• Galatians 1:11-24 Called by God (Brettell)

    St. Paul's is a small congregation. It may never be a huge congregation. But does it need to be? St. Paul's is not a wealthy congregation. But does it need to be? God isn't calling us to be huge and wealthy. God is calling us to serve this community, to be a part of this community, to be a source of God's message in this community.

  • Galatians 1:11-24 By What Name Are You Called? (McLarty)

    Just so we're clear: Jesus was not Presbyterian. Nor was he Baptist … or Methodist … or Catholic … or a member of any denomination. If he came back today he'd be appalled at the way the church bearing his name has become so splintered and divided. In many ways, the church today is foreign to everything Jesus prayed for.

  • Galatians 2:15-21 Justification by Faith (Brettell)

    When Augustine described our efforts to do things that will "get us right with God" he used a Latin phrase to describe what we're doing. Martin Luther picked up that same phrase. That Latin phrase is "in curvatus se." It means being curved in upon oneself.

  • Galatians 2:15-21, Who’s in the Center of Your Circle? (McLarty)

    Imagine a bull's eye, the kind you use in target practice – ever-expanding concentric circles. Now imagine the names you would put in the bands, giving priority to those most important to you – close friends near the center; distant acquaintances on the fringes. Now, ask yourself: Who's in the center of your circle? Who's in the bull's eye?

  • Galatians 3:23-29 All in the Family (Wagner)

    "Rudy" was a young man who dreamed to play football at Notre Dame. Unfortunately his small stature kept him out of the starting lineup. In the last game of his senior year, his teammates convinced the coach to let him in the game with only a few seconds left. It was a tremendous moment in his life. Paul is saying here that when it comes to faith, everyone is Rudy.

  • Galatians 3:23-29 How Wide Is Your Circle? (McLarty)

    How wide is your circle … your circle of inclusion … your circle of influence? That's what I'd like for us to think about this morning. How inclusive are you of people of other beliefs and values … of other races, nationalities and lifestyles? How inclusive ought you to be?

  • Galatians 3:26-29 Transcending the Tribe (Bowen)

    NOTE: This appears to be a sermon about the Magi (Matthew 2:1-12). However, I include it here, because it fits the emphasis of the Galatians text that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).

  • Galatians 3:27-29 The Gift of Family (McLarty)

    One of the critical stages of growing up is to accept the fact that your parents are not gods – never have been, never will be. They don't have all the answers, they can't leap tall buildings in a single bound, they're not always going to be there to bail you out. Bottom line: Give your parents the respect that's due them, but pay your ultimate allegiance to God.

  • Galatians 3:27-28 Making Meaning (Bowen)

    Having nurtured his father through his father's last weeks, Stein said, "If you care about the people in your life who have cared about you, that by itself is an incredibly successful, great life. That by itself is more than winning prizes and money." That seems to me consonant with what that man of Galilee is about.

  • Galatians 4:4-7 Christmas with St. Paul (Hoffacker)

    Jesus' entry among us makes it possible for us to be accounted children of God, not by right, but by gift--not by nature, but by adoption. This is the other side of Christmas--rarely is mentioned in the flurry of activity culminating on December 25. The Son of God became human, and makes it possible for us to share in divine life.

  • Galatians 5:1, 13-25 Live by the Spirit (Brettell)

    Following December 7, 1941—the attack on Pearl Harbor—church attendance soared. Why? Because those who were not regular church attendees knew that they could go to church to receive comfort. Yet in the weeks following 9/11, no such surge in attendance occurred. Why?

  • Galatians 5:1, 13-26 Presbyterian Pentecostalism (McLarty)

    When the preacher started his sermon, the visitor shouted, "Amen!" and "Hallelujah!" Finally, one of the elders asked, "Mister, what's your problem?" The man looked up and said, "Problem? I don't have a problem. I've just got the Spirit, that's all." The elder looked at him and said, "Well, you certainly didn't get it here!"

  • Galatians 5:1, 13-23 Freedom to Choose (McLarty)

    For freedom Christ has set us free. I can't think of a more appropriate word for the day as we stand on the threshold of yet another Fourth of July and the celebration of our nation's independence.

  • Galatians 5:11, 13-25 Free to Be Free (Donovan)

    I am reminded of a cartoon. Satan is addressing newly-inducted souls who are standing in the flames. He says: "You'll find there's no right or wrong here. Just what works for you." Doesn't that sound familiar? Isn't that the modern creed! I ask, "Is it working for us? Have we created a better world for our children?" I think not!

  • Galatians 5:13-15 Fully Free (Bowen)

    A father was talking with his rather rebellious son one day and said, "Every person who lives in the United States is a privileged person." The boy answered, "I disagree." And the Father replied, "That's the privilege."

  • Galatians 6:1-16 The Family of Christ (Brettell)

    The issue that Paul was dealing with in the first century of Christianity is no different from an issue we deal with here in the 21st century. It is an issue of inclusion vs. exclusion. It is an issue of barriers—barriers to belonging that have been created by the minds of God's children; not by the mind of God.

  • Galatians 6:7-13 Signs of the New Creation (McLarty)

    Here's the bottom line: Scripture speaks of the new creation in different ways. If you look carefully through the eyes of faith, you'll see signs of God's re-creation in each of them. With that in mind, let us pray: "Open my eyes, that I may see // Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me; // Place in my hands the wonderful key // That shall unclasp and set me free."