Commentaries Written by Doug Bratt

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2 Timothy 1:1-14 Sermon Commentary

Proper 22C

Paul’s call to his dear son Timothy to “guard” (14) the gospel is evocative. It’s, what’s more, the title of John Stott’s commentary, to which I owe a lot for this message’s ideas, on the apostle’s second letter to Timothy. So Paul’s call to “guard the gospel” might also serve as a kind of on-ramp…

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1 Timothy 6:6-19 Sermon Commentary

Proper 21C

Few virtues are, arguably, rarer in the twenty-first century than “contentment.” Relatively few people seem deeply satisfied with their situation in life. A variety of things fuels this dissatisfaction. Many citizens of what we sometimes call the “first world” live in a conspicuously consumptive society and time. What’s more, the media that has such a…

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1 Timothy 2:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Proper 20C

Paul packs this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson with “all’s.” In fact, he uses a form of the Greek word panta no less than five times in its seven verses. But while the apostle loads this text with “all,” nearly every use of the word carries with it both some mystery and the seed of controversy. So…

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1 Timothy 1:12-17 Sermon Commentary

Proper 19C

21st century culture is not, by and large, a patient one. It easily becomes impatient with the slowness of its electronic devices. Its citizens avoid friends who take too long to warm up, and politicians who take too long to enact legislation. It’s not just the 21st century’s oatmeal that we want to be “instant.”…

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Philemon 1:1-21 Sermon Commentary

Proper 18C

A colleague recently told me that he sometimes feels like members of his church think of him as a UPS package that’s all wrapped up and labelled. Ironically, however, those members don’t agree on what his label says. My colleague says they variously think of him as too liberal or conservative, lenient or intolerant, modern…

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

Proper 17C

“Just tell me what I have to do, Pastor!” I suspect that nearly all of us have heard variations on this theme. This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson seems to offer help in answering such questions. That may, in fact, be a reason why proclaimers’ attention is often most quickly drawn to its ethical pronouncements. Hebrews 13…

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Hebrews 12:18-29 Sermon Commentary

Proper 16C

What might Christian worship look like if each service began with Hebrews’, “Let us … worship God acceptably with reverence and awe”? What affect on worship might a sticky note on preachers, worship planners and leaders’ computers that read, “Let us … worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” have? Those who proclaim and hear…

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Hebrews 11:29-12:2 Sermon Commentary

Proper 15C

Hebrews’ author devotes most of chapter 11 to an exploration of what it means to live and die by faith. But he doesn’t call his readers to “fix their eyes” (12:2) on any of the people we sometimes “heroes and heroines of the faith.” Hebrews’ author only invites his readers to “keep our eyes” on…

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Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 Sermon Commentary

Proper 14C

We sometimes assume that we can recognize an alien when we see him (he’s green and has antennae) or at least see her citizenship papers (they say citizen of Canada, or Mexico, the United States, or some other country of origin). Yet when Hebrews’ author speaks of people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and others…

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Colossians 3:1-11 Sermon Commentary

Proper 13C

Few issues roil the 21st century North American church more than those that revolve around human sexuality. North American Christians spend much time arguing about extra-marital sex, same sex attraction and marriage, as well as gender dysphoria. Churches and denominations are dividing, whether formally or informally, around the appropriateness or inappropriateness of various sexual behaviors….

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