Recent Posts

The End is Near

The End is Near

November 18, 2022 by Gregg DeMey

For most Americans, it’s not quite “the holidays” yet. But on the Christian calendar, in our peculiar way of keeping spiritual time, this Sunday marks the end of the year. While we won’t drop a spangly ball from the rafters or fill up the sanctuary with confetti, we will acknowledge that over this year and every year, Jesus is Lord. This Sunday is known as “Christ the King” Sunday and offers us the crucial reminder that God’s Kingdom is not a democracy. And despite the fact that Jesus would not get that many votes, he is the One who rules and reigns.

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The First Thanksgiving (Not what you think…)

The First Thanksgiving (Not what you think…)

November 11, 2022 by Gregg DeMey

No, the first Thanksgiving did not happen around an autumnal table with the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe in 1621. Thanksgiving goes back quite a bit further than that – all the way back to the Book of Genesis, chapter four, where we meet two brothers, Cain and Abel.

In some ways, Cain and Abel are the first humans who are truly like us. Neither of their parents, Adam and Eve, was carried by a mother but rather formed directly by the Creator. They knew the earthly paradise that was the Garden of Eden. And Adam and Eve knew the direct presence and voice of God in a way that we do not. Cain and Abel, however, were just like us. Born into a fallen world. Carried in their mother’s womb. Their only experience of life colored by the lens of sins’ corrupting power. We are them. They are us.

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Signs of Thanksgiving

Signs of Thanksgiving

November 4, 2022 by Gregg DeMey

We have a lovely tradition at Elmhurst CRC of encouraging the spiritual posture of gratitude for the entire month of November. In order to get the thankful momentum going, I shared the following paragraph with our worship planners this week, written by Princeton Seminary’s current president, M. Craig Barnes:

Until you become thankful, you will never find joy. Being thankful is not telling God you appreciate the fact that your life is not in shambles. If that is the basis of your gratitude, you are on slippery ground. Every day of your life you face the possibility that a blessing in your life may be taken away. But blessings are only signs of God’s love. The real blessing, of course, is the love itself. Whenever we get too attached to the sign, we lose our grasp on the God who gave it to us. Churches are filled with widows and widowers who can explain this to you. We are not ultimately grateful that we are still holding our blessings. We are grateful that we are held by God even when the blessings are slipping through our fingers. Only when we see this are we able to be truly joyful, because then we have made God our joy.

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Still Reforming

Still Reforming

October 28, 2022 by Gregg DeMey

This weekend marks the 505th anniversary of the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses and the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. That period of church history was marked by enormous cultural upheaval, a widespread consensus that the church needed cleaning up, and the invention of world-changing communication technology (the printing press!). Sound familiar?

Like 500 years ago, we live in a time of game-changing communication technology. Culture has never changed as rapidly as at the present, and certainly, we are living in an age where contentment with the institutional church is on the wane. Things are changing!

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Thorny Issues

Thorny Issues

October 20, 2022 by Gregg DeMey

In the recent sermon series on the Apostles’ Creed, I’ve quoted frequently from our denomination’s* recent report on human sexuality. For those who would like to dig a little deeper, you can follow these links to read a twelve-page executive summary of the CRCNA’s Human Sexuality Report. To access the entire Human Sexuality Report, you can click here.

I’ve had a number of folks ask specifically for the portion of the report that I quoted in the message on October 16. It’s included below in italics and is excerpted from the “Gender Identity” portion of the larger report.

Individuals who identify as transgender or have gender dysphoria need to be received without judgment as persons made in God’s image, valuable to God as they are.

In other words, they need to be welcomed with unconditional love.

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The Confessional Church

The Confessional Church

October 14, 2022 by Gregg DeMey

Some Christian churches say, “We have no creed but Christ.” I heartily endorse the thought that, in the end, it all comes down to the grace of God in Jesus. On the other hand, in this complex world, our church benefits from a commitment to submit to the Worldwide Creeds and Reformed Confessions that are our best attempt to summarize the teachings of Scripture. The act of humbly submitting to the creeds and confessions is what defines us as “confessional” and keeps us together with many other like-minded sisters and brothers in Christ.

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