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Sermons from United Christian Parish

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Paul’s Odyssey

Paul’s odyssey, like that of Odysseus in Homer’s epic, is one of suffering, trial and change. But our task is to keep our eye on the goal, the purpose, all the while remembering that we do not ever travel alone on our own odyssey. God is with us, even when we don’t realize it.

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All the Rights, Duties and Privileges

Pastor Marcus relates the commissioning of Paul and Barnabas by the church in Antioch to the recent graduation exercises he has attended. Just as graduates from university, so Paul and Barnabas, and we also, are commissioned to go into the world and exercise the rights, duties and privileges of ones trained and educated in the Word. We are called to be the ones who spread God’s word and show the world what it means to live in God.

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The Enormity of the Gospel

The story of Peter’s vision of unclean food and his realization that the Gospel is for all shows us vividly how enormous the Gospel message is. Pastor Beth shows how the text demonstrates three key points: 1. Limited human understanding does not limit God. 2. God pours out God’s spirit without limit. 3. God breaks through our human limitations. Even as we humans struggle to accept this fully, God keeps moving forward.

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Where’s the Full Script?

In this reading Jesus joins the Disciples in Galilee and gives them the Great Commission. Matthew is explicit in saying that some doubted what was happening. It's likely that some wondered how they were supposed to carry out this Commission. Couldn't Jesus give them some details? A script? But Jesus' point is that God's grace is sufficient to lead them (and us) forward. We won't know all the intricate twists and turns of the journey, but we do know that God's grace will guide us to its conclusion.

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Shake, Rattle and Roll

Matthew’s version of Easter morning includes earthquakes. Jesus doesn’t just rise from the tomb, but the earth laterally shakes. As Pastor Beth tells us, that morning we crossed into a new world, one where God’s will and God’s light prevail, where all our preconceptions of how things should be are shaken. God’s love shakes up the order of the universe, and we are called to respond to the hope that this brings.

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