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Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Illinois
Worship at First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Illinois
January 22, 2023 - Uncommon Phrases - Third Sunday After Epiphany
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January 22, 2023 – Uncommon Phrases – Third Sunday After Epiphany

Matthew 5:1-20            These is a passage that people know and that they may not know they know. Parts of it have been extracted to become common sayings. Parts of it have made their way into songs. The text in this passage has become embedded in our lives and yet also disconnected from its source in Scripture and from the mouth of…

January 15, 2023 – In the Moment – Second Sunday After Epiphany

Matthew 4:1-17            It changes so quickly. Fresh out of the waters, Jesus heads into the wilderness. He fasts for 40 days and 40 nights, echoing back to the exodus. Like those in the exodus, he ends up being hungry. And that is when temptation appears. Temptation appears and invites Jesus to turn stones into bread. Jesus resists. Temptation takes him to…

January 8, 2023 – Getting Started – First Sunday After Epiphany

Matthew 3:1-17            John is the one who prepares the way. We’ve gotten used to the descriptions of him as a wild man, a prophet, a loud mouth, and an abrasive presence. You can certainly hear all of that in this passage.            John connects the dots between what he is doing and what God is doing. John speaks in the future…

December 11, 2022 – Zoom Out – Third Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 42:1-9            We often get very zoomed in at this time of year. We have narrowed our vision to that of a nativity set. There is a stable (or not), shepherds, animals, the holy family, maybe some magi or wise men. The Christ child takes center stage, as does Bethlehem, that small town of David. We have traditions, music, habits, food,…

December 4, 2022 – Drawing Attention – Second Sunday of Advent

Esther 4:1-17            Mordecai and Esther are the big players in this narrative. They alternate being the primary character in any given scene. Mordecai has the space outside the palace, and Esther has the space inside the palace. The news and the view aren’t the same in those two places.            Mordecai hears about Haman’s actions, and Esther doesn’t seem to know.…

November 27, 2022 – It’s Obvious – First Sunday of Advent

Habakkuk 1:1-7; 2:1-4; 3:3b-6, 17-19 Habakkuk complains about what is, as we often do. He speaks to God about it, as we often forget to do. Habakkuk commits to watching to see what God will do. And God responds with a vision, writ large and plain. What is God’s vision? What will happen next? That too, we wonder. What is God’s vision…

November 20, 2022 – Propaganda – Christ the King/Reign of Christ

Isaiah 36:1-3, 13-20; 37:1-7; then 2:1-4  This is a great example of what works with us as humans. Assyria comes to the gates, armed, with a history of winning, and challenges Israel. More than Israel, Assyria challenges King Hezekiah and God. Assyria challenges the faith of the people of God in the God who has delivered them in the past. Assyria is…

November 13, 2022 – Transition – The 23rd Sunday After Pentecost

Micah 1:3-5; 5:2-5a; Micah 6:6-8 We hear a transition here. We hear of God coming down, melting things. We hear of transgressions, of fire, of punishment. And then we hear of what will come out of a small place. One will come forth to rule, standing in the majesty of God, and the people shall live secure. If the enemies come, they…