Sermon preached at RUF’s Wednesday Night Fellowship on Sep. 26, 2018. The Lord’s Prayer is a prayer in three parts: up, out, and in. Looking out, what we see is a beautiful-but-broken world. Looking out, what we say is: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” God’s kingdom is everything wrong with this world made right; everything broken, fixed; everything hurt, healed. Simply put, his kingdom is “the way things are supposed to be.” This, Jesus says, is what we are to “seek first.” This should be our ambition. But what does seeking/praying this require of us? It requires first of all a biblically informed imagination.
Sermon preached at RUF’s Wednesday Night Fellowship on Sep. 19, 2018. When we pray “hallowed be your name”—the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer—we’re asking God to impress upon us his goodness, greatness, and love. God answers this prayer by revealing himself through his creation, through his provision, and through the salvation he has won for us in Jesus Christ. Don’t just look at these things—look through them and behold your Father in heaven.
Sermon preached at RUF’s Wednesday Night Fellowship on Sep. 12, 2018. In order to pray, we need to know that God is good, loving, accessible—that he is our Father. But we also need to know that He is both powerful and present—that he is our Father in heaven (or, if you like, our Father over all the skies—the skies over Burlington, Burundi, Burma, Bangladesh…all over). He is powerful. He is present.
Sermon preached at RUF's Wednesday Night Fellowship on Sep. 5, 2018. In college, lots of us are trying to make a name for ourselves. "Who am I? Who do I want to become?" The good news that comes to us from Gal. 3:26-4:7 is that you don't have to create an identity on your own. You don't need to base your sense of self and self-worth on shaky foundations. Jesus gives us a new, sure and fixed identity, which we receive by faith: beloved son, beloved daughter. As adopted children into the family of God, we have untold access to "our Father." We can come to him, pray to him, and play at his feet at any time.
Sermon preached at RUF's Wednesday Night Fellowship on August 29, 2018. When the disciples demanded of Jesus, "Teach us to pray," what he gave them and us is a pattern of prayer we know as The Lord's Prayer. It is a prayer in three parts: up, out, and in. We start by looking up, with connection before content, with "our Father."
Sermon preached at RUF's Wednesday Night Fellowship on April 25, 2018. We conclude our sermon series on the Apostle's Creed by looking at the final two lines in the creed alongside Revelation 21:1-8. God is making all things new (not all new things). Heaven is everything wrong with this world made right. We will experience it corporeally and corporately. Heaven is not for the self-righteous but "the thirsty."
Sermon preached at RUF's Wednesday Night Fellowship on April 18, 2018. Christians believe (1) in the power (and costliness) of forgiveness; (2) that in Christ God has forgiven the sins of the world; and (3) forgiven people forgive (at least, are learning how to). "For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: one has died for all, therefore all have died." The forgiveness of sins is real and powerful business!
In the sermon, reference is made to a StoryCorps interview featuring Mary Johnson and Oshea Israel. You can listen to that interview here.