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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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Recent James Ellis' Key Voice Blog Articles

The Rev. James Ellis III Article

April 16, 2014

Staying Awake with Jesus (A Sermon on Matthew 26:36-46)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Palm Sunday reminds us of the conundrum of the human experience and the beauty of Jesus' sacrifice, the decision to love us to death. Even in the midst of betrayal, tribulation, and anxiety, Jesus chose to move forward with the fulfillment of Scripture that testifies of himself. Friends are important on this side of heaven, but Jesus is the most important friend any of us will ever have.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

January 26, 2014

The Sabbath as a Lesson on Rest and Work (A Sermon on Exodus 20:8-11)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Some things in life rock our world more than others. For most American Christians heeding God’s expectations about the Sabbath is challenging. Though we may stumble there is hope. The truth is that we need to rest and work in ways that are life-giving, ways that are likely very different than popular norms.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

December 08, 2013

God’s Antibiotics

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Perhaps the only adult with this malady; I am a big baby when it comes to taking medicine, especially the liquid kind. It is unbearable. But much like our walk with God, sometimes, many times we must do things that are difficult, which lead to blessings we don’t deserve. If anything, Christianity represents a holy transformation from childish to responsible behavior. Modification for sure, but fueled by God’s loving presence.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

October 21, 2013

Two Responses to Fear (A Sermon on Exodus 1:10-11, 17)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

A normal yet provocative emotion, when handled improperly fear suffocates hope and haunts dreams. Even so, it has been treated negligently especially by those in positions of leadership. In his personal journal Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “Nothing is so much to be feared as fear.” While we should appreciate the sentiment, we are wise still to navigate fear in ways that honor the craftsmanship with which we were created, cleaving to God for protection in all things.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

October 02, 2013

The Blessing of Time

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Columbia Theological Seminary selected me to be in-residence on their campus recently as a Guthrie Scholar. Opportunities to “center down” away from life’s busyness are hard to come by, so I am thankful for the time to rest and reflect on my faith and vocation in new ways. What follows is an account of the experience.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

August 11, 2013

The Folly of Forgetfulness (A Sermon on Psalm 50:22-23)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

In this fast-paced, multitasking world of ours, we forget all kinds of things. Sometimes it is to cut the grass. Other times it is to pay a bill. However, we would do well to remember how very present and good God always is. We don’t have to live a life of forgetfulness. There is a better way.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

June 09, 2013

The Road Less Traveled (A Sermon on Exodus 13:17-18)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. This often is how we expect God to guide us in life, moving us steadily along like Monopoly pieces from one experience to another, in logical succession with little to no drama along the way. But God is not like us and has reasons for leading us to, through, and away from that which we don’t understand. God is the picture of providence!
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

June 03, 2013

Adults Honoring Their Parents

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

Age doesn’t determine wisdom. Young people aren’t automatically lacking it just as older people don’t automatically possess it. It is so easy for parents to become clouded by what they want for their adult children, forgetting that God is the definitive parent to them all, exclusively to whom they will all answer.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

May 09, 2013

Doing More with Less

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

On the wall of theoretical physicist, Albert Einstein’s office at Princeton University was a sign that read: "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." As priest and prophet, Zechariah stands in the chasm of great tradition whose emphasis is quality, not quantity, so God told him to tell the people, “Who despises the day of small things?” Oh, how we superficially value only that which to human eyes looks adequate and glamorous.
The Rev. James Ellis III Article

February 20, 2013

A Case Study in Unrestrained Emotions (A Sermon on Genesis 38:13-19)

The Rev. James Ellis, III (CBF)

I had the opportunity recently of preaching at University Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Hyattsville, MD. The Rev. Nathan Hill, their new senior minister, and I are members of the 2012-13 cohort of Lewis Fellows through Wesley Theological Seminary’s Center for Church Leadership, so it was special to worship God in spirit and in truth with both colleague and congregation. Lord, hear our prayers.