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”

Quotes of Note #1 Healing and Redemption

". . .  Jesus is working to restore the original vision of creation.  Jesus starts from the innermost part of us, the seat of our relationship with God, and works outward to include our physical being.  This process is like what [C. S.] Lewis called 'death working backwards,' as the ravaging effects of the Fall … Continue reading Quotes of Note #1 Healing and Redemption

Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

Sermon #58 — The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus

The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus A Sermon Preached on John 20:19-23 (see also Revelation 21:1-5) at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PA on April 12, 2014 Are we serious about serving an incarnate, an embodied God?  Do we really mean it?  And if we do, what does it mean for us that … Continue reading Sermon #58 — The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus

Sermon #56 — “The Mighty Power of God,” an Easter Sermon

"The Mighty Power of God" Ephesians 1:15-23 & Ezekiel 37:1-14A Sermon preached at Venice Presbyterian Church (EPC), Cecil Township, PA Easter Sunday April 5, 2015 What are we to say in the face of the brokenness and evil and suffering of our lives?  What does God say?  No, actually, what does he do?  Look at … Continue reading Sermon #56 — “The Mighty Power of God,” an Easter Sermon