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Ironies, Contrasts, Paradoxes, And Reversals

Sermon
Love's Pure Light
Christmas Candlelight Sermons and Service
Saint Luke's narrative of the Christmas story has been read and heard and cherished this season in millions of places over hundreds of years; yet its poetry remains unexhausted. Despite an economy of words in Luke's terse narrative, so powerful are the themes, so rich the motifs, that it is a marvel of literature, treasured by those within and without the Christian tradition.

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John Jamison
In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” (vv. 14-16)

The Immediate Word

Katy Stenta
Mary Austin
Christopher Keating
George Reed
Bethany Peerbolte
Dean Feldmeyer
Thomas Willadsen
For March 7, 2021:

StoryShare

David O. Bales
Peter Andrew Smith
Contents
“Forty Years Later” by David O. Bales
“Signs Or Wisdom Still Allow Discussion” by David O. Bales
“The Guidance of the Law” by Peter Andrew Smith

Forty Years Later
by David O. Bales
John 2:13-22

Semphthenus, to my most esteemed elder sister, Alis, many greetings:

Emphasis Preaching Journal

David Kalas
At the beginning of his masterpiece, Paradise Lost, John Milton articulates a part of his task in writing as to “justify the ways of God to men.”1 That may be an ongoing task for us. Fallen humanity is like a perpetual adolescent, always questioning and challenging (and disobeying) the parent. And so there is a continual need for the ways of God to be explained and justified to human beings.
Mark Ellingsen
Bill Thomas
Bonnie Bates
Frank Ramirez
Exodus 20:1-17
None of us are thieves. And so the commandment forbidding stealing does not condemn us! Oh, but it does if you have ever tried to cut a smart business deal, suckered someone to get them to buy your product, or failed to help those in need. Jonathan Edwards explained it this way in his exposition of dishonesty and theft:

The Village Shepherd

Janice B. Scott
There once was a report in "The Sunday Times" about the claims of Francis Crick to have located "the cells of our soul." Fifty years ago, Francis Crick and James Watson won a Nobel prize for their discovery of the DNA double helix, which has been responsible for huge leaps forward in health care and criminal detection.

SermonStudio

Elaine M. Ward
It was a new church for Sam. It was his grandmother's church, and because Sam loved his grandmother, he sat on the edge of the pew and tried hard to listen. "Are you saved?" the preacher asked from the pulpit far away. Sam remembered when he had saved pennies for a new plant for Mother on Mother's Day. "Maybe Mother saved pennies for me," Sam thought. The preacher continued, "Will you give your heart to Jesus?" Sam wondered where his heart was. But if Jesus needed Sam's heart he would be glad to give it.
Elizabeth Achtemeier
In this season of Lent, we are Sunday by Sunday approaching the foot of that executioner's cross on Golgotha. And I think that sometimes we wonder why it is necessary for us to make that journey. After all, it does not have a pleasant destination. To be sure, human beings often have a morbid curiosity about disasters. We flock to the site of an auto wreck, thereby holding up the traffic with our rubber--necking. Winston Churchill told of the time when a woman remarked on the crowd that had gathered to hear him speak.
Nancy Kraft
There are some people who have the gift of persuasion. If you've ever seen the Music Man, it's a gift that Professor Hill had as he sold musical instruments to all the kids in town by convincing everyone that they could make beautiful music by just thinking the notes. He was what you'd call a smooth talker, which is a valuable skill for a salesperson. There are also other professions where it helps to have strong verbal skills that can be used for persuasion. Take politicians, for example. Bill Clinton was known as a smooth talker.
David T. Ball
Jesus in the temple -- oh, didn't he show those money-changers who were desecrating the temple grounds with their money-grubbing business? Not to mention the mess that all the livestock were making! Out! Out! Out! He cleared them all out, those traders in things that didn't belong in God's house. And he had every right to do it, we tend to think. Serves them right, despoiling sacred space with their commerce -- profiting off of the desire of the faithful to do something pleasing to God. Exploitation. Good riddance!

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