Jonah: A Sermon by Annette Coe

Jonah: A Sermon by Annette Coe

There’s no other book quite like Jonah in the Bible. It’s almost completely self-contained without the interference of other writers, historical figures, or references to Israelite history. There’s no date given or historical precedent for why Jonah’s been called by God. What we do know is Jonah is mentioned in 2 Kings 14 during the reign of Jeroboam II which would have been the 8th Century and Assyria gaining power. We know Ninevah was destroyed by Babylon in the 6th Century, so it stands to reason Jonah is somewhere between the two. Regardless, this folklore-style prophecy is one of the most descriptive and peculiar books in all the Bible. 

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Micah - A Sermon by Nathan Dove

Micah - A Sermon by Nathan Dove

We know very little about Micah. His name means, “Who is like Yahweh?” Thanks to the superscription, we can date him to the 8th century around the Judean kings of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. This means he is writing to the southern kingdom, Judah, as a native, during the pivotal years of the Assyrians trying to lay siege to Jerusalem, but ultimately failing. His earliest oracles predate the destruction of Israel in 722. The back half of his book clearly speaks of Israel’s destruction and Micah’s warning that those same events not happen to Jerusalem in the south. 

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Obadiah: A Sermon by Larry Jones

Obadiah: A Sermon by Larry Jones

We know very little about Obadiah. As a matter of fact, Obadiah may not have even been his name. Obadiah means, “worshiper of Yahweh.” Whether Obadiah is his real name or not, what we do know is he was a prophet living in the 6th century who witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem by Babylon. The southern kingdom Judah was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE, and all the Judeans were sent into exile. Where did all these people go? Edom. Obadiah’s prophecies speak directly to Edom while the Judeans are in exile. 

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"Joel: The Day of the Lord" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Joel: The Day of the Lord" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Joel threatens the Day of the Lord (which is code for both when God acted and when God will act decisively). In the prophets, this phrase is always bad. It symbolized how and why God is coming to judge and destroy. Joel clearly is warning Israel to repent from their sins and it appears they do we hear Joel say that God is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and full of love. This language is the golden calf story from Exodus. Even in the face of sin, when God’s people repent, God reveals God’s mercy. 

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"Hosea: Looking into the Heart of God" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Hosea: Looking into the Heart of God" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Hosea is a northern prophet who speaks to the Northern Kingdom, Israel. Hosea’s chief message is to warn the ruling elite of their “promiscuous” lifestyle with foreign adversaries. Israel has set up an international agribusiness that aggressively taxes their own poor while the elite benefit from foreign aid. Worship has diluted into nothing short of pagan worship and God is tired of it. In Hosea 11, we see a rare glimpse into the heart of God. God laments the state of Israel and calls for their repentance. The depiction of God in Hosea 11 is the image we need today to help re-author who God is for us. 

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"The Book of the Twelve" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"The Book of the Twelve" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

The Bible Jesus read consisted of the Law (Genesis - Deuteronomy), the Writings (Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes) and the Prophets (Major and Minor). One of the most important genres of the Bible is the voice of the prophet, who speaks in oracles and pronouncements, and it is time we hear from them. One of the best illustrations we have is from Amos. His “oracles against the nations” proves just why the prophetic matters. 

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"Telos: Our Future is at the River" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Telos: Our Future is at the River" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Revelation 22 is one of Pastor Barrett’s favorite texts. It’s the last chapter of the Bible and the last image God gives us to think about our relationship with the Divine. It just so happens to be a scene at the river of the water of life with the tree of life growing. These five verses draw perhaps the most important image of what our future (the telos) entails. Hint: we reign with God forever and ever.  

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"Telos: Our Future is Made New" A Sermon by Nate Dove

"Telos: Our Future is Made New" A Sermon by Nate Dove

The pride of such an accomplishment as graduation is matched only by the mystery and majesty of what lies next. It couldn’t be more fitting that the lectionary text for this Sunday is Revelation 21 where the angel reminds John that God is in the business of making all things new. This might just be the most important nugget of advice for any adult-bound teenager to hear. God is in the business of making all our brokenness new.

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"Telos: Our Future is Proleptic" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Telos: Our Future is Proleptic" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

If there were ever a ranking system dedicated to complex words, prolepsis would be in the top five. Prolepsis is the thought or image of something describing a situation that hasn’t happened yet. For instance, one proleptic statement is, “dead man walking.” The person walking isn’t actually dead but the sentence insinuates he’s headed somewhere and will be punished for some past act. He’s alive but proleptically dead. This sermon will break this concept down, for we need it to truly understand Revelation 7.

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"Telos: Our Future is God's Past" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Telos: Our Future is God's Past" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Our future is God’s past. Wolfhart Pannenburg made this concept famous over the last 75 years, and it is one I can’t shake. God steps into God’s own past and paints for us a future. In other words, our future is God’s past. We’ll break this deeply confusing thought down together with the help of Revelation 1. Holding this thought helps us see the telos more clearly. 

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"By Christ's Light, We See Light" An Easter Sermon by Barrett Owen

"By Christ's Light, We See Light" An Easter Sermon by Barrett Owen

When the stone rolled away, Jesus defeated death. When he stepped out of the grave, he overcame the darkness that tried to bury him. And at that moment, the world changed forever. Since that moment, we’ve felt and seen and experienced God’s light that causes us to see more light. This light matters. How we choose to reflect it matters too. 

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