Mark Giacobbe

Pastor of Community Life (Manayunk)

Mark grew up in Staten Island, New York. He graduated with his bachelors in Political Science from UPenn and went on to get his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He moved back to Philly in 2012 to pursue a PhD in Hermeneutics and Biblical Interpretation at Westminster Theological Seminary. When he’s not building his academic resume, Mark enjoys being outdoors and getting his passport stamped whenever possible. Mark is an avid musician and multi-instrumentalist, serving Citylight as a worship leader and lay pastor.


BIG IDEA: Walk by faith, not by sight
1. what faith is,
2. what faith looks like,
3. what faith looks for


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This week Pastor Mark unpacks the BIG IDEA of Hebrews 6:13-20: God’s promise is sure. We’ll see three ways we can respond to this truth that God’s promise is sure: Understand the promise. Trust the promise. Hope in the promise.

Citylight Manayunk | November 12, 2023 from Citylight Church on Vimeo


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Today, Pastor Mark kicks off our summer sermon series in the Psalms with a look at Psalm 14 and the BIG IDEA: It’s foolish to live without God.

  • The heart of foolishness (1-3)
  • The end of foolishness (4-6)
  • Hope for the foolish (7)



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Our very own Pastor Mark Giacobbe brings us the comforting BIG IDEA that The Holy One is Our Redeemer and backs it up with the points:

1) Why we need it
2) Why and How God does it
3) How we can respond?
a)Bear witness
b)Sing praise in the desert


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This week we hear from Pastor Mark about how Relying on Works is Foolish; he argues it’s not just “wrong,” but actually dumb, and we’re going to see three reasons the Apostle Paul gives why:
1.) Your experience of the Spirit proves it.
2) Scripture proves it.
3) Relying on works brings a curse.


ESV Study Bible
Tony Evans Study Bible
Galatians by Martin Luther
Zondervan Exegetical Commentary – Galatians – Tom Schreiner
The Message of Galatians by John Stott

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This week, the big idea is, Jesus has gone to the Father.

1. He has sent the helper (vv. 4b-15)

2. Your sorrow will turn to joy (vv. 16-24)

3. Jesus has overcome the world (vv. 25-33)

Citylight Manayunk | July 17, 2022 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


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This week Pastor Mark encourages us to Believe that Jesus is the Christ because:

  1. His works bear witness
  2. He is one with the Father
  3. The Prophets bear witness

Citylight Manayunk | May 1, 2022 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


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Our big idea this week is Abide in Jesus’s word and we see three reasons for doing this or 3 results of doing this: 1. It will set you truly free. 2. It reveals who we truly are. 3. It reveals who Jesus truly is.

Citylight Manayunk | April 3, 2022 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

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This week Pastor Mark dives into Isaiah to illustrate our third Christmas Word: “HOPE” by encouraging us to Put our hope in the root of Jesse because 1. He is a better King
and 2. He has a better Kingdom

Citylight Manayunk | December 19, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


Gary V. Smith, Isaiah 1–39, ed. E. Ray Clendenen, The New American Commentary (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2007), 273

The Prophecy of Isaiah: An Introduction Commentary by Alec Motyer

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This week, Pastor Mark walks us through one of the best known passages in the whole of scripture with the BIG IDEA: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Together we’ll look at:

  1. What did God do
  2. Why did He do it?
  3. For what purpose?
  4. How do we respond?


The Gospel by Ray Ortlund (Crossway, 2014)
Gospel Fluency by Jeff Vanderstelt (Crossway, 2017)

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The big idea is, pour it all out for Jesus. And we’re going to see how this woman, first, boldly fought for nearness to Christ, then, how she gave Jesus absolutely all she had to give, and finally, how her action points to the good news of Jesus’s death on the cross for our sins. So, pour it all out for Jesus. How do we do that? We fight for nearness, give all you have to give, and remember the gospel.

Citylight Manayunk | June 6, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


The Pursuit of God by A. W. Tozer

Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper

Why God Calls Us to Dangerous Places by Kate McCord

Citylight Manayunk | February 21, 2021 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.

Last week we learned that rebuilding requires gathering around God’s word. And what we’re going to see this week, and for the next few weeks, are various responses to God’s word. Different ways that the people back then, and by extension us now, continue the work of rebuilding by responding to God’s word that we are gathering around.

