About Doug Bratt

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Rev. Douglas Bratt is a Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. After being ordained in 1987, he served Christian Reformed churches in northeastern Iowa and western Michigan. He is in his 25th year of serving the Silver Spring (MD) Christian Reformed Church. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, reading good literature, and watching televised sports in his free time.

Doug began writing sermon commentaries for the CEP website in 2006 and started writing weekly in 2012.

Romans 8:12-17

Commentary

Trinity Sunday B

This is not an easy text for preachers who regularly follow the Revised Common Lectionary to preach on. After all, each year the Lectionary cycle includes at least part of it. What’s more, on what we call Trinity Sunday, Romans 8:12-17 doesn’t mention the word “Trinity.” In fact, its readers are left to deduce that…

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Romans 8:22-27

Commentary

Pentecost

It is a grace that patience is one of the Holy Spirit’s fruits. Otherwise patience would be in far shorter supply, if not non-existent in 21st century society. After all, in an age of things like high speed internet and microwave ovens, we just don’t get much practice at being patient. Is that a reason…

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1 John 5:9-13

Commentary

Easter 7B

North American culture struggles to define “life.” That shows up in some ways most visibly in our struggles to determine human life’s boundaries. Some of our most contentious debates about ethics, including abortion and euthanasia, revolve around just when human life begins and ends. So preachers might follow the Spirit’s guidance to explore with our…

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1 John 5:1-6

Commentary

Easter 6B

One of the first Christian songs I ever learned was “Trust and Obey.” Its chorus still echoes in my memory: “Trust and obey/, for there’s no other way/ To be happy in Jesus/ than to trust and obey.” This Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson strongly suggests that the song’s link between trusting and obeying would please the…

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1 John 4:7-21

Commentary

Easter 5B

The New Testament uses some form of the Greek word agape (“love”) more than 140 times to describe both God and humans’ actions. But in few places does the Spirit inspire its writers to link God’s love to God’s people’s love more closely than in this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson. God’s dearly beloved people can hardly…

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1 John 3:16-24

Commentary

Easter 4B

Reading this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson always seems to be a bit like trying to drink from a firehose. So many theological themes and images gush out of it that we may feel like we can swallow only a fraction of 1 John 3:16-24’s life-affirming truths. My colleagues Scott Hoezee and Stan Mast offer a wealth…

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1 John 3:1-7

Commentary

Easter 3B

Several years ago a colleague and I had a conversation about God’s adoption of God’s children. My colleague noted that human adoption is often a sort of mixed blessing. Among other things, it raises questions of identity. Is an adopted person the child of her birth parents or adopted parents? My colleague’s identity was clouded…

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1 John 1:1-2:2

Commentary

Easter 2B

The concept of “daylight savings time” is a rather strange one. After all, the label suggests to some people that by moving our clocks one hour ahead people can somehow “save” daylight. But, course, no human being can add even one more second of light to our days. When we move our clocks ahead, we…

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1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Commentary

Easter Day B

When I was a teenager, members of our church’s youth group would play a variety of games together. Among them was “Telephone.” In it a group of people sit in a circle as a message is verbally passed from person. Among the most humorous parts of the game is the way that message almost inevitably…

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Philippians 2:5-11

Commentary

Palm Sunday B

In his excellent commentary on the book of Hebrews (Hebrews, Westminster John Knox Press, 1997), the biblical scholar Tom Long refers to what he calls “the parabola of salvation.” It’s basically the trajectory that Hebrews and, I would suggest, this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson trace “from creation downward to the cross up the heavenly place of…

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