How The Risen Jesus Overcomes Shame

Sermon for Easter Sunday 2014: Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction One of the striking elements of all the gospel accounts of the resurrection of Jesus is the fact that women were the first witnesses. There are different details, different aspects of focus, but all four gospel accounts agree that women were the first to find the empty…

Our Jesus Holds the Keys: Good Friday 2014

Note: The audio recording for this message is available here. One of the most unusual elements of the Christian gospel is the fact that we celebrate the death of our leader. For most movements, for most religions, for most kingdoms or empires, the death of the leader is a moment of instability, chaos, disillusionment. But…

From Dust to Light

Ash Wednesday Homily Mk. 8:27-38 We’ve said before, and it’s no trouble to be reminded, that we think of the church calendar like a devotional guide. Over the course of the Christian Year, we are reminded of the most crucial, most important parts of our life in Christ: what it means to know Jesus and…

God Wants Your Heart

Sixth Sunday in Epiphany Lessons: Dt. 30:15-20, 1 Cor. 3:1-9, Mt. 5:1-37 Introduction As we noted last week, the commandments of God have always been meant to offer God’s people life with Him. And those who looked to God in faith tasted some of that fellowship (e.g. Moses, David, etc.). But the law simultaneously displayed…

Salt, Light, and Law

Fifth Sunday in Epiphany Is. 58:1-12, 1 Cor. 2:1-16, Mt. 5:13-20 Introduction As we continue to celebrate the season of Epiphany, we are studying what it looks like for the light of Jesus to shine in and through our lives. As we noted last week, this light is God’s wisdom, His righteousness, which is the…

Open Your Mouth Wide: The Beatitudes

Fourth Sunday in Epiphany: Mic. 6:1-8, 1 Cor. 18-31, Mt. 5:1-12 Introduction The theme that ties our lessons together is the surprising wisdom of God. God loves to work through unlikely people and situations because it highlights His grace and inspires our praise. Another name for this is God’s blessing. But the real challenge is learning…

Come & See

Life in our New Building II Is. 49:1-7, 1 Cor. 1:1-9, Jn. 1:29-42 Introduction Epiphany celebrates the fact that God is our Father who redeems us from sin, Satan, and death through His Son Jesus, and does so in order to train and equip us for His mission of bringing many more sons into the…

A Light to the Nations

Life in our New Building I Is. 42:1-9, Acts 10:34-43, Mt. 3:13-17 Introduction Epiphany means “sudden burst of light,” and since the earliest days of the Christian Church, God’s people have continued celebrating the coming of Jesus into the world, especially the beginning of His ministry and how it revealed the Light of God for…

Fat Souls

Second Sunday in Christmas Jer. 31:7-14, Eph. 1:3-14, Jn. 1:1-18 Introduction As we begin a new year in a new building with many new opportunities and challenges, we want to look at where we are as a congregation and address our particular situation. If we have one resolution as a congregation this year, let it…

Wrath, Love, and Christmas

First Sunday after Christmas Lessons: Is. 63:7-9, Heb. 2:10-18, Mt. 2:13-23 Christmas is not always an easy time of the year. Of course children love it. They give us some of the best facial expressions, some of the best responses to the gifts, to the lights, to the candy. Their intensity, their joy, their delight…