Crossing the Road | Pathway to Discipleship Week 6

A disciple is someone who lives with Christ for the world. Now in the company of the Body, the disciple is prepared to bear collective witness to the city where they belong. What opportunities are there for bearing witness to our community? What is available in the Church? What are other believers doing to make a difference in our city?

The Heart of the Question | Pathway to Discipleship Week 5

To long for Jesus and to know him are two aspects of discipleship that rely on our ability to ask and face the right questions. Many people are deconstructing faith and Christian tradition because of their thirst for something more and longing for something new. The church needs to be(come) the kind of community where people adopt the right posture to ask and face courageous questions that lead to a fresh encounter with Christ and a deeper relationship with one another.

Redefining Family | Pathway to Discipleship Week 4

Throughout the gospel accounts, crowds of people encounter Jesus. Intriguingly, in Mark 10, many of these meetings with the masses are followed by Jesus’s further engagement with only a few—his trusted small group of disciples. What conversations did Jesus save for this more intimate setting and community? And what role can this kind of meeting together play in our own formation as we seek to follow Jesus?

Get Together | Pathway to Discipleship Week 3

Throughout the gospel accounts, crowds of people encounter Jesus. Intriguingly, in Mark 10, many of these meetings with the masses are followed by Jesus’s further engagement with only a few—his trusted small group of disciples. What conversations did Jesus save for this more intimate setting and community? And what role can this kind of meeting together play in our own formation as we seek to follow Jesus?

Unforgettable | Pathway to Discipleship Week 2

For every disciple, the first movement toward change was an encounter with Jesus. It was unforgettable. But it was divisive. Whoever met him was better or worse, but they were never the same. What role can the Church play in orchestrating these encounters? How does worship provide the space and the structure? And what must we do for ourselves?

The Invitation | Pathway to Discipleship Week 1

How many Christians actually enjoy the life that Jesus promised? How many of the “saved” are converted? How many are apprentices of Jesus, learning to do easily and routinely the things that Jesus taught us to do? If we were to get serious about discipleship – the believer and the Church – here are four dimensions of that must be involved.

Finding Jesus

Luke is distinctive among the gospel writers for featuring Jesus as a twelve-year-old. This narrative illustrates Mary and Joseph’s commitment to nurturing and raising Jesus, evident in their consistent observance of the Passover. The story unfolds with the anguish they experience upon realizing Jesus is missing after a full day of travel. Upon discovering him in the temple conversing with teachers, Jesus responds to their inquiry with characteristic questions.

Improv | Advent Week 4

Throughout the Christmas story, two things are clear: (1) God is in control, and (2) God is not in charge. This is an important lesson for everyone who feels pushed around by others.

Where God Should Be | Advent Week 3

One great surprise about God revealed in Jesus at the incarnation is God’s vulnerability. God is not confined to safe or polished spaces. Instead, he enters our mess. He shows up in “places God isn’t supposed to be,” exposing himself and entering our realities, messy as they might be. To this end, we don’t have to leave our own vulnerable states or situations to find God. He meets us there. He joins the struggle with us, making himself vulnerable right alongside us.

What’s in a List? | Advent Week 2

When we come to the “list” passages in the Bible, our eyes glaze over: measurements, records, genealogies – maybe these are part of historical record, but wouldn’t the Bible be better if we took them out? That’s probably true…. unless there’s something in the list that is (itself) a story. This sermon will walk through one of those infamous lists, helping us freshly imagine why these (even these!) verses of the Gospels can be truly Good News.

Stumbling Over Christmas | Advent Week 1

To people living in the first century, the claims of the first Christians concerning the incarnation were scandalous. Here’s a handful that are so outrageous even Christians have a hard time believing them. Yet the gospels want us to practice them as we enter a season, Advent, that is all too familiar to us.

The First Evangelist

The first evangelist in the gospels is the least likely, least prepared person … and that’s a why she’s the perfect example of what it means to share our faith in a culture that is hostile to evangelism.

The Future of Love

In his Great Commandment, Jesus shows his genius and authority by bringing all of the feast and fruit of the Scriptures into one seed, bursting with potential harvest. It is the double pulse of the heartbeat of God. He not only pulls in every command of the past but unleashes and prefigures the future of love.

Children of the Day

Toward the beginning of Paul’s career, he wrote a series of letters to young Christians worried about current events, telling them how to conduct themselves in times of chaos and moral confusion. In one of these letters, he contrasted children of the day with those of the night, those who are awake and sober with those who are asleep or drunk. This message is a pastoral word to the Church in our day, tired but awake just before dawn.

Letters from a Philippian Jail | Community of Faith Week 8

This is a message for anyone whose life has been interrupted by tragedy or injustice and they are suddenly alone, as if in prison. But it’s a message about surviving, about finding God in that dark place, about triumph despite one’s conditions. It’s a message about choices – hard choices – that some make (most don’t) in prison that transform them and become for others a powerful witness.

The Fruit of Grace | Community of Faith Week 7

Generosity is typically understood as activity–described by actions of charity or through things we give away. But Paul describes generosity as something deeper: a responsive expression of the gospel itself, a disposition of our souls, and the means by which we allow God’s sanctifying work to continue in and through us.

To the Interests of Others | Community of Faith Week 6

What does it mean (really) to be humble? Humility is an often-praised virtue throughout the Scriptures; but how do we cultivate it in our everyday lives? And what – despite our best efforts – gets in the way? This sermon will address the shape of humility, and the ways our current habits, attitudes, and practices may choke it out.

Circles of Trust | Community of Faith Week 5

In a culture of high suspicion, the creative minority will practice a rule of integrity.

Simplicity | Community of Faith Week 4

Why is nearly everyone you know so overwhelmed? There is a silent scream for simplicity and yet it is more illusive and complex than ever. How do we in the Third Order practice this ancient discipline despite the speed and chaos of our everyday life? And what difference would it make in the workplace if we did?

Safe | Community of Faith Week 3

Every Order or Society needs rules for engagement. How do members treat one another, especially those with whom they disagree? How do we make room for different convictions and how do we express them without tearing the Society apart?