Sermons

Current Series

Learning to See Again

Living the Story: Ruth
The Stories in the Bible are Stories of Us

No matter how much the times change, people continue to remain the same. Whether its people who lived thousands of years ago, or people who share the streets with us today, everybody’s life moves in and out of love and crisis as they search for hope, provision, and purpose. The stories of Ruth, Nehemiah, and Jonah illustrate different levels of crises, from the local family, to the community, to international dynamics. They also illustrate how people of God worked to resolve crises in their midst, whether they were personal crises, or crises of those around them. Every story is a movement from problem to resolution, including the stories of our own lives. We seek to solve the problems of loneliness, fear, complacency, death, loss, pain, as well as many others. And in God we find that resolution can be found in Jesus Christ, in faith in God, in the fellowship of friends and family, and in the mutual investment we make in one another’s lives. The stories of the Old Testament may be centuries old, but they are our stories still today. And in them we see how our service as the people of God to our families, our churches, our communities, and our world impart hope and transformation to all who are in need, even to ourselves

The Victory of the Lamb
The Many Faces of the Lamb

Jesus is present all throughout the book of Revelation, but always portrayed with symbols. The most common is that of the Lamb, identifying the sacrificial nature of Christ’s death with the Old Testament sacrificial lamb. But this Lamb in Revelation exercises a number of different roles and fulfills several Old Testament prophecies. The Lamb is a King in the same vein as David, he is a spiritual leader or a priest in the same vein as Moses, and he is a witness to the work and victory of God in the same vein as the OT prophets. This Easter we will consider the risen Jesus, fulfilling the plans of God in the past, and carrying forward the work of God in the world in which we live today.

 

 

Interior Design
Will the Real Church Please Stand Up?

We really need it to, because there seems to be a lot of confusion as to who or what she really is. Is the church a business? Or a social organization? Or a consumer commodity? Or an entertainment venue? Or a spiritual au pair? (That’s a nanny, for those that don’t know.) John’s Revelation was really a letter sent to seven different churches, all trying to follow Jesus in some capacity, but all dealing with different temptations and struggles. For John, the Church is the Witness; the Testifier to God’s work in the world and his salvation available through Jesus. The letters to the seven churches of Asia Minor provide both warning against ceasing to be the true church, as well as encouragement to continue the work. The local church and all of her members must constantly give attention to spiritual growth and transformation in their lives, a sort of remodeling, or renovating, to make sure their lives are arranged in such a way that the true essence of Christ’s Church exists in growing capacity in their midst.

Let Us Adore Him
One Big Happy Christmas

Is there anything more chaotically awesome than the big family holiday celebration? People everywhere, kids piled on top of one another, constant noise, perpetual smiles and laughs, and a general sense of celebration! At least that’s how the ideal scenario looks in my mind. And as the people of God, we live in the precarious “in-between” time where we strive to experience the ideal while trying to make the best of the very “less-than-ideal” real. This Advent, we wrap up a season of focusing on the family nature of our church. We look forward to celebrating together, hoping together, loving one another, and seeking joy and peace in our midst this Christmas. And in worshipping our Savior, in adoring him together, we see glimpses of the hoped-for ideal that awaits us as we strive to live together with purpose in the tough and challenging here and now. Please join together this Christmas as we seek to adore him together.

One Big Happy Family
Created For Relationships

The biblical worldview, from the very beginning, asserts that humanity is created in the image of God for the purpose of community. God desires to have a relationship with us, and enables us to relate to Him through His creation and our fellow man. Both major sections of the book of Genesis are structured by the image of God in humanity and God’s covenant with Abraham and his family. In them we see that the people of God are to strive to develop godly relationships with creation (including work, land and possessions), with our own families (including our spiritual family), and with the nations (all of those outside our family circles). As we seek to Create Space for one another during this season of Belonging, let us be mindful of how all of our relationships exist as both blessing from God to enjoy this life and beyond, and responsibility given by God to reveal Him to others around us.

Meet the Neighbors
Who Is Your Neighbor?

The question was asked of Jesus by an inquiring man who wanted to make sure he had covered his bases in “loving his neighbor.” The answer was probably not what he was expecting. Instead of telling him who his neighbor was, Jesus told him a story about what it meant to be a good neighbor. To love one’s neighbor demanded that he take the initiative in extending mercy to one with whom his path crossed. And while the identity of “the neighbor” can be diverse, Jesus’ story serves to remind the church today that opportunities to be a good neighbor come our way just about every day if we will only open our eyes to see them.

Overcoming Suburban Addictions
Lives of Excess, or Lives of Self-Control?

Living in what very well may be history’s most prosperous country during history’s most prosperous age is a great blessing. But as with all blessings, inherent challenges arise when blessings run the risk of becoming idols. The musings on Solomon’s life, wealth, wisdom, and prosperity that are presented in the book of Ecclesiastes offer a unique case study for Christians and churches seeking to operate faithfully in today’s United States. Join us for this 7-week study as we strive to ensure that our American suburban blessings don’t become suburban addictions.

Detours
Creating Space for God to Transform Our Lives

Moses’s life started taking all sorts of twists and turns before he was old enough to know or care. He was abandoned in the river, cared for as a Hebrew child by his own parents, then adopted into the house of Pharaoh. Once his decisions started affecting his life’s trajectory, he went from being a foreign prince in the courts of Egypt, to an outlaw on the run, to a wandering nomad adopted by a new family, to a questioned prophet returned to his people, to the visible agent of God’s almighty power to everyone. Who could have predicted? The reality is that God has extended an invitation to every child of his to be a part of his greater plan. We may not play a role quite as dramatic as that of Moses, but we all have a part to play. The challenge for Christians in America today is that we find ourselves so busy with life that, often, we miss important detours that God wants to send our way. If we want to be used by God, we have to walk closely with him. If we want to be used by God and to walk closely with him, we must prevent the less important things from crowding out the most important thing.

Promise Fulfilled
The Ultimate Fulfillment of God's Greatest Promise

In his account of the life and ministry of Jesus, Matthew sought to build a bridge to his Jewish audience, illustrating how Jesus fulfilled the Israelite prophecies regarding the Davidic King and Messiah. As such, his Gospel is a nice complement to the letter of Hebrews. Both were written for a Jewish audience. Both sought to prove the reality of Jesus as Messiah by showing how he fulfilled God’s work through the Old Testament. This Advent season, we’ll take a look at Matthew’s version of the Christmas story, as well as the Old Testament prophecies and stories he used to build his case. The events we celebrate this time of year didn’t just happen as spontaneous happenstances. Rather, they were events that had been expected for centuries, though fulfilled in ways that might not have been fully expected. Nevertheless, they are one of the Bible’s greatest examples of God’s promises fulfilled.

Full•Filled
Life and Faith: Full? Or Fulfilled?

Did you know that in many cultures around the world, meals can be two or three-hour events? Not just one or two days a year, but sometimes every day—and not just dinner, but also breakfast and lunch! Most Americans can only reply, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” This example is just one illustration of how very busy our lives can be. The letter of Hebrews draws the reader’s attention to the reality that “full” doesn’t necessarily equal “fulfilled.” Both our lives and our faith can fill to the brim with things that matter less, crowding out the things that matter most—the things that really bring fulfillment. In our fall study of Hebrews, we’ll consider the message that Jesus brought fulfillment to God’s grand plan of salvation, thus bringing about a new possibility for humanity to know God and walk with Him. But if we are going to experience that fulfilled walk with God and fulfilled lives here on Earth, we have to be willing to make Him our top priority.

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