Deliver Us From Evil

[title]

Kings and queens.  Nobles and nobodies.  Courts and castles.  Feasts and fortitude.  Humor and heroes.  Violence and vitriol. 

Over the course of the next couple of months, we are going to drop into the book of Esther, in our Sermon series, Deliver us from Evil.  The story is familiar to many, but the messages coming from it, are not as obvious.  This book interprets humankind, it interprets us, even as we learn more about God.

We are going to take a Christ-centered approach, and even more particularly, we are going to look and listen to this text, through a cross-shaped lens.  This is in keeping with God the Father.  Jesus went with Peter and James atop a mountain.  Moses and Elijah, representing the law and prophets, appeared before them, with Jesus.  But when Peter and James got confused, Moses and Elijah left, and God’s voice rumbled for them to hear, saying, listen to Jesus (Matthew 17:5).  This is in keeping with the Holy Spirit, who testifies about Jesus (John 15:26). 

We are following in the footsteps of the first disciples, as we employ a cross-shaped or cruciform approach to understanding what the Lord has to say to us through scripture.  The Apostle Paul interprets the Old Testament in light of the cross of Jesus.  We are following the way of the first Anabaptist Mennonite women and men, who, by their actions, initiated what is called the “radical” reformation, due to their conviction following Jesus, meant a cross-shaped way of living.

He is the only One Who has, Who does, and Who will, Deliver Us From Evil.  And that, by way of the cross.

Taking notes during this series will be different than usual, in light of the New Testament, Jesus Christ, and the cross.  We ask questions, leaving room for responses, rather than filling in the blanks. 

  • What is mentioned? 
  • Who and what is present, or conspicuous by its absence? 
  • What does the scene remind you of?
  • How are you responding (reacting), your thoughts and  feelings? 
  • Are you positive and in favor, or negative and against? 
  • Why particularly are you responding this way? 
  • Is this Christ-like?  What does this reveal about humankind?

This is the beauty of historic narrative, biblical story-telling.  It invites us in, funding our imagination, and sharpening our minds against the hard questions it raises.

Date Sermon Speaker Scripture Supplement Study guide Audio
Aug 26, 2018 Catching On? Garry Koop Esther 8 - 10 View

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Jul 29, 2018 Living Without Enemies. Garry Koop Esther 7:1-10 View

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Jul 22, 2018 In the Shadow of the Gallows Garry Koop Esther 6:1-14 View

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Jul 1, 2018 The Feasts and the Furious. Garry Koop Esther 5:1-14 View

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Jun 24, 2018 A Wail of a Time. Garry Koop Esther 4:1-17 View

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May 27, 2018 Pride and Prejudice. Garry Koop Esther 3:1-15 View

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May 6, 2018 Susa's Next Top Model. Garry Koop Esther 2:1-23 View

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Apr 29, 2018 Master Mind. Garry Koop Esther 1:1-22 View

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