In the opening chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, we experience the most intimate and physical contact with God through the witness of Jesus born in very gritty conditions to a very unlikely couple. And, it is in this setting that Shepherds desire to worship him as their king. Immediately following this scene, we encounter a world-renowned power broker who wants to murder this child, Jesus, and brilliant intellectuals of the day who desire to worship him; the contrast in Matthew can, at times, seem confounding. God gets born in the dirt. The maker of the world en-fleshed is chased down by Herod. Soon thereafter, Jesus as a little boy sits on the lap of his poor-girl-mother and we get to witness a group of Magi bowing down to worship him. It is as if Matthew is trying to tell us that things are not always what we seem, that God works in ways we are unaccustomed to, and that if we are to be in relationship with God Come Near, we will do well to suspend some of our contemporary assumptions about who is in, who is out, who is good, who is bad, what is up and what is down. Join us this Sunday as we consider a classic passage from the Bible and learn new ways to see how much God loves us and to what extent he will go to prove it. Doing so, however, will require us to have an open mind about some of the beliefs that we hold dear.
This Christmas Eve, Join us in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ as we celebrate with a dynamic service that will include traditional Christmas carols, candle lighting and readings from Luke’s Gospel. Followed by a delicious Christmas buffet. If you have friends or neighbors who have no Church home, please invite them to join us.
Ruined things, broken stuff, hurt feelings, forgotten dreams; that we experience these things is perhaps the thing for which we have the most evidence within our faith. However, the miracle of the Christmas story is that it exists to heal and restore the ruined, broken, hurt and forgotten. Our faith becomes full in the Christmas story because it shows us that God’s ability to fix a hurting world through the life, death, resurrection and rule of his son, Jesus Christ. Join us for this sermon designed for the whole family and experience the joy of Christmas
Jay Slocum Preaching
CS Lewis noted that there is something about us that desires a king. Take away the king and we will replace it with movie stars or sports heroes. You might say that as God’s creatures there is nobility in our blood, and like a eagle seeking flight, we seek a great ruler to lead us. The wonder of the Bible is its revelation of such a king. In this sermon for both young and old, we will wonder at the glory of our true king, Jesus.
Jay Slocum Preaching
There is real joy in getting a “Yes.” From a innocent note passed between friends stating, circle yes or no, to a college acceptance letter, getting a yes can be exhilarating. When Mary, mother of Jesus proclaimed, “Let it be to me as you have said,” she was saying yes to God. It must have been exhilarating for him to hear her give consent to his plan for her life. In this sermon designed for the whole family, we discover the beautiful relationship between Mary, mother of God and Jesus, Son of Mary.
Jay Slocum Preaching
Moms and dads have a special privilege in being able to name their children. We will name her…. In the coming of Christ, we see a unique occurrence. Jesus Christ is given his name by his father in heaven. And, this name was promised long ago. In this sermon designed for both young and old, we see the power of God in giving us his child to free us from bondage and to free us to love as we were meant to love.
Jay Slocum Preaching
It seems from even the most shallow reading of Scripture that God is a lavishly generous God (for God so loved the world that he gave) giving to us from the very center of his heart throughout the ages. It is no surprise, therefore, that when the Psalmist reflects upon the righteous of God who delight in copying God, as those made in his very image, that one of their chief characteristics would be that of generosity- towards friends, the poor, and toward God himself. As we reflect upon the Gospel within the Psalms, this sermon will bring out the way generosity brings healing to human hurts and flourishing to humankind.
St. Augustine is perhaps most famous for pointing out that what we most love, we do most. A more common way of stating this is to say that we keep track of what we value most. If I value money or friendship, I will keep a record of this love. It is no wonder that we keep track of time. Time is a very valuable commodity and we prove our love for it by keeping calendars and checking our watches. Moreover, embedded in our time keeping is the time we keep with others. A sure sign that we love others will be expressed in the time we give them. Your time is valuable and so giving it to God, or a friend, or an enemy will be a sure indicator of your desire to show them love. In this sermon, we will reflect upon how the Gospel informs both the love God has for us and the love we show to God and others as we steward our time.
Curtis Grenier Preaching
The story of Achan in Joshua 7 is the story of a man who breaks a contract with the nation he represents by stealing during a battle with a neighboring nation. The result of his action causes the death of many innocent citizens. Moreover, the sin of Achan results in the death of Achan and his entire family. In the “single serving” world of America in the late modern age, this story can be a bit shocking to some readers. However, it teaches us deep truth about our interconnectedness within society and the need for each of us to partake in being citizens of our own country. Further, the story challenges us to apply the Gospel to those who fail to uphold the laws of our nation or the particularities of how we express our differences as citizens. Join us for this sermon as we seek to find ways that we can live peacefully as citizens of our nation in the midst of turbulent times.
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