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All Wisdom Finds Its Fulfillment in Christ

A passage from my sermon on January 28: Jesus was the prophet they’d been looking for, and something more. He was God’s Word embodied in a human life. Not only was Jesus qualified to interpret the scriptures; the scriptures are fulfilled in him. That is, Jesus Christ is the goal and end point of the prophets’ words, Moses’ law codes, the psalmists’ hymns and prayers, and the wisdom of the sages. Even secular wisdom realizes its intended purpose in Jesus Christ, just as meandering rivers eventually reach the sea. In the Chez there is a beautiful and overlooked, I think, piece of stained glass that illustrates this in a wondrous way. Christ stands in the middle adorned with the words “I am the

January 28 Preview

Our worship theme will be Empowering Lives, the third of our four-part series on First Presbyterian Church's Mission Statement. Pastor Marvin will be preaching on Mark 1:21-28, in which Jesus gives his first sermon, which blows away the congregation! He also performs an exorcism. Below, Pastor Marvin and Jon Ludwig, our Director of Christian Formation, talk about how scripture and Christ empower us to treat others with dignity: #GospelofMark #worship #FirstPresbyterianChurch #preaching #ChristianEducation #ChristianFormation #dignity #power

Empowering Lives

Do you believe there are actual demons that lurk around the corner just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting people and take over their lives? In spite of what seems to be a current fascination with zombies, vampires and other scary creatures I’m not certain most of us are really comfortable with the idea of actual demons possessing a person and causing them to act out. Maybe that’s why we consign such ideas to the realm of fiction. That way we can keep telling ourselves and others not to worry because demons are really just make believe. The Gospel writers certainly thought differently and at the beginning of Mark’s gospel Jesus keeps encountering demons. In the lectionary reading for Sunda

Integrity

Reprinted from last week's @First, the FPC e-newsletter: Last Sunday in worship, Kathie read the story of God’s call to Samuel to be a prophet. Samuel was a little boy apprenticed to the priest Eli. One night Samuel kept hearing someone call his name. He assumed it was Eli, but it wasn’t. Eli figured out that God was speaking to the boy. He told Samuel what to say the next time he heard his name called: “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” Samuel did just that, and he received his first prophecy from the Lord. It’s a charming story about how we need mentors to teach us to hear God’s word. But the story has an edge to it. God called Samuel to tell his mentor that he’d been fire

Embracing All People - What is the Good News?

ENGAGING ALL NEIGHBORHOODS – WHAT IS THE GOOD NEWS? On the Sundays leading up to Lent we are taking a look at the Mission Statement here at First Presbyterian – Disciples Making a Difference –and on Sunday, Jan 21 Marvin will be preaching on the 2nd of our 4 E statements which is Engaging All Neighborhoods. He has chosen the lectionary Jonah passage which is fitting but I’m rather drawn to Mark’s gospel account of Jesus calling Simon, Andrew, James and John to follow him. Last week we heard from John’s gospel how Jesus issued a rather intriguing invitation of Come and See. In contrast Mark’s account reads more as both a command and a promise. The command is to drop everything and follow.

Embracing All People

Come and see…this is the invitation we hear in John’s Gospel, first from Jesus to John the Baptist’s disciples and then from Philip who invites Nathanael to meet Jesus. It’s a pretty open invitation when you think about it. There’s no pressure to give anything, no pressure to join anything or make a commitment. It’s a simple invitation to see, to check out for oneself just what this wandering rabbi Jesus is all about. As the story progresses we see for ourselves that a great many take Jesus up on this offer and people from all walks of life - fishermen, a tax collector, a political zealot, the blind and lame, the poor and even a few of the religious elite come and see. Only a few, however, w

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