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#ThreeSteps In a Christian’s Walk: Step Toward...Your Siblings in Abraham

"For the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:2a, NRSV). Often this text is used (and not entirely improperly) to support doctrine about the permanent nature of spiritual gifts, baptism, and ordination. Once the Spirit has acted, what the Spirit has done cannot be undone, we say. But in context in Romans 11, in the wider context of the whole letter, and, as N.T. Wright argues in his book, Justification, in the context of God’s plan to save the whole world through the promises begun with Abraham and his descendents, something much bigger is at stake. And it calls us, as Christians, to step toward rather than away from persons of other religious who are also Abraham’s descendants.
 

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View The #ThreeSteps Series Overview »

    References:

  • Genesis 45:1-15
  • Psalm 133 (UMH 850)
  • Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
  • Matthew 15:(10-20), 21-28

#ThreeSteps In a Christian’s Walk: Step Forth...In Your Spiritual Gifts

We step out into our own identity in Christ. We step toward others in our extended family in Abraham. And we step forth, both within the community of the church and toward the wider world, in the power of the spiritual gifts we have been given, whatever these may be. And we step forth not to assert ourselves, our superiority, or our gifts. We step forth, letting the life-giving power of the Spirit flow through us and these gifts within the community of the church and into the world God is out to save.
 

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View The #ThreeSteps Series Overview »

    References:

  • Exodus 1:8-2:10
  • Psalm 124 (UMH 846)
  • Romans 12:1-8
  • Matthew 16:13-20

Season of Creation: FIRE

Season of Creation invites us into a time of pause and reflection. With Moses we are given opportunity to “turn aside to see” how God calls to us and empowers us in and through the whole creation God is out to save. 
 

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View The Season of Creation Series Overview »

    References:

  • Exodus 3:1-15
  • Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b
  • Romans 12:9-21
  • Matthew 16:21-28

Season of Creation: DEATH

As Christians we have a paradoxical relationship with death. On the one hand, we, with our brother Paul, see death as an enemy whose destruction is already declared in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (I Corinthians 15:26). On the other hand, also with our brother Paul, we affirm that we are baptized into the death of Jesus, and only through experiencing a death like his in baptism are we promised the hope of a resurrection like his (Romans 6:4-8). So already, within some of the most famous passages from one early Christian writer’s most famous work we encounter death as at once enemy and portal to life. 
 

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View The Season of Creation Series Overview »

    References:

  • Exodus 12:1-14
  • Psalm 149
  • Psalm 119:33-40
  • Romans 13:8-14
  • (more...)

Season of Creation: WIND, SKY, AND SEA

Fire fascinates us, draws us in, and then reduces us to trembling. Death is at once enemy, and sister. And today, we join the witness of scripture in joy and terror at the power of wind, and sky, and sea, and with Francis we confess that God is surely praised through them.  
 

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View The Season of Creation Series Overview »

    References:

  • Exodus 14:19-31
  • Psalm 114
  • Exodus 15:1b-11
  • Romans 14:1-12
  • (more...)

Season of Creation: FOOD

We increase God’s praise when we address not just our own "hanger," but the legitimate howls of hanger or hunger, “the cries of the needy,” as we pray in our confession of sin, cries we are called to hear as Christ’s body, are respond to with whatever means we have, just as God did, and longs to do through us — without hesitation.
 

Preaching Hymns Planning Additional Resources

 


View The Season of Creation Series Overview »

    References:

  • Exodus 16:2-15
  • Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
  • Philippians 1:21-30
  • Matthew 20:1-16