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Sermons, lectures and teachings from Christ Church Jerusalem, founded 1849 as a center of prayer for all nations with worship reflecting the Jewish context of the gospel.


Jerusalem, Israel


Sermons, lectures and teachings from Christ Church Jerusalem, founded 1849 as a center of prayer for all nations with worship reflecting the Jewish context of the gospel.



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Healing is Restoring to Life | Rev David Pileggi

In Mark 5, we are faced with two accounts of healing: that of a woman with an emission of blood, and the raising of a young girl from the dead. Both are examples of life-restoration. The latter story is more obvious, but the former story also deals directly with death (as "the life is in the blood," Leviticus 17:11). Jesus, then, is God-at-war with death–rescuing us from the inevitable consequence of our sinful, fractured world. We, too, wage war on death as we embolden one another further into faith, by which we invite God's rule and reign over our lives to rid us of death itself. Readings: Lamentations 3:22-33; Psalm 130; Mark 5:21-43


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The Kingdom Feels Like Home | Rev. Yoel Ben David

When thinking and speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven, we often imagine it as unimaginable–totally alien to this broken world. But Jesus' many parables help us to consider it in familiar terms. And something about it–a Kingdom we have yet to experience in its fullness–begins to feel like home. Readings: Ezekiel 31:1–14; Psalm 92; 2 Corinthians 5:1–10; Mark 4:26–34


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Don't You Care? | Rev. David Pileggi

The story of Jesus silencing the storm not only tells us something essential about Jesus but also about his disciples - both ancient and modern. Like the disciples in the boat, our faith can be overcome by fear and can fail us during times of upheaval and uncertainty. At such times we can become offended by what we consider to be God’s lack of concern for us, just like those disciples being swamped by the waves. "Don’t You care? A failure to deal with those fears will keep us from becoming partners with God, being obedient and taking the risks to perform the mission that God has for each one of us. Readings: Job 38:1-18; Psalm 107:1-32; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Mark 4:35-5:20


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A CENSUS | Judges 13:2-25 with Philip Morrow

The Nazirite vow is a bewildering tradition in Torah, seemingly appropriated by the era of the Judges in many odd ways. The foretold birth of Samson in Judges 13:2-25 gives us some clues as to how traditions had changed in the era without a prophet or king to guide Israelites in Torah-living.


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Can Suffering Bring Hope and Faith? | Rev John Arnold

The world is filled with terrors—disease, disasters, violence, and death, reminiscent of the trials faced since Adam and Eve. Psalm 116 acknowledges these fears but expresses unwavering trust in God’s deliverance. Paul, in II Corinthians 4:12-5:1, echoes this faith amidst persecution, driven by his belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Both the Psalmist and Paul remind us that our earthly struggles are temporary. Our bodies, like tents, will be replaced by eternal, heavenly dwellings. Despite the world’s terrors, God’s grace and mercy promise salvation and eternal life. Embracing this eternal perspective helps us face fears with confidence, knowing future glory far outweighs present trials. Readings: Genesis 3:1-21; Psalm 116; II Corinthians 4:13-5:5; Mark 3:20-35


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What Kind Of Jewish Rabbi Is Jesus? | Rev David Pileggi

As the evangelical world rediscovers the Jewishness of Jesus, we enrich our understanding of His full human identity. But it can be difficult to understand his "Jewishness" in contrast to his contemporaries, most notably among the Pharisees. When we find him accused of breaking Torah (Mark 2), and when he criticizes Pharisaical practices in turn, we are thrown into the same confusing debate alongside his disciples: what kind of Jewish rabbi is Jesus? Readings: Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Psalm 81:1-10; Mark 2:23-3:6


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IN THE WILDERNESS | Hosea 2:1-22 with John Arnold

IN THE WILDERNESS | Hosea 2:1-22 with John Arnold by Christ Church Jerusalem


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MY LAWS | Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 with John Arnold

MY LAWS | Jeremiah 16:19-17:14 with John Arnold by Christ Church Jerusalem


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Healing from the Father, Son, and Spirit | Rev David Pileggi (Trinity Sunday 2024)

The celebration of Trinity Sunday gives us the opportunity to deepen our understanding of God and His saving work. It is so much more than the forgiveness of sin and justification. It also means healing and transformation, enabling us to put away our harmful individualism and self-interest and become the children of God, living with one another in a way that displays that holy life our Father shares with the Son and Spirit. Readings: Isaiah 6:1-8; Psalm 29; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17


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The Spirit’s Answer to Suffering | Rev. Yoel Ben David (Pentecost Sunday 2024)

Amidst some of the highest praise and evident joy in all of his writings, Paul in Romans chapter 8 guides us through Gospel resources in the face of suffering. He posits that our suffering is felt alongside Creation, and that the Holy Spirit Himself knows this suffering well and communicates it on our behalf to the Father. Readings: John 16:4-15; Romans 8:18-27


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ON THE MOUNT | Jeremiah 32:6-27 with Philip Morrow

The Year of Jubilee is like a great reset for the children of Israel. Every 50 years, at the culmination of 7 cycles of the "Shabbat year," all land reverts back to its earliest family ownership. Debts are cleared, indentured servants are freed, and countless families' connection to their land is reestablished. Jeremiah relied on this teaching in Torah when he chose to purchase land from his cousin ("redeeming" it, i.e. keeping it in the family) even though everyone expected that land to be conquered soon anyway. Why would Jeremiah waste money on a purchase soon to be rendered fruitless? "For thus says the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land." (Jeremiah 32:15)


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SPEAK! | Ezekiel 44:15-31 with John Arnold

The Levites are a unique group within the children of Israel. They are a 13th tribe not allotted any territory and yet chosen to render eternal priestly service on behalf of their brethren. Ezekiel, Isaiah, and other prophets all envision the Levites persisting even into the New Creation and maintaining their unique identity in it. Who are they to us today?


