Second Wind

From the beginning of time, God’s Spirit has moved like a wind (or “breath”) across the earth, creating and sustaining life. Sometimes the people God has formed grow weary, then come apart, and when we do we need a second wind (of God’s Spirit) to renew us.

Remember, Trust, and Say Yes

David went from caring for his father’s sheep to fighting a giant. How did he do that, and what can we learn from his example? What might happen if we practice remembering God’s faithfulness, trust God has given us enough, and say yes to God in the everyday circumstances of our lives? Maybe the the more we say yes to God, the easier and more natural it becomes so that, walking in step with the Spirit, we live a life of yes.

The Kingdom of God and the Redemption of Power

From Palm Sunday (“Behold your king comes to you…”) to Good Friday (“Hail, king of the Jews…”) the last week of Jesus life – Holy Week – is the slow and unwelcome rise of a new king whose power increases as his popularity wanes. The story is a parody to kings and their powers. What is the power of a crucified king? How is it different from ours? What are the new “laws of power,” as informed by Christ’s journey through Holy Week?

Shepherding Reflections

Shepherding is not just an activity we pick up when we want. Rather, it is a discipline we grow in, enabling us to ‘love our neighbor’ and care for the people God has placed in the season of life we find ourselves. As we lean into this discipline, we find in our past, stories and evidence of lives transformed, cared for and lifted up to our Lord. We hear of people who have looked to Jesus Christ, The Good Shepherd as their example. This Discipline of Shepherding is not just a celebration of yesterday, it is the way we rise as the People of God toward the future.

The Good News of the Gospel | Lent Week 4

What is the gospel to the oppressed; to those in despair, about to drown? Lately, it seems we are inundated with bad news – natural disasters, global pandemics, human atrocities that engulf the world – and the gospel seems small in comparison. Yet there is one theme running through the Bible, from beginning to end, that is pure gospel and it’s exactly what people need and want to hear.

The Rest of the Gospel | Lent Week 3

The story of the rich young ruler is often used to denounce the accumulation of wealth, which it does, but beyond that it shows us how Jesus announces the gospel with particularity to each person’s need, calling those who toil and strive to “turn and believe” in the gospel of rest.

Believing in God | Lent Week 2

Jesus said, “repent and believe the gospel” and, as Christians, we like to think that we already believe. But usually we are somewhere between belief and unbelief. So what does it mean to believe? How does it release the gospel and change our predicament?

A Tale of Two Sons

One is deeply suffering and is brought by his father to Jesus for healing. Another has yet to suffer and is brought by His Father to experience glory before His suffering will lead to the healing of all people where they might also join Him in glory.

What’s Love Got to Do With it?

Four times in this passage Jesus says that if we love him, we will keep his commands. This sermon with explore (1) why keeping the commands of Christ are essential to loving Christ; (2) why loving Christ is so difficult; and (3) how the Holy Spirit makes it possible for us to walk in love of Christ.

Waiting on the World to Change

The Israelites wait 70 years for deliverance. We, just like the Israelites, find ourselves in periods of interim when we are waiting on God to do something. We are waiting for things to get better. But, what do we do in the waiting?

Backing Forward

To Israel, the best indicator of what God would do in their future was to remember what He did in their past. They looked back (Is. 43:16-17) to go forward (19-21). They backed forward. As we emerge from the past two decades, and especially the past two years, we go forward by looking back. What has God done in and through us together in the past? And what does that mean for our future?

A Festival in the Desert

The pandemic has exposed deep flaws in the purpose and value we give to our work. The way that we work isn’t working. Yet despite our trouble, the gospel includes a vision of worship in our work, a festival of sorts in the desert, and calls us to participate. How do we find the worship in our work? Where is the festival in the desert?

Inhale Faith, Exhale Deeds

What does it mean for us, the people of God, to do “good deeds?” This morning, we’ll walk through the church’s call to kindness and the joy that comes with love in action.

The Hidden Agenda

Three of the four gospels mention “the yeast of the Pharisees” and tell us to beware of it yet none tells us what, exactly, it is. But a closer look at the Pharisees and their interactions with Jesus will reveal a danger that is subtle, highly contagious and still prevalent among Christians today. Behind all of the rhetoric today is a hidden agenda and the perennial temptation to reduce the gospel to a means of carrying out that agenda. Whatever our views are on this of that subject, we should beware the yeast of the Pharisees.

Disputable Matters

Throughout the Bible we are called to live in unity but that’s been difficult in the past two years with so many controversial subjects. But if this has been harder, maybe it’s supposed to be. Maybe God is using these tensions to teach us how to live as part of His divine plan to unite all people in Christ. So how can we share a community identity without losing our particular heritage? What differences disable and divide us, and which ones should we celebrate?

Crumbs of Faith

Jesus uses the faith of a marginalized woman to expose our pride and invites us to a better way.

In the Sanctuary of Barrenness

The story of Hannah is the story of a woman and a nation who is barren, “who cannot bring salvation, who cannot give birth to the people of the world,” (Is. 26:18). Still, year after year she worships in the sanctuary of barrenness and it’s here where Yahweh finds her. Then a sudden joyous turn. Hannah unceremoniously conceives and what she brings forth is no ordinary child. Samuel will be the link. Samuel is the future. Samuel will bring the Word of the Lord.

Simple, Not Easy

Naaman’s successful life is summarized in a few sentences but the final phrase, “he suffered from leprosy,” overshadows everything else. What do we do when one monumental phrase looms over the sentence of our life? Naaman’s story shows us that God’s seemingly simple instructions for our monumental problems aren’t always easy.

The God in Negative Space

When God seems absent, look for Him in the negative space, in the places between the other things you’ve been looking at.

The Prophet, Widow, and Son

Israel has lost her way. Her kings are evil; her prophets, rejected; widows, abandoned; and sons, without breath. A devastating drought appears to be her end. But just as the brook dries up and only crumbs remain in the flour jar, Yahweh brings a sudden joyous turn. Miraculous meals are provided, sins are forgiven, a child resuscitated, as Yahweh tells the story of Israel coming back to life through a prophet, a widow, and her son.