February 17, 2018

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Outer Banks Presbyterian Church

The Rev. Dr. Jody Moore


 


February 4: 1st Corinthians 9:16-27.  Paul discusses the ways that he changes and tailors his message to his specific audience.  Communicating and sharing the Gospel requires us to be flexible and to address people’s situation where they are coming from without judging them.  It will also be Scout Sunday, as we celebrate our church’s connection with the Boy Scouts.  

Lenten Sermon Series on Covenant

February 18-March 25, 2018


Many of us are familiar with signing contracts whether we are borrowing money, buying a car, or agreeing to a new job.  Contracts are legally binding agreements based on the idea that we have to have something in writing so that both sides will keep up their end of the bargain.  Unlike a contract, healthy relationships are built on trust and a willingness to be honest and vulnerable.  In the Bible, however, God uses covenant, not contract, as a way to establish genuine relationships with us.  We will explore the covenants that God has made with us throughout this Lenten series and the meaning of those covenants for our identity and our lives.  


February 18: Genesis 9:8-17.  After the tragedy of the great flood, God makes a new covenant with Noah. The rainbow becomes a sign for God’s promise of a new day.  After the tragedy of the flood, God provides the promise of a new beginning.  When we say goodbye to things from our past, we also have the opportunity to embrace the new things God is bringing forth.


February 25: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-19.  Sometimes it is hard to trust in God’s promises.  God makes a covenant to bless Abram with unexpected gifts.  God even gives Abram a new name: Abraham.  God asks Abraham to trust in Yahweh’s goodness.  God is prepared to offer us surprising blessings as well.  Will we put our faith in God?  


February 28: Genesis 4:1-16.  For the Wednesday Lenten service, we will hear the story of sibling rivalry between Cain and Abel.  They are brothers who are bound together by blood, but yet when jealousy and envy arises, Cain spills his brother’s blood.  When God comes to Cain asking where Abel is, Cain responds, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  The answer to God’s question is that we are supposed to be each other’s keeper, caring for one another, even though we often fall short of that calling as Cain does.  


March 4: Exodus 20:1-17.  God gives Moses and the Hebrew people the Ten Commandments so that they will have laws to guide them for their common life together.  The 10 Commandments are part of the covenant that God makes with us in the Old Testament.  What is the purpose of the law?  How can we look at God’s law, not as a bunch of rules, regulations, and restrictions, but as a gift from a merciful Creator?  


March 11: Ephesians 2:1-10.  Ephesians describes the new covenant that God offers us through Jesus Christ.  This text explores the relationships among our sins, the justice of God, our faith, and the mercy of the Lord.  Ephesians proclaims that we are saved, not through our inherent goodness, but by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 2 affirms the foundational Protestant belief in the fact that our salvation comes through faith, not because of any good works we do.  


March 18: Jeremiah 31:31-34.  Jeremiah compares God’s relationship to humanity to the covenant of marriage.  Jeremiah says that God is like a husband whose marriage partner has been unfaithful and yet God continues to remain committed to the marriage.  In God’s covenant with us, God sticks by us even though we often distance ourselves from God through sin.  


March 25: Mark 11:1-11.  On Palm Sunday, we hear the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt.  The crowds gather and praise him, but Jesus turns out to be different than what they have expected.  The crowds make wrong assumptions about Jesus and we often misunderstand who he is today.  In our relationship and covenant with God, it is important for us to follow where Jesus leads us, even if he takes us places that we would not expect.  



 
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