Awakening to Hope

Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-9

Speaker: Rev. Dr. John Whitaker

Isaiah hopes God will save Israel. Isaiah wants God to subdue enemies. Isaiah wants God to do mighty miracles like God did in the days of Moses. The preacher reasons that with mighty miracles all will be well. Then the preacher remembers that not all was well during the time of Moses. The preacher remembers that the Israelites transgressed against God despite all the miracles. Hope does not require knowing how God will act. Hope trusts God will act. Hope leaves the how to God.

Standards of the Kingdom

Scripture: Matthew 25:31-40

Speaker: Rev. Dr. John Whitaker

Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. Jesus has some standards for his followers. God is generous with us. We are to be generous toward others. Help those in need who lack the basics of life--food, water, clothing, and shelter. Welcome the marginalized. Welcome the stranger and the prisoner--those marginalized by others' choices and their own.

Proof of Presence

Scripture: Exodus 33:12-23

Speaker: Rev. Dr. John Whitaker

God knows Moses. Moses wants to know God's ways. Moses asks for proof of the presence of God. The proof of God's presence is the goodness of God. Who God is and what God does are absolutely consistent. God is merciful and compassionate. God's presence cannot be completely seen because God is holy. Moses sees that God will lead (Moses sees the back of God.) Moses and the Israelites can follow despite failures. God calls us to follow despite our failures.