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.
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.
Titus 1: 1-16
When St. Paul called Titus to Crete, he explicitly asked him to “bring order” to the Church. The lives of the Cretans were known to be disordered. Paul quotes a Philosopher from Crete who said, “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons." This week we will look at the way the Gospel brings order into our lives, re-orders the commitments of our hearts, and allows us to think in ways that make sense because of the love that Jesus brings to us through His Word. Join us this week as we begin a fascinating series from Titus on what is often called, “Whole Life Discipleship.”
God appears to those he loves both in a gentle voice and in a loud shout. Either way, he comes in love. In the story of the conversion of St. Paul, we learn both of God’s power to bring about our conversion and of the willfulness of man to resist. Join us for this sermon as we look at the ways God loves us through his pursuit and results that come from him winning our wayward hearts.
I once thought that work was merely what people got paid for. If you weren’t getting paid, you weren’t working. As I have gathered knowledge in the Scripture, delved into the writings of the reformers, and exposed myself to a lot of clear biblical thinkers, I have come to the understanding that work is a way to use our capacity as God’s creatures. To serve him and others in the ways we rearrange what he has set before us in creation, using our creative capacity to make “stuff” better- in service to Him and others! Likewise, there was a time when I thought that leadership was merely what bosses exercised over employees. If you were not a boss you were not a leader. Again, through the gathered wisdom of Scripture and the Church, I have come to understand that leadership is much more about how we steward the influence we have to help others and to honor God. Sure, much of our work gets rewarded with payment and many leaders are employers with employees under their charge. But, there is so much more to work and leadership that can be learned in God’s Word when we look deeper than mere paychecks and employers. This week we will look at how bishops, presbyters, students and employees can honor God and serve others as leaders who steward the influence they command. Join us!
It is hard to be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and not affirm second chances. I believe in second chances. Do you?
The title of this week's sermon was carefully chosen. It does not say getting a second chance. It says getting another chance. When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. She was way past a second chance, or a third or a fourth. In fact, that he met her when he met her shows us that she was not part of the main stream of culture. Women congregated at wells in the early morning hours before the days heat could overtake them. This woman is alone and it is not daybreak. She does not need a second chance- she needs just one more after a long string of failures. Join us this Sunday as we look into just how deep the grace of God extends and what it might mean for us to receive and extend this kind of grace in our relationships at home, work, church and within the places in which we live.
In the famous parable called the cave, the ancient philosopher, Plato gives us glimpses into a central dilemma of the human heart- we are light bearers who have grown accustom to the dark. The films, The Matrix, The Truman Show and TV series like ABC’s Once Upon a Time are modern attempts to deal with this phenomenon- so is CS Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. We know there is something more out there but we have become accustom to the mundane aspect of human life. We want the ideal to break into the real- at least most of us do in some way. I recently peered in on a reality show about Home decorators. One judge said, if we could combine all of the contestants we would have the ideal designer. When we see Jesus, he is presenting not what is but what should be. He is a Kingly warrior capable of utterly destroying his enemy. But, he rides in on a donkey. As millions have discovered over the centuries, Jesus claims to be, and has been found to be, the ideal made real. The king we are looking for who can take us out of the darkness of our caves and bring us into the light of what we were designed for.
When we think of the Good Samaritan, we often think of his compassion. However, the Good Samaritan combined compassion with capacity (wealth) in order to care for his neighbor. From thinking that non-profit work is morally superior to for-profit business, to thinking that money is bad, we often have an incorrect understanding of what the Bible requires of us in loving our neighbors.
According to Jesus, to truly care for others we need to combine capacity and compassion.
This week's sermon began with a film created for this series, you can hear the audio in the recording or view the video below. This film will explore how capacity and compassion equal care by exploring the Parable of the good Samaritan with the everyday challenge of two children who set out to love their neighbor. https://vimeo.com/145176431
The late 19th century Anglican Bishop JC Ryle once said, “The foe we have to do with keeps no holidays, never slumbers, and never sleeps. So long as we have breath in our bodies we must keep on our armor, and remember we are on the enemy’s ground. ‘Even on the brink of Jordan,’ said a dying saint, ‘I find Satan nibbling at my heels.’ We must fight till we die.” Like Ryle, Jesus did not see evil as an abstraction. Nor did he believe that man could “evolve” being belief in a personal Devil. If we are to take Jesus seriously as a teacher, prophet, savior, and ruler, we must take seriously the contention that is occurring in the heavenly realms between Jesus and the Devil and between the Devil and man. This week, please join us as we talk plainly about the reality of The Devil in 2017 and ways that we can defend ourselves from his attacks.
Profile managed by: JonahsCall