Commentaries Written by Chelsey Harmon

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2 Timothy 2:8-15 Sermon Commentary

Proper 23C

Paul gives Timothy three commands and a saying in the lectionary section for this week. Remember God… Remind others… Do your best. Maybe I’ve watched too many cheesy movies—the ones where someone is leaving on the train and never coming back and they stick their head out the window and yell, “Remember I love you!”…

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2 Timothy 1:1-14 Sermon Commentary

Proper 22C

The lectionary brings us this week from Paul’s first letter to his second letter to Timothy. Right away, we can feel that the stakes are higher, the emotions more intense. There’s talk of tears and mothers and grandmothers, of emotional longings and deep faith and trust. Why? Because things haven’t gotten better since the first…

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1 Timothy 6:6-19 Sermon Commentary

Proper 21C

“Take hold of the life that really is life.” What a catching phrase. It’s one of those that you can feel the truth of deep in your bones, but whose truth you can’t simply explain in a few words. What is “the life that really is life?” We’re at the close of Paul’s first letter…

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1 Timothy 2:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Proper 20C

Concerned about the divisions, the dissension from doctrine, and the deplorable way their inner congregational conflict looked to nonbelievers, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to try to make things better in the church. Back in chapter 1 verse 3, Paul reminded Timothy what he charged Timothy to do when he left: “instruct certain people not…

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1 Timothy 1:12-17 Sermon Commentary

Proper 19C

We’re heading into a number of weeks reading Paul’s advice and encouragement to his partner in ministry, Timothy. Timothy was Paul’s closest companion in ministry, his trusted confidante, his mentee, someone he trusted to do the important work of guiding the church. Paul trusted Timothy so much that he left Timothy with the embattled Ephesus…

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Philemon 1:1-21 Sermon Commentary

Proper 18C

What a gift this little letter from Paul is to the church! Though all of Paul’s letters in the New Testament are about practical matters of life and faith, and though all of his guidance, advice, teachings and admonitions are rooted in a deeply Christological theology, none of the other letters quite show Paul’s personal…

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Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16 Sermon Commentary

Proper 17C

Though the lectionary epistle cuts out the middle verses of this section, the ones we are assigned today tell the church what to do in order to stay together through hardship. If you believe that the text of Hebrews is a sermon, then just minutes earlier we heard the preacher remind the congregation about their…

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Genesis 13:1-18 Sermon Commentary

Have you ever returned to a special place from your past? The place you got engaged, for instance, your old dorm room, your first job. What about a place where you distinctly heard the voice of the Lord? Even sadder places seems to pull us back or make us speed up as we pass them:…

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Genesis 38 Sermon Commentary

Genesis 38 has to be near the top of the list of least-preached texts in Scripture. There’s death (by the hand of God no less), sex—both in marriage and outside of it, and lots of things that parents might not be ready to have their kids understand (i.e. parents are too embarrassed to have to…

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Genesis 48:1-22 Sermon Commentary

The scene: The whole crew is in Egypt: Jacob, their patriarch, his twelve sons and all their families, servants, possessions. Jacob is at the end of his life. As is the custom, all male heirs went to his deathbed to receive their blessing. Joseph, Jacob’s long lost son, the one he believed he would never…

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