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.

I Need a Priest | Season of Easter Week 7

We often think of what Jesus has done (death and resurrection) or what Jesus will do (glorious return), but very little of what he is doing now (intercession). In Christ’s ascension we see how much we need and have a priest, and this gives us new boldness for things we are facing today.

Gardeners of the New Creation | Season of Easter Week 4

The passion story, in John’s gospel is a re-telling of Creation (Gen. 1-2) thru the lens of Jesus’ resurrection. Since that first Easter, God has been “finishing the work he’s been doing,” (Gen. 2:2), bringing “light” and “life” to all who believe. In this message, I want to re-fire our imagination using creation and resurrection to re-tell the history of the world and the story to which we belong.

Resurrection Wisdom | Season of Easter Week 3

There is a divine economy that changes the value of everything we cherish and everything we despise. In this economy, there is power in surrender, glory in suffering, freedom in obedience, and life in the shadow of death. Ever since the resurrection, the end is where we start from. Our worst moment is the beginning of our best.

An Unfinished Easter | Season of Easter Week 2

In Mark’s gospel, Easter is unfinished. Jesus is risen in the negative space. Power is subtle, hope is deferred, certainty is mixed with confusion, and joy is mixed with fear. Easter is a treasure, but we carry it in jars of clay. Mark’s account of Easter is for the weary, the skeptical, the frustrated and the faint of heart.

The Night Before Easter | Easter Sunday

What is the meaning of Easter? How do we live into that meaning every moment of our lives? Rather than think of Easter as one story, told differently, think of it as four stories told thru the lens of the “night before.” What happens on Easter is best understood thru the lens of what happened on the night before.

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?

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?

The Gospel of the Kingdom | Lent Week 1

The Kingdom advances at the speed of our announcing it. It’s time for the Church to believe the gospel again. But what is it? And what does it mean to believe it?

The Kingdom of God and the Cry for Justice | Kingdom of God Week 6

The kingdom of God comes one gathering at a time, when citizens live together with God and for the world. How does the kingdom of God advance? What is the place of the local church, or the Christ-centered business or team, in that advance? How do we avoid the temptation of an Empire?

Kingdom Communities | Kingdom of God Week 5

The kingdom of God comes one gathering at a time, when citizens live together with God and for the world. How does the kingdom of God advance? What is the place of the local church, or the Christ-centered business or team, in that advance? How do we avoid the temptation of an Empire?

Kingdom of Priests | Kingdom of God Week 4

God’s vision for a new society involves a “kingdom of priests,” which is odd because priests build seminaries, and not kingdoms. Yet Isaiah says we “will be called priests of the Lord, (and) named ministers of our God,” (61:6). What do priests do? How are they different from the prophet that everyone wants to be? How do we co-opt our jobs to do the work of a priest?

The Oath of Allegiance | Kingdom of God Week 3

Citizenship involves an oath of allegiance to, not just the principles, but to the people. How do citizens of the kingdom live with one another, especially with those that others can’t live with? What “rules” guide our social behavior? How are these different from what is commonly accepted today?

Pathway to Citizenship | Kingdom of God Week 2

When hearing about the kingdom, we want to make it happen but first, we must enter it ourselves. We cannot bring it unless we’re in it, unless it’s in us. But how does one enter it? What does citizenship mean? What is assumed? What is expected? This message will remind us that “our citizenship is in heaven,” and call us to practice that allegiance here, on earth.

If Jesus Were King | Kingdom of God Week 1

Two forces compete for the heart and mind of the public. Both have valid argument but neither has a vision for the whole. The Kingdom of God is that vision and so Jesus came preaching the kingdom of God. But what is it (and isn’t it)? How does it answer the deep and collective longing of society today? This message will introduce us to the main components of the kingdom of God and inspire us to become part of it.

Unreliable Witnesses | Ironies of Christmas Week 4

That the first witnesses would be shepherds whose testimony was inadmissible in court. Of all the people God could have told on the night of Jesus’ birth, he chose to tell shepherds first. They were the first to visit, the first to inform the Holy Family, the first to tell everyone what they’d seen and heard. But why? Wasn’t there anyone else awake? Couldn’t anyone more reliable have been found? Or does God intend something else for his witnesses, something greater than evidence or argument?

Unlikeable Characters | Ironies of Christmas Week 2

That God would use people Israel hated to position Himself to save the world. According to St. Paul, Christmas came “in the fullness of time,” and according to the gospels, the most unlikely people paved the way: Caesar Augustus, Herod, and the Roman government. Why and how did God use the Romans to accomplish His plans for the world?

One Flock One Shepherd | Sheep to Shepherd Week 9

The heart of any shepherd is to reconcile, to gather, to unite yet the culture seems scattered by controversial shepherds and angry sheep empowered by churches that divide and condemn. How do we shepherd in tense places and help to heal the world until there is “one flock and one shepherd?”