Pastor Note #87: Christmas — A Peasant King and the Foolishness of God

Christmas as a holiday in America is in many ways sacrosanct.  I’m not referring to the Christian holiday.  Most American, including Christian Americans, don’t really celebrate Christmas as a biblical holiday.  We love the warm, cozy sweetness of the “traditional” Christmas holiday.  In order to preserve that warm, cozy sweetness, we have to gloss over … Continue reading Pastor Note #87: Christmas — A Peasant King and the Foolishness of God

Quote of Note #85: Forgiving, Caring, Healing Heart of God

"The question is not:  How many people take you seriously?  How much are you going to accomplish?  Can you show some results?  But: Are you in love with Jesus?  Perhaps another way to put the question would be: Do you know the incarnate God?  In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous … Continue reading Quote of Note #85: Forgiving, Caring, Healing Heart of God

Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33

This event – the reconciliation of Esau and Jacob – has long captured my imagination.  The rupturing of their relationship was overflowing with emotion.  So, it should be no surprise that the reconciliation here is also full of emotion.  There is also a large measure of raw, burly physicality in the reconciliation of these two … Continue reading Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33

Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

  After the experience of having Jesus walk up to them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee as they were struggling to row their boat across to the other side, Mark says this about the disciples, “They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened” … Continue reading Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Pastor Note #75: Abortion: Not Just a Legal Issue

What is the goal for the Pro-Life movement in America?  Is the goal that we should strive to make abortion illegal?  Or is the goal that we should strive to end abortion?  It’s very important that we should recognize that those two are not the same goal.  I will assert that those who believe that … Continue reading Pastor Note #75: Abortion: Not Just a Legal Issue

Pastor Note #73: No “Us” and “Them”: Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love

No “Us” and “Them”:  Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love A Sermon Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church on August 20, 2017 Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Venice Presbyterian Church Cecil Township, PA http://www.venice-church.org Acts 15:1-21 Since you can’t help but notice it, let me acknowledge that I’m going to do something here this morning that … Continue reading Pastor Note #73: No “Us” and “Them”: Race, Ethnicity, and the Mandate of Love

Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

I am always torn by this story—by the inherent social tension in the story.  This passage and the accounts in the other Synoptic Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke) see this event as taking place on the first day of the same week in which Jesus would be crucified.  And I see no good reason to argue with that … Continue reading Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

Sermon #62 — “Our King: An Ash Wednesday Sermon”

All of the gospel writers note that Pontius Pilate, the military governor of the Roman province of Judea, posted a placard over Jesus’ head on his cross.  This practice was quite normal and usual for a Roman execution.  On that placard, called in Latin a titulus, the Romans would write out the crime for which … Continue reading Sermon #62 — “Our King: An Ash Wednesday Sermon”