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  1. Sermons : It Was God

    Psalm 133
    Genesis 45:1-15

    After selling their brother Joseph into slavery, I am pretty sure they assumed they would never see him again. They had thrown him in a pit to die, sold for twenty pieces of silver. He calls them closer: “I am your brother…” and he pauses for what must have felt like forever. Then he says it: DO not be upset or angry over what you did to me. For – Joseph theologically interprets his whole story – God sent me before you to preserve life. Joseph has a really high sense of God’s providence. There has been a famine that will last five more years, he says, and God had you sell me into slavery in order to get me here, to keep the people, to keep the promise, alive. You didn’t send me here, as much as you think you did. It was God.

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  2. Sermons : August 13 Youth Sunday

    Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

    Two of Westminster’s rising seniors preached on Youth Sunday.

    Daniel

    In two weeks I will begin my senior year of high school, the year I have to make some of the most important decisions in my life. Where will I go to college, what do I want to study, and what does my future hold for me? In our Scripture reading for today, we learn that Joseph has a dream, a prophecy, that people will one day bow down to him. I have been asking myself, how does Joseph’s story relate to my life? Will God help guide me and help me find my calling? Will I allow my vision for the future to be woven with what God has planned for me? Sometimes, I wish that a prophesy would come to me in a dream, so that way I would know what God has planned for me, and I wouldn’t have to do the planning part myself.

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  3. Sermons : Holy Wrestling

    Genesis 32:22-31

    In order to engage this text we have to be serious about conflict. Jacob is in deep. Three Sundays ago we read Genesis 25. After twenty years of waiting, Isaac and Rebekah are pregnant with twins. On the appointed day, Esau, the first son is born, and right behind him, his brother Jacob. Jacob is literally gripping his older brother’s heel, his name meaning “he who holds by the heel,” or – isn’t this rich? – “he who supplants”.[1] Esau and Jacob grow up differently, with different gifts, which lead to very different relationships with their parents.

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  4. Sermons : The Not Yet

    Jeremiah 29:10-14
    Genesis 29:15-28

    It will be no surprise to you that this story makes me wince. How Laban uses his daughters as chess pieces in a grand-scale game of possession, deceit, and greed. How Leah’s identity is kept secret until the morning after her wedding to Jacob and how Jacob doesn’t notice she isn’t Rachel until then. How Zilpah, Laban’s maid, is traded around from master to master. And yet, the Spirit led my somewhat willing heart to a more sympathetic understanding of this story, of Jacob. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m still at odds with the patriarchy at play here but there is more we need to hear. Let us remember together the arc of Jacob’s story:

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  5. Sermons : Visions from God

    Genesis 28:10-19a
    Romans 8:18-25

    Do you dream at night? Or, the better question is, do you remember your dreams, because experts tell us we all dream, and we need that REM time in which we dream in order to be healthy. But some folks remember dreams, and others do not. Some people write their dreams down right away in order not to forget them. Some keep dream journals.  Psychologists generally regard dreams as a roadway to read the unconscious mind, to better understand our innermost thoughts and feelings. There are books and experts to interpret dreams. Some common elements in dreams are said to symbolize certain things – like, being chased, which is a common dream, is said to mean you are running from something; water can represent emotions, whether cloudy or clear, calm or turbulent; death may not symbolize death as much as the end of something, in order to make room for something new; flying (without a plane) is also a common dream, and can symbolize freedom; and so on.

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