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Sermon Text  – 11.04.2018
[Matthew 22:1-14 and Hebrews 9:13-15]
When I was in seminary I took a class on Old Testament history, and it was taught by a well-known and respected Jewish scholar and rabbi. He was an older fellow, sorta cantankerous, and on the very first day of class he said this, “You are all students in a Christian school to be pastors and leaders in the Christian church. I am a Jewish man who knows a lot about the Old Testament. If you have a problem with that, now is a good time for you to leave, to transfer classes.” It was sort like a challenge, and nobody said anything or even moved. And at that moment, I realized, I was in the wrong room. I was supposed to be taking Intermediate Hebrew at that moment, and today is the last day to change classes and the registrar closes in 20 minutes. I have to leave, and so I got up and quietly left the classroom. But of course, because of what he just said – this rumor started spreading around my seminary that JJ has a problem with Jewish people. I felt so horrible when I put two and two together – I had to go back and find this cranky professor and apologize for leaving and explain it was not about him being Jewish, I just had a different class I was supposed to be in.


Love You Like A Brother

Sermon Text – 11.04.2018

[Galatians 3:26-29 and 1 Corinthians 9:20-23]           Today’s sermon is not part of a series, but I thought it would be a good bridge from last month’s series to this month’s sermon series which starts next week called Religions of the World – how do we as Christians interact with different religions that are out there? But to get us started in that theme today we are talking about the family of God – what that means, who that is, and what do we do with that information in our real lives.


Hell Hath No Fury

Sermon Text – 10.28.2018
[Genesis 39:6-15 and Proverbs 31:22-31]

          I read a story this past week[1]. About ten years ago there was one of those inspiring empowerment self-help type conferences. The leader got up front and asked if anyone in the room of 200 or so people had been sexually or physically abused. Six or seven tentative hands went up. Then the leader instructed us to close our eyes, and asked the question again. Then he told them to open their eyes – almost every hand in the room was raised. To quote the author, “For a long time, most women defined their own sexual harassment and assault in this way: as something unspoken, something private, something to be ashamed of acknowledging. Silence, although understandable, has its cost.” On October 5th, the New York Times published a story on the Harvey Weinstein scandal – and many of us thought about how stories like that are so sad – when one man uses his power to so many women. Thank God those stories are few and far between, those men are rare and uncommon. But then, on October 15, 2017, one week later, actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a simple tweet that actually came from someone else that simply said, “If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write “me too” as a reply to this tweet.” The goal was to give people a sense for the magnitude of the problem. Thousands, and then tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands and then millions of women responded. Story after story after story came forward. Statistics are meaningless in this sort of thing because so many people don’t report, don’t talk about what happened – but the me too movement pushed the problem into the spotlight and most of our culture was shocked by how common the struggle was. It wasn’t something that only happened in dark movies or CSI shows – it was happening right under our noses. And then, because people were finally talking about the issue – a thunderstorm of allegations against prominent men in our culture began. From Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey to democrat politicians and republican senators, artists, composers, producers, CEOs – everywhere we turned the hidden shame of America was breaking through like a volcano – setting the world on fire.



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