“The Shared Practice of Prayer” on Matthew 6:5-6 by Joe Ellis – Jan. 29, 2023
You know what they say about people who assume, don’t you? We all need to make assumptions in order to get through life. For example, I’m assuming that everyone here speaks English — it's super helpful for prepping a sermon to know that I only need to worry about preaching in English, and not French Canadian. I’m starting out by bizarrely defending our right to assume because throughout this passage Jesus is making some major assumptions. Did you notice His assumptions at
“How to be a True Hypocrite” on Matthew 6:2-4 by Joe Ellis — Jan. 22, 2023
Last week I framed this section in the Sermon on the Mount as Jesus talking about practices specific to being part of the family that Jesus is forming around him. Today, we’re invited to reflect on the family practice of giving. I was initially not fired up about preaching on this passage. The application seemed pretty obvious, which I’d summarize as: ‘Let’s give away our money, and when we do, let’s not make a big deal out of it. Don’t let people know what you’re doing.’
“Promising to be Family” on Matthew 6:1 by Joe Ellis — Epiphany Jan. 15, 2023
Let’s take a moment to notice something that happened earlier in the service. We made a promise to a baby. It doesn’t happen often that strangers make promises to a baby. Really, to Cornelia most of us are strangers to her. Not many of us have probably held Cornelia, but together we still made a promise to her. This could be considered odd, that strangers would make a promise to a baby. It might be more common for parents to make promises to their children (whether they
“A Recipe for Home” on Isaiah 55 by Joe Ellis — New Years Day, 2023
Our time together this morning is an opportunity to pause, reflect and ask, “Who do we want to be as people, as families, and as a church as we walk into 2023?” If I were to choose one word for us to build 2023 around it’d be this: Home. This morning I’d like to take time to wonder how, in 2023, we can cultivate Home in our relationships, and our families, and our church. I think I’ve found a Bible passage that can help us to think about Home more deeply — it's Isaiah 55.