Next week we’re going to talk about obedience as a response to God’s word. But this week we get to something that is absolutely crucial if we’re going to truly obey from the heart; if we’re going to make it for the long haul in the task of rebuilding and building up the church. We see it in v. 10: “Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”” The joy of the Lord. This is one of the more famous verses in the Bible. It’s one that winds up on Christian wall hangings and so forth, and rightly so, because it’s a crucial truth that we need if we’re going to rebuild; in fact, if we’re going to make it through the Christian life at all.

Rebuilding Requires Rejoicing

1. God directs our joy.

2. His joy is our strength.

3. We can understand His words.

4. There’s a holiday coming.


Nehemiah 8:9-12


Dear downhearted,

A lot of us are feeling discontent this year. As I think about it, the feeling of discontentment, as common as it is to our human experience, is actually intimately connected to who we are as people created in the image of God. The reason we are discontent, at bottom, is because we live in a world that is not as it’s supposed to be. We were created for glory—for rich relationships, rewarding work, and intimacy with God—but since Genesis 3, the world as we know it does not give us those things – at least, never as much as or in the way we want. 

This year we are probably more prone to discontentment than ever. Maybe you are alone, struggling through lockdown with little or no companionship. Perhaps you gaze wistfully at the reverse-image wall of your apartment or house through your zoom webcam, longing for a better place to call home. Perhaps work has taken an unexpected turn—or there’s no work at all. For these reasons and more, we feel like what we have is not enough.

When we poke under the surface a little more, however, darker thoughts emerge. For we who believe in a loving and merciful God, “I don’t have what I want” quickly turns into “God isn’t giving me what I need.” We harbor hard thoughts of God, acknowledged consciously or not, and begin to accuse him of holding out on us.

Happily, the cure for discontented souls is the same as the cure for most everything else that ills us: repentance and faith. However, where discontentment is concerned, a couple of other steps actually help to fill out the process.

First, be thankful. Taking honest stock of all the rich and beautiful things that God has given us can often help get us unstuck, and move us to the place where we can repent and turn to him properly. The Apostle Paul writes, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Spend some time dwelling not on what you’re missing, but on what God graciously and freely has already given you – and watch how your thoughts begin to turn around.

Next, repent. Bring those hard, ugly thoughts of God into the light, and reject them for the lies they are. James writes, “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:2-3). Not all desires are wrong, but many are, and many good desires get twisted by our never-ending obsession with ourselves. Give it all to Jesus. Receive afresh His forgiveness and cleansing (see 1 John 1:9-10).

Third, acknowledge (or believe) that God actually has already given you everything you need in Him! One of the most encouraging verses in the Bible to me is Romans 8:32: “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” Look to the cross—the place where God once and for all proved His love for you. If He gave you Jesus, can’t you trust Him to give you everything else you need, and for the things he hasn’t given you, to believe that it’s for your good somehow? Replace those hard thoughts of God with true ones based on His good and gracious character.

Finally, rejoice! With a new-found appreciation for what God has given you, and a heart that thinks rightly about God and His ways, enjoy the freedom of walking humbly with Him, casting your cares on Him because he cares for you (See 1 Peter 5:6–7; Philippians 4:4–7).

If you’re anything like me, this little regimen can work wonders. Your situation may not change, but your perspective can, quickly—and the freedom this brings is worth more in the long run than any of the things you hope God might give you but hasn’t yet.

My friend, I pray that God encourages you by lifting you out of the discontentment and into the glorious freedom of the children of God.


 In Christ,

 Pastor Mark


Love does not look our for number 1

Manayunk – October 11, 2020 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


1 Corinthians 13:5

Proclaim the Kingdom of God with all boldness and without hindrance.

Citylight Manayunk | September 6th, 2020 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


Acts 28:17-31

Walk with Jesus Through Good Trouble

1. Pursue peace sacrificially
2. Tell your story boldly
3. Use opportunities wisely

Citylight Manayunk | Online – August 2, 2020 from Citylight Church on Vimeo.


Acts 21:18-22:29

The Spirit Sends Gospel Workers


The Spirit Sends Gospel Workers


Acts 13: 1-3

Mark G.

