Sermon on 2 Corinthians 3:4-11, for the 12th Sunday after Trinity (1 Yr. Lectionary), about how Paul's ministry to the Corinthians, what it means to be "letters written on human hearts" and the difference between the old covenant and the new covenant. Why does the "letter kill" but the "spirit gives life?" Is the law of God a bad thing, since Paul describes it negatively here? What is the difference about the Gospel message? How are we made alive?
Sermon on 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, for Thanksgiving Eve, about what it means to live generously, or have a "generous spirit." One way of expressing generosity is by giving, but what are other ways? What is the joy of generosity, and where do we learn this joyful motive from? What is the marvel of the seed, and how God makes this physical world work? How is that amplified and also true in the spiritual world? Who is the ultimate Giver?
Sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:1-10, for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost, about life in this physical body, and the experience of aging, suffering, and death. What is the Christian attitude toward the body? How is it informed by the future hope of the resurrection? What is our purpose and value in the present life and body?
Sermon on 2 Corinthians 3:12-13; 4:1-6 for the Transfiguration of our Lord. A sermon about how Paul compares the glory of the Old Covenant with the New, and shows how Jesus' glory is a greater and permanent glory--but also how He chooses to reveal it in humility. How do Christians today experience and encounter the glory of Christ?
Sermon on 2 Corinthians 8:1-9, 13-15 for the 4th Sunday after Pentecost
Sermon Talking Points:
- What is the surprise of “Divine Arithmetic?” How did in show among the Macedonians? What explains how they “begged” Paul to let them participate in giving even beyond their means?
- What are the struggles and afflictions you face in today’s economy? What are your blessings even in the midst of this? Name them or write them down. Read Phil. 4:12-13
- How did God turn scarcity into plenty in these Biblical examples? Who was it that provided when there was need? Genesis 41-46; Exodus 15:22-17:7; 1 Kings 17:1-16; Mark 5:30-44; Mark 12:41-44.
- What does our giving reflect about our hearts? Is guilt an acceptable motivation for giving? How do we grow in the grace of giving then? What turns the tables (and our hearts)?
- What’s the difference between giving from what’s left and “firstfruits” giving? What steps can we take to move in that direction?
- What is one nearby human need in our community that we could support as a congregation?
- How does Jesus’ becoming poor make us rich? What is the wealth He offers to us? Define “grace.” John 1:17; Rom. 5:15