*This is the complete 11:15 a.m. worship service from Sunday, September 25, 2016.

Good Morning!

The two familiar stories you will hear today, in the gospel of Matthew, about Jesus healing the blind men followed by Jesus healing the demon possessed man, gives an interesting insight into the way God works with grace and mercy in our lives. Often it is not only the gospel stories themselves that reveal to us God's wonderful imaginative love, but also the way that the gospel stories are ordered in the text. Both of these healing stories are in Matthew chapter 9. They are "back to back" in this chapter.

I will be exploring with you in the sermon what that reveals to us. Can we learn something about God in how the gospel writer sets up these two healing stories? I think so. The title of the sermon is "Two Voices of Grace". That gives you a hint in how I read and understand these stories. Through the Holy Spirit, the Bible is endlessly revealing God to us and endlessly creating our capacity to receive it. The Bible is also eternally good news for every time and place. It will be a joy to share the good news of the gospel with you from Matthew 9.

Dr. Leanne Van Dyk
President, Columbia Theological Seminary