Today’s message is drawn from two lectionary readings, Romans 5:1-8 and Matthew 9:35 – 10:8. The Romans passage begins with the great theme of faith, which contributes to our peace with and hope in God. “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). The wonderful news in the Romans verse is that peace with God frees us for a life of renewal and wellbeing. What stands in our way? Challenges are not completely bad because Paul the author suggests a promising process if we do our part. Beginning with suffering, each person has aRead More →

Today’s lectionary selection in Matthew 28: 16-20 reveals a “good-bye” and important instructions still relevant today. Jesus’ words are critical because he wanted to instill guidance about what his followers were supposed to be doing after his imminent departure. What did Jesus tell his eleven followers about their mission going forward? Those who had gathered for Jesus’ parting words were told to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations . . .” (Matthew 28:19a). This magnificent statement is also known as the great commission, which is what we’re supposed to be sharing with the world. Jesus emphasized this missionary aspect of the gospel whichRead More →

Brace yourself for a potential jolt. Celebrated as Pentecost in Acts 2:1-21, today is therefore a very special Sunday. We’re recognizing nothing less than the core of Spirit, God’s very essence and the root of God’s Being. God is spirit, and since we are created in God’s image we also are spiritual beings and we can claim connection to God, spirit-to-Spirit. Jesus promised that shortly after his departure he would send the energetic, marvelous Holy Spirit. Jesus did this in part because he didn’t want his followers to be left as powerless orphans in a fledgling new religion. A basic biblical message about God’s SpiritRead More →

God’s promises are great. As an example, read this one from today’s lectionary selection in 1 Peter:   “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5:10).   This aforementioned verse is deeply reassuring in that it reminds us of God’s care. We can offer a succinct interpretation such as this: When things go bad, God will provide revitalization. We need to immerse ourselves in such promises. Sometimes a person experiencing trouble does not sense God in the midstRead More →