The Story We Choose

Joshua 3:7-17 | Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 | 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 | Matthew 23:1-12

Jeremy Richards

A few weeks ago, I saw a bunch of little Lee Owen Stone students walking through our doors as all kinds of wild animals, super heroes, princesses, and other costumes I could only guess at. When children (and adults) dress up as different characters, they are drawn to something they know about these characters and about the world these characters live in.

Out of the Wilderness

Joshua 3:7-17 | Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37 | 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 | Matthew 23:1-12

Jeremy Richards

I’ll begin by saying that I wanted to avoid preaching from Joshua because Joshua is, in my opinion, one of, if not the, most disturbing books in the Bible. Joshua tells the story of Israel’s violent, genocidal takeover of a land that belonged to other peoples. The book of Joshua gives theological approval to the killing of innocent men, women, and children. It’s a difficult book for us because we take Scripture seriously and we also take justice seriously, and Joshua is a book where those two values of ours seem, at times, to conflict with one another.

Remembering the Reformation

Jeremiah 31:31-34 | Psalm 46 | Romans 3:19-28 | John 8:31-36

Jeremy Richards

I have to begin this sermon with a confession: I’m a bad Protestant. I’m a bad Protestant because I forgot, up until Monday of this week, that today is Reformation Sunday, and not only is it Reformation Sunday, it’s the 500th anniversary of the Reformation! Our resident Baptist historian, Slayden, who isn’t here right now because he’s serving as the interim pastor at FBC Gresham, would never forgive me if I didn’t talk about the Reformation today. He told me months ago that I needed to do something for this important milestone. And, like I said, I forgot until this week.

In the Breach

Exodus 32:1-14 | Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23 | Philippians 4:1-9| Matthew 22:1-14

“…Moses, God’s chosen one, stood in the breach before God to keep God’s wrath from destroying them.”

Most of you have probably met my mom by now. She was here last week for the celebration of my one year anniversary here at Grant Park. You’d probably never guess that that sweet little lady used to be quite the rebel as a child. Up until junior high, she and her siblings got into quite a bit of trouble.

Is the Lord Among Us or Not?

Exodus 17:1-7 | Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16 | Philippians 2:1-13 | Matthew 21:23-32

Jeremy Richards

The Israelites have seen a lot in the past few chapters of Exodus. We haven’t really been following that story line in our previous sermons, so let me refresh you. They were enslaved to the Egyptians, but God sent Moses to free them. After 10 increasingly devastating plagues, the Egyptians finally let the people go. In each of these plagues, the Israelites and the Egyptians saw the power of God. When the Israelites left Egypt they were led by the presence of God in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.

Enough

Exodus 16:2-15 | Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45 | Philippians 1:21-30 |Matthew 20:1-16

Jeremy Richards

Many of you probably know CS Lewis’ famous series The Chronicles of Narnia, but maybe fewer of you know about his sci-fi series, The Space Trilogy. In the second book of the The Space Trilogy, called Perelandra, the protagonist, Ransom, arrives on Venus, which is also called “Perelandra.” After a bizzare landing, Ransom ends up on a kind of floating island. As the book progresses, we come to discover that Perelandra is essentially the Garden of Eden before the fall, and like the Garden of Eden, the human-like beings he meets, a male and a female like Adam and Eve, are innocent and uncorrupted.

The Freedom of Forgiveness

Exodus 14:19-31 | Psalm 114 | Romans 14:1-12 | Matthew 18:21-35

Jeremy Richards

For Brie and my first vacation as a married couple, we went to Yosemite national park. We woke up early on the morning of May 18th, 2012. How do I remember the exact date, you ask? Because, May 18th is also Brie’s birthday, and May 18th, 2012, was Brie’s first birthday as a married woman. I, inexperienced, partner that I was, thought, “Hey, we’re getting up at 5 in the morning, I already got her a birthday present, obviously she won’t expect anything…anything…like, not even a card.” Ooooooh, I was wrong.