NextSunday Worship

Dr. Paul A. Baxley

  • January 26, 2014

    “Leaving to Follow”

    Year A – The Third Sunday after Epiphany

    In two decades of ministry, almost every time I have taught a Bible Study or preached a sermon from Matthew’s account of the calling of the disciples, someone has approached me wanting to talk about the immediacy of the response of the first four disciples. After all, as Matthew and Mark both tell it, Jesus […]

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  • January 19, 2014

    “Gathering a Church”

    Year A – The Second Sunday after Epiphany

    When the majestic prologue of the Fourth Gospel gives way to narrative, we find ourselves reading a carefully constructed account of the very first week of Jesus’ ministry. As Charles Talbert suggested in his commentary Reading John, John 1:19-2:12 focuses on nothing less than the creation of discipleship, as we watch the beginnings of Jesus’ […]

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  • January 12, 2014

    “Going Public”

    Year A – Epiphany: Baptism of the Lord Sunday

    From the very beginning, there has been an energetic conversation about Jesus’ baptism by John in the Jordan River. Why does Jesus need to be baptized at all? Why does he present himself? Why does he step out of the large crowds that came out to hear John preach in the region along that river […]

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  • January 5, 2014

    “Our Testimony”

    Year A – Second Sunday after Christmas Day

    Until now, every time I have approached the prologue of John’s Gospel with an eye toward preaching this magnificent text, I have sensed an almost irresistible temptation to try to preach the rich theology contained in these eighteen verses. After all, John 1:1-5 and John 1:14-18 have been indescribably influential on the formation of the […]

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  • July 28, 2013

    “A Baptized Imagination”

    Year C – Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - (Proper 12)

    “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.” With these words Paul offers a clear warning to the church at Colossae, and his warning raises a basic question not only for the […]

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  • July 21, 2013

    “First Place in Everything!”

    Year C – Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - (Proper 11)

     It is essentially impossible to hear Colossians 1:15-20 read without taking note of the way the language of the text describes Jesus. Theologians would describe what we find here as an extremely high Christology! Jesus is described as the firstborn of all creation, the firstborn from the dead, the head of the church, intended to […]

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  • July 14, 2013

    “Growing in the Whole World and Growing Here”

    Year C – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - (Proper 10)

     “Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God”  Did you hear the stunning, breath-taking, exceedingly provocative claim in the opening verses of Paul’s letter to the Colossians? The Apostle tells […]

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  • July 7, 2013

    “The Limits of Extraordinary Power and the Power of Ordinary Faith”

    Year C – Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - (Proper 9)

    This compelling account of the healing of Naaman is first of all a vivid illustration of the limits of extraordinary power. Everywhere you look in the text there is recurring evidence of what really powerful people cannot do.  First there is the case of Naaman himself. When he appears in this text, he does so […]

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