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HOLY ONES | Ezekiel 20:2-20 with Aaron Eime

Holiness is not built by good behaviors, but itself characterizes those who obey God's commands. Holiness, then, is not bought with righteous behavior; but without righteous behavior, there is no evidence of holiness, even where there should be. This is what Ezekiel sees and condemns.


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Ascension of the Lord is Not Abandonment but Commission | Rev. Aaron Eime (Ascension Sunday 2024)

The Ascension of our Lord is not an act of abandonment, but of commission. In John's Gospel, we are told that only after Christ's Ascension can we receive His promised Holy Spirit, Who empowers us to live out the calling he gave us. "Just as the Father sent me," Jesus says, "so I am sending you." May we ever seek to find Him present among us in Spirit, until the day we will see Him face to face. Readings: Acts 1:15-17,21-26; Psalm 68:1-20; 1 John 5:9-13; John 17:6-19


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For God So Loved the World... | Rev. David Pileggi

Many people, even some Christians, think that the Old Testament is only about Law and the New Testament is Love. But the ancient revelation was not changed by Jesus or Paul, although our ignorance of the Hebrew Bible, and perhaps even some anti-Semitism prevents us from seeing the connection. God’s election of the people of Israel was an unmerited act of grace and love, and only then is Israel commanded to love God by keeping his commandments (one of which is to love the marginalized. Deut.10:19). In today’s readings we see that Christians are also chosen by God and we abide with Him by keeping His commandments and loving one another. One well respected biblical scholar of the Old Testament has summarized this overarching theme of the Bible by saying: For God so loved the world … that he chose the people of Israel. Readings: Acts 10:44-48; Deuteronomy 10:12-24; John 15:9-17


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AFTER THEIR DEATH | Ezekiel 22:1-16 with David Pileggi

Ezekiel is doubtless one of the harshest books of scripture, and this week's Haftara pairs with one of the harshest rituals in Torah: the double-sacrifice of a live goat and a scapegoat. This sacrifice on the Day of Atonement cleanses the people of both ritual and moral impurities. In it, we see the ancient connection between obedience and life; we also see the connection between disobedience and death, which Ezekiel so harshly comments on.


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Love In Action: History or Insanity

From the Fifth Sunday of Easter, this sermon draws parallels between Deuteronomy 4:32-40, John 15:1-8, and 1 John 4:7-21, emphasizing the profound significance of history and love in the context of faith in action–or faithfulness. Through Moses's words, listeners are urged to reflect on the unparalleled actions of God throughout history, contrasting His active involvement with the inactivity of false gods. The passage in John calls believers to abide in God's love, producing fruit that glorifies Him. Furthermore, 1 John stresses that love is the defining characteristic of a true disciple, intertwining with obedience to God's commandments. We should examine ourselves whether we truly abide in Him. Without love, we prove we aren’t truly among God’s disciples. But through God’s love acting in the world through us, we can show God to those around us. Readings: Deuteronomy 4:32-40; 1 John 4:7-21; John 15:1-8


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Two Stories, One Redemption | Rev. Aaron Eime (Erev Pesach)

At the very heart of the gospel is the story of Passover: that final night in Egypt when God completed His judgments against the rebellious Pharaoh and called His own people out into freedom. We often think of Christ's death through the lens of atonement for sins, but its coinciding with Passover tells us something else about the gospel–namely, that we are shielded from wrath and invited into peace with God if we participate in obedience to His command. Redemption, repentance, and the gospel itself are participatory and inclusive. So when we share the gospel with our neighbors, we invite them to participate in our same redemption, living out the story of Passover every day. Readings: Exodus 12:1-13; Acts 3:12-19; Luke 24:36-48


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In Times of Danger | Rev. David Pileggi (Good Shepherd Sunday)

The image of shepherds and shepherding in the biblical text stands in sharp contrast to the romantic pictures of fat sheep on luxuriant, green hillsides that we see in popular Christian culture. The biblical image, best reflected in Psalm 23, is set in the dangerous Judean wilderness with wild animals, “the valley of the shadow of death”; sporadic grass and rain which (even today) can suddenly turn to perilous flash floods, "green pastures … still waters." When the Bible describes God as Shepherd, His sheep can say, “I shall not want” in this precarious world, and in the world to come, “I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” In the Gospel of John, Jesus also describes Himself as the Good Shepherd who provides in this world (John 7-9) and for eternity. “I give them eternal life and they shall never perish.” (10) Readings: Ezekiel 34:1-16; Psalm 23; John 10:11


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Faith in the Face of Trauma: Thomas' Encounter with the Risen Lord | Rev. Daryl Fenton

Our current age, like all others that came before, is one full of trauma and death. And though both are such common realities, neither of them feel "normal" to us. They can render us illogical and reveal significant gaps in our faith. We see this well in the story of Thomas. The same Thomas who had claimed readiness to die with Jesus (John 11:16) would later reject that Jesus had been raised from the dead (20:24). And yet, Jesus honors Thomas' need for assurance, and empowers him to more fully believe. This belief would eventually be carried to the shores of India, where Thomas died in faith. We, "who have not seen and yet believed," (20:29) count our faith a blessing, and yet should learn from Thomas that the Lord will meet us in the gaps of our faith, to strengthen it. Our challenge as disciples is to develop faith that strengthens us in the face of trauma and a resolute hope in the transitory nature of death for those who trust in Jesus. If you so choose, prayerfully fill out this self-assessment of your faith and see where you need the Lord to meet you. Readings: 1 John 1:1-2:3; Psalm 133; John 20:19-31