Commentaries Written by Scott Hoezee

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Jeremiah 23:1-6 Sermon Commentary

Proper 29C

Just beyond the ending point for this particular Old Testament Year C reading is a rather striking line in Jeremiah 23:7-8.  Anyone who grew up hearing the Ten Commandments—as well as other Old Testament passages—read on a fairly regular basis in church or at the dinner table knows that one of the most famous catch-phrases…

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Psalm 46 Sermon Commentary

Proper 29C

It probably counts as something of an irony that for all its soaring comfort in proclaiming the sovereignty of God and God’s rule over all things, Psalm 46 is invoked most often precisely in those times when it is most difficult to believe that a good and loving God is providentially in charge of the…

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Psalm 98 Sermon Commentary

Proper 28C

Reading Psalm 98 is like uncorking a well shook-up bottle of champagne.  The cork rockets upward and the bubbly inside the bottle fountains forth in exuberance.  We’ve all seen those locker rooms after a team wins the World Series or the Super Bowl when players spray each other with such bottles—some years ago someone finally…

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Isaiah 65:17-25 Sermon Commentary

Proper 28C

It doesn’t get any more lyric than this!  Here in the 65th chapter of the sprawling book that just is Isaiah, we find the prophet sketching one huge vision for the renewal of all things.  But like many such visions in the Old Testament—and indeed throughout the Bible—what is striking here is how utterly earthy…

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Psalm 17:1-9 Sermon Commentary

Proper 27C

Those of you who read the Psalm sermon commentaries here on CEP know that I frequently observe that different psalms fit different seasons of life.  And so we always have to nuance upbeat songs of praise with the downbeat psalms of lament such that no one in the church gets the impression that true believers…

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Haggai 1:15-2:9 Sermon Commentary

Proper 27C

Things in the church are a little different these days.  Some years ago at my alma mater it was decided that after nearly twenty-five or so years without having an on-campus chapel—a dedicated worship space—it was high time to build one.  In the years since the college had moved from its original campus, most everything…

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Psalm 32:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Proper 26C

Most of his friends had been hanged.  But despite his central role in helping to construct Adolf Hitler’s Nazi nightmare, Albert Speer somehow managed to receive from the Nuremberg trials only a 20-year sentence at the Spandau Prison in Berlin.  Not long after arriving in Spandau, Speer met with the prison chaplain.  To the chaplain’s…

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Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 Sermon Commentary

Proper 26C

As most every Bible commentary would tell you, the way Paul uses Habakkuk 2:4b (“the righteous will live by faith”) in Romans and Galatians may be a bit different from how the text “sounds” and seems to function in the original context of Habakkuk 2.  Habakkuk has spent most of his prophecy up to this…

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Joel 2:23-32 Sermon Commentary

Proper 25C

This is the “happy” section of Joel but it probably needs to be seen in context.  More on that at the end of this sermon commentary. For now we can see a connection to last week’s Old Testament Common Lectionary text from Jeremiah 31, which pointed to the promise of God’s giving his people a…

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Psalm 84:1-7 Sermon Commentary

Proper 25C

In the Calvin Seminary Chapel above and behind the pulpit area is a large clear-glass window with a cross in the center.  A few years ago during a May Term preaching class in the chapel, we all noticed that a large Horned Owl had made a nest in the uppermost window pane near the top…

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