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To Whom Do We Belong?

Sermon
Where Once We Feared Enemies
Inclusive Membership, Prophetic Vision, And The American Church
The claim that we belong to God, a God who decisively determines our true identity amidst the competing claims upon our hearts and minds made by the idols of the world, is central to Stroupe's prophetic vision of the liberating call of the gospel in a world governed by the power of death. The following group of sermons, taken from various studies of New Testament texts, brings this claim and its consequences for Christian faithfulness sharply into focus. The dialectical complexity between good news and bad news in our journeys with the God of the Bible continues here as a consistent refrain.

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Jeremiah 17:5-10
On Sunday, August 5, 2012, Garrett Reid killed himself in the dorm room at Lehigh University where the Philadelphia Eagles were holding training camp. Garrett is the oldest son of the Eagles’ head coach Andy Reid. Garrett had a history of drug problems and even spent some time in prison on drug related charges. Andy Reid told the team’s owner that in this difficult situation he would continue to move forward, saying “I’m going to hit that curveball and hit it out of the park.”
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* * *
Wayne Brouwer
There is a powerful scene in Robert Bolt’s play A Man for All Seasons. The story is that of Sir Thomas More, loyal subject of the English crown. King Henry VIII wants to change things to suit his own devious plans, so he requires all his nobles to swear an oath of allegiance which violates the conscience of Sir Thomas More before his God. Since he will not swear the oath, More is put in jail. His daughter Margaret comes to visit him. “Meg,” he calls her, with affection. She’s his pride and joy, the one who thinks his thoughts after him.

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“...for power came out of him and healed all of them.” (v. 19b)

Good morning wonderful children,

Thanks for joining me. I am so happy to see you and to talk to you today. Are you ready for a special message I have just for you? (children respond)  Here we go.

Ever heard the word bless?  Like “you are blessed” or “you are my blessing?”(children respond) To be blessed is like goodness coming to you. To be blessed is like getting a gift that makes you happy.

StoryShare

David O. Bales
Contents
“A Messianic Message?” by David O. Bales
“Blissful? Agnosticism” by David O. Bales


A Messianic Message?
by David O. Bales
Luke 6:17-26

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
We tend to think of Saints as special holy people who are perhaps not quite real. But in this reading, Jesus makes it clear that those who are very ordinary because they are poor, or hungry, or sad, or otherwise disadvantaged in some way, are especially blessed. This is a story about Casper, who spoke in fun but found his words were taken rather seriously.

SermonStudio

Cynthia E. Cowen
"Louise, can you and Pastor Hal come to Thanksgiving dinner at our house this Friday? I have this really, really big turkey, and I don't want a ton of leftovers," Tracy implored her friend.

"Well, I'd love to, but we always invite a widower, Andy Vespa, each Thanksgiving. I don't want him to be by himself with his pork and beans. Of course, Steve and Vicki will be here, too," Louise replied. "Andy's always been a part of this family gathering."

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