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Romans 5:1-5

Trinity Sunday C

A quick glance at the church year’s calendar may make gospel proclaimers’ pulses race. Trinity Sunday has, after all, come again. It may make proclaimers’ palms sweat not just because, as the New Testament scholar Beverly Gaventa to whose commentary I owe a great deal for this commentary, notes, “reference to the Trinity is itself…

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Romans 5:1-8

Proper 6A

Is there any phrase in the English lexicon that’s stranger than “to die for”? After all, when we claim something is “to die for,” we’re not describing something that’s as tragic as death itself. I’ve never heard anyone say, for instance, that racial injustice or a global pandemic was “to die for” – even though…

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Romans 5:1-11

Lent 3A

While the kind of peace about which Paul writes in this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson may seem hard to define, it may be even harder to achieve.  Perhaps, however, that’s at least partly because we sometimes start to work for peace in the wrong places. We sometimes first think of the lack of peace in places…

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Romans 5:12-19

Lent 1A

It’s always humbling for my wife and me to have a problem with our computer or cell phones.  After all, we, on whom our sons depended for so many years, must now largely depend on them to help us.  I’ll never be as technologically savvy as our thirty-something sons. Fleming Rutledge, who lent me some…

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Romans 5:1-5

Trinity Sunday C

Trinity Sunday can be one of the most intimidating days on which to proclaim God’s Word.  It’s not just that while Christians profess that it’s a biblical truth, the Bible never actually uses the term “Trinity.”  It’s not even just that the Trinity is notoriously difficult to even begin to explain. It’s also that if…

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Romans 5:1-8

Proper 6A

By now many of us have heard about the recent flap regarding the well-known contemporary hymn “In Christ Alone.”  Seems a certain hymnal committee wanted to formalize what a number of congregations had already done informally on their own and that is swap out language about how on the cross “the wrath of God was…

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Romans 5:1-11

Lent 3A

Tragedy and strength. Carnage and hope. It’s the kind of paradoxical combination we Christians know about because most every time we step into a church sanctuary we are confronted with symbols that point to hope in the midst of sorrow. We see a cross, which has somehow transformed from a grim reminder of death into…

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Romans 5:12-19

Lent 1A

Princeton Seminary President Craig Barnes has a way of opening just about each one of his sermons with a pithy one-liner that grabs your attention even as it sets the tone for the whole sermon.  In one of his sermons he opened with this: Sooner or later we all face the frightening thought that we…

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Romans 5:1-5

Trinity Sunday C

We forget it most of the time when we read Romans but the fact is that Paul was writing to a group of Christians for whom hope was no doubt in short supply. They lived in the heart of Roman darkness, right under the nose of the Caesar himself. They lived in an empire in…

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Resurrection Living

Easter sermon preached at Calvin College LOFT service on March 23, 2008. Used by permission of the Calvin College chapel.

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