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Sermons from Main Branch

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It's Okay to Be Angry

When anger knocks, we have little choice but to open the door and let it visit. We do not, however, have to let it move in. It does not need to make our hearts its permanent dwelling place. But, when we let anger in, when we welcome it for what it has to teach us and how it can transform us, simply by rubbing up against it we ourselves can become a little more holy. And that, friends, is one way we become imitators of God.

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These Are Not Childish Times

Love is everything good, but love require us to admit that we are not living in childish times, and love demands that we grow up and leave childish ways behind us. There is simply too much at stake.

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"All the Fullness of God"

We have limits, but God doesn't. Unfortunately, we too often fixate on our limits, forgetting that we belong to a God who is limitless. We live out of a mindset of scarcity--there's only so much to go around, so we couldn't possibly meet all the world's needs; but we serve a God of abundance who provides everything we, and all God's creatures, need. When we find ourselves stuck in "not enough" thinking, we end up hoarding what we have, cutting ourselves off from others, building walls to protect what's ours--forgetting that all we have is God's.

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Gather Around

Discipleship is not at its finest without moments of wilderness to discover who we are as it relates to our actions. Wilderness does not meet its goal without knowing who one is. Compassion is born out of wilderness moments with a sense of being set forth with orders or being an apostle of the one who cares to sympathize. A sense of care, a sense of duty to help, a calling to ease the other’s burden. Today, this is the responsibility Jesus is calling us toward.

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To Save Face, or Embrace Faith?

Inserting the story of John the Baptists' beheading into the midst of the story about the disciples’ mission and return seems to be Mark’s way of saying there will be great risks in being sent out to proclaim the word. Yes, the disciples just had a successful first mission, but, keep in mind what happened to John when he came up against one in power. He was faithful, he stood up to the rulers of the land, and he lost his life. This story foreshadows what the disciples will face, what Jesus himself will face, and what many of Mark’s readers will face as they remain faithful to God and follow Jesus. Mark is urging his readers, Jesus’ early followers, to do the same. There will be risks, he says, but this is what it means to follow Jesus. Remain faithful, even when it means standing up to the Herods of this world. That is what makes you triumphant, what keeps you right with God, and at one with God.

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