Filled

Scott Hoezee

Read: Luke 1:39-45 And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. (v. 41) It happened again! Recently an archangel of God had visited Mary but acted as though Mary were the important one in the room. Now Mary visits her much older cousin Elizabeth, and she does the same thing, all but bowing down in front of Mary and asking why she deserved such an exalted visit from the mother of her Lord. Surely Mary’s eyes widened all over again. …

Let It Be

Scott Hoezee

Read: Luke 1:26-38 Let it be to me according to your word. (v. 38) Angel visits scare people to death. It was no different for Mary who never expected such a thing in her little bedroom. But no sooner does Gabriel arrive than he turns the tables. Mary need not feel honored that Gabriel was there. Gabriel was honored that Mary was there and he greets her like royalty, like she were the bright and shining one! Clearly something big …

Zechariah

Scott Hoezee

Read: Luke 1:5-25, 76-79 Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this?” (v. 18) It’s a good question. Logical. It seems no different than the question Mary asked: “How will this be, since I am a virgin?” When angels show up, it’s a fair bet they will announce something unusual. You don’t dispatch an angel to give the weather report or remind someone of a dentist appointment. Angels announce surprising things, and so in addition to falling back …

First Sermon

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:14-15 Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God. (v. 14) Mark moves right along. Without giving any details, he swiftly informs us that John the Baptist got thrown into jail. For Jesus this seems to have been like the ringing of a bell to signal the start of his own ministry. John was finished preparing the way and so now it was time for Jesus to head down that way himself. Not surprisingly, he starts by …

Shalom

Scott Hoezee

Read: Mark 1:12-13 The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. (v. 12) Everything in Mark happens “immediately” or “at once” (this occurs 11 times in Mark 1). This story is fast-paced. No sooner is Jesus baptized than immediately the Spirit who came as a dove transforms into a different bird: a hawk or an eagle that picks Jesus up in his talons and (literally in Greek) hurls him headfirst into the dangerous wilderness. Why? If Jesus is God’s …