Sermons from February 2021
John 7:1-24 This Sunday we enter back into the amazing Gospel of John. Over the next five weeks, we will explore chapters 7 and 8, the very heart of the book. Hostility and conflict surrounding the identity of Jesus characterize almost every scene in these two chapters. The instant pot is building pressure. Who is he anyway? Is Jesus “a good man,” meaning is he really connected to God, the source of all goodness (John 7:12)? Or is he an imposter? These two chapters invite us to decide for ourselves, and a lot hangs in the balance.
2 Thessalonians 3:6-18 Most of us work to earn money so we can eat our daily bread. Is work good or bad? Is it a necessary evil to be endured? Or is it a valuable use of our time? In Thessalonica there were some Christians who had stopped working and were expecting others in the community to supply their daily bread. We’ll see how Paul responded to them, and why he chose to work as a tentmaker while engaged in Christian ministry.
2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5 God is love: a community of perfect love, flowing between Father and Son through the Spirit. In generosity he shares his love in creation and in redemption. When we respond to the gospel in faith we enter the Beloved Community. The Thessalonian Christians were a local chapter. They were the Lord’s beloved, and they were beloved of Paul. Their present suffering did not indicate that God did not love them. Paul prayed that they be drawn more fully into God’s love. On this Valentine’s Day, do you feel part of the Beloved Community?
2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 “This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.” With these words T.S. Eliot ended his poem The Hollow Men. The Thessalonian Christians were very concerned about the end of the world. Paul commended their faith, love and hope as a shining example to others. Their hope was in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, but they were uncertain what that would entail, and therefore anxious. We come to one of the most difficult passages in the New Testament in which Paul seeks to calm their nerves. But he does so in a manner that has generated both wild speculation and baffled confusion.