God is Always in Charge

Sermon Text:  Genesis 45:1-5, Romans 8:18-25, 28-35, 37-39

At the beginning of our text today from Genesis, Joseph weeps uncontrollably. He has to send all his Egyptian servants out of the room, but they can still hear him from the next room weeping in the presence of his brothers.

His older brothers had sold him into slavery when he was a boy because he was favored by his father and they were jealous of him. Besides, he was an obnoxious kid. He had dreams that he told his father and brothers about, in which he was to rule over his brothers and his father. So his brothers hated him and got rid of him by selling him to some Midianite traders, who, in turn, sold him in Egypt as a slave. Then they lied to his father, saying a wild animal killed him...Read full sermon here (PDF)

The Persecuted

Sermon Text:  Matthew 5:10-12 & Matthew 10:16-25

As William Sloan Coffin observed, “Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies;’ he didn’t say, ‘Don’t make any.’  Rather, he said, ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’” There are lots of different kinds of human suffering: illness, loneliness, and natural disasters. But Jesus like the prophets before him, endured – in addition to all the other forms of suffering -- a special kind of suffering called prophetic suffering, which is the backlash of power against truth....Read full sermon here (PDF)