The Gospel isn’t getting serious about your faith because: you were dead, not imperfect; God saves; you don’t; God saves for good works, not by good works


Ephesians 2:1-10

God’s People are Blessed in Order to Bless the Nations


Psalm 67

We are to pray big, pray bold, and pray believing


Matthew 21:18-21

Flee God’s Judgement; Look to God’s Mediator


Genesis 18:26 – 19:38

Sin ruins everything: Grace changes everything


Genesis 3:7-24


As you’ve surely heard by now, Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, after what has been one of the most divisive and acrimonious presidential elections in modern memory. This is Mark Giacobbe, one of of the pastors at Citylight, and I’m writing today to consider: What does this mean for us, the church of Jesus Christ?

Well, in one sense, nothing has changed since our previous email earlier this week: as Christians we are still, as always, called to pray, engage, build up, and hope. We must pray for our President, as commanded in Scripture, whether you were for him or against him (1 Tim 2:1-2). We must pray also for our country, that wounds might be healed, and justice might be done for the poor and marginalized (Prov 29:7). We must also continue to engage with issues of concern to us as believers, making our voices heard and speaking the truth in love (Eph 4:15).

In light of how divisive this election has been, however, we want to particularly emphasize the Christian commands to build one another up and to hope. We your elders realize that some of you were pro-Trump, while others were pro-Clinton. Many others found grave problems with both candidates. But with the election behind us now, we want to encourage you, in the strongest possible terms, to place our identity as brothers and sisters in Christ first and foremost in our minds and hearts. Whether you are Republican or Democrat or neither, whether you felt the Bern or were with her or wanted to make America great again, our citizenship is first and foremost in heaven (Phil 3:20), and we are all members of one another (Eph 4:25).

Let’s live this way. Let’s be careful, in our speech and social media interactions, to love one another and bear with one another (John 13:34; 1 Cor 13:7). Let’s try to understand where someone of another perspective is coming from, especially those who are hurting, angry, or afraid, being quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry (James 1:9). And let’s show the world, by our commitment to truly love one another, that we are disciples of Jesus, shining like stars in the midst of a crooked and depraved generation (John 13:35; Phil 2:15).

As John Piper has recently said, every president–and America itself–will one day be just a footnote in history. All human kingdoms will fall, but the Kingdom of God will stand forever (Rev 11:15). And Scripture says that we all, of various races, nations, and languages, called out of darkness and into his wonderful light in Christ Jesus, will be priests together in this Kingdom (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6).

As God’s priestly people, throughout the next four years and beyond, let’s mediate the grace of God to a broken and dying world that so desperately needs it. For in the end there is no President, no party, no system, and no leader that can put the world to rights again. Only King Jesus can do this. Let our hope be fully in this, in the redemption of the world that comes through Him. And through our prayers, words, and deeds, let’s work together to see His Kingdom come, and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10).


P.S. There are many good Christian leaders writing now about the aftermath of this election. For further thoughts from a trusted source, see this piece by Russell Moore.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.


Matthew 5:1-6

In this sermon we look at a pivotal passage in the history of redemption that signals God’s heart for the nations of the world to be blessed through his people in the Messiah.


Christopher J. H. Wright, The Mission of God (long and scholarly treatment of mission in the Bible)

John Piper, Let the Nations Be Glad (accessible and inspiring introduction to global missions)

Joshua Project

Christianity in its Global Context


We keep the Sixth Commandment by honoring human life in all its forms – both by refraining from murder and anger, and by acting with love and compassion towards our fellow human beings.


Exodus 20:13

Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory by Phil Ryken

Ten Commandments: Ethics for the 21st Century by Mark Rooker

The desire for greatness can lead us to work harder and get better at our jobs or cultivate our gifts. On the other hand, it can also lead to conflict, power grabs, and war. Something has gone wrong. In this passage, Jesus shows us the true greatness is the path He took for us: service.


Mark 10:35-45

Baker Exegetical Commentary: Mark, Robert Stein

Jesus the King, Timothy Keller

David is anointed as king over Israel and confirms this calling through defeating Goliath. In the same way, Christ, the greater David, has defeated sin, death, and Satan. We who are in Him can have power to defeat whatever diminishes God’s glory in our lives.


1 Samuel 16-17

Only by accepting Jesus as our Savior can we truly make him our King


Matthew 21: 1-11

Resurrection as a theme is traced throughout scripture and the book of Romans.


Mark unpacks the theme of resurrection in the Old Testament, New Testament and our lives.  This is a theme that undergirds much of Paul’s writing in the Book of Romans.