingly judgmental deaths with a call to repentance and a parable of fruitless fig tree. How can we better understand the Gospel and the kindness of our Father in heaven from Jesus’ words here for us today?

Image: The Vine Dresser and the Fig Tree, James Tissot [Public domain]. Location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Vine_Dresser_and_the_Fig_Tree_(Le_vigneron_et_le_figuier)_-_James_Tissot.jpg

Gathered and Striving, Luke 13.22-35

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The narrow door and a hen’s wings for covering are in today’s Gospel lesson. What is Jesus telling us about our faith? Listen now to find out what Father Jeremiah reveals about this passage from Luke 13.

Image: Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, author unknown, from the Evangelistary of Otto III [Public domain] Location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:JesusWeepsOverJerusalem.jpg

No Doubt on Our Behalf, Luke 4.1-13

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Satan’s temptation of Jesus in the wilderness was one focused on doubt in the truthfulness of God’s word to Jesus at his baptism and al that entailed for Jesus. How did he respond? How does Jesus’ do what no one else has done before? Father Jeremiah takes us through Jesus’ temptation and shows us how Jesus endures these things on our behalf in order to open to us the blessings of God the Father’s blessings for us.

Image: Temptation on the Mount, Duccio di Buoninsegna [Public domain]. Location: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Duccio_-_The_Temptation_on_the_Mount.jpg

Jesus Revealed: Transfiguration and Tabernacles, Luke 9.28-36

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When Jesus was transfigured on the mountain before Peter, James, and John, Peter suggested building tabernacles for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. Was he merely trying to delay their departure from the mountain, or is there something revealed here about Jesus being the true tabernacle through whom we draw near to God? Listen to find out the answer!

Image: Public Domain. Located at:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Armadio_degli_argenti,_trasfigurazione.jpg

Jesus Revealed: Loving Because God Loves, Luke 6.27-38

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Love your enemies, Jesus tells us, in our Gospel passage for this Sunday. Jesus is not merely telling us something, but is commanding us to radical way of relationship with others. Why would he command this? Is this consistent with who God is? It most certainly is! After all, God first loved his enemies by sending Jesus to die for their sins. Who are those enemies that God first loved? You and me and the whole host of humanity. Jesus’ command is a perfect reflection of God’s character just as all of the moral law of the Bible is.

Image: Sermon on the Mount, Cosimo Rosselli [Public domain]

Jesus Revealed: Feelings, Blessings, and Woes, Luke 6.17-26

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What do our feelings have to do with Jesus’ blessings and woes from Luke 6.17-26? How do our feelings affect our everyday walk with Jesus? Father Jeremiah brings before us the importance of the whole Word of God in regard to how we allow our feelings to be our guides in life too easily.

Image: Sermon on the Mount, Cosimo Rosselli [Public domain]

Four Pastoral and Educational Affirmations: Holy Scripture

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Father Jeremiah, Pastors Brack and Jason continue our two churches’ study of the Four Pastoral and Educational Affirmations put forward by the Ecumenical Consultation of the ACNA and the NALC. This week we go over our understanding of the nature and use of Holy Scripture. What is it? How does it lead us? How is it authoritative? How does it relate to both Jesus and the Holy Spirit? These are some of the questions addressed in our time together.