John 15: 1-17
Jesus uses the word we translate “abide” many times in this passage. He is preparing for his death, and in doing so he tells those he loves to abide or stick with or make their dwelling with him. In the context of the story it seems a bit counter-intuitive but in the fullness of the life death and resurrection of Jesus, it reinforces that in order to live the life God has for us, we must be willing to die to sin paid for on the cross before we can arise with him into everlasting life in the resurrection. Dying to false gods, vain hopes, and things that do not last become a strong message in this chapter, especially as we see the disciples whither under the strain of losing Jesus. This sermon will help us see how enduring in Jesus brings lasting change- even though it is really hard.
John 14: 15-31
The early Church was rife with theological controversy. They were working out the meaning of the Trinity, the nature of Christ incarnate, and what it meant to be “Born Again.” One of the big hurdles of the early church was to reconcile what the Bible meant when it described us as “Sons and Daughters of God.” Did that mean we were divine? Did it mean that we lost our humanity? Their struggle was the result of deep reading in books like John, Ephesians and Romans, where we are told that our conversion to Christ, somehow elevates us beyond mere creatures of God to sons and daughters of the Creator of the Cosmos. In Christ, God makes it possible for man to “shed his skin” of sin and to be elevated to a state of divinity- but still in the skin of our human bodies. This week, we will look at the chemistry of the Christian who has been born of the Spirit.
In John 14:1-14 Jesus repeatedly mentions a place where he is going. It is a place that he prepares, it has many rooms, and he even says that he will go away and then come and take us to this place. This passage has been read at thousands upon thousands of funerals and the place that Jesus describes is what we call, heaven. But what is heaven? And is it really a place that we go when we die? This Sunday, we will discuss a theology of place, God’s intentions for us after we die, and what Jesus really means when he talks about heaven, for those who go from living with bodies, to living without them. You will not want to miss this!
The greatest thing is… money, fame, power, popularity, pleasure. No, Jesus tells us it is love. But, he does not mean a sentimental feeling. He means something even more wonderful and great. Join us as we look at the power of love in the ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ.
John 13: 1-20
Christian doublespeak uses the words of servant hood casually- “she has such a servant-heart.” But, in the scope of human history, servant hood has not been counted among the virtues. In fact, in the scope of human history, the servant has been seen as a loser, a nobody, who has apparently made some bad moves and has been left in a state of being in last place. Not so with the coming of Christ and of the Christian Church. In the economy that Jesus brings to the fore, to serve is to be as close to being God as possible. This week, we look at God’s values and the majestic role of servant hood as a means of being truly great.
It is hard to fight back a desire to make good things everything to us. And, that is what makes idols so subtle and difficult to defeat for Christians. Most of the idols in our lives are not treacherous. They are things that are close to God’s heart. But, they are not God’s heart. And, we often worship them rather than God. This week, we will work on how to ID idols, how to turn from idols and how to regain our footing in worshipping the God who alone can bring us delight.
John 12: 20-36
We know fame. We know the magnetizing grip that a famous person can have on our lives. Lunch with Ashton Kutcher is not something you would not tweet. Nor is it something that would go unnoticed if you posted it on Instagram- you and him at a table. To know glory, we only need to look to our understanding and desire for fame, the famous and being associated with such. Glory in the Bible is the equivalent to fame in the late modern age. This Sunday we will take a look at fame for what it is and get some understanding of the central role it plays in our search for meaning in this life.
John 12: 12-19
CS Lewis, In his book The Problem of Pain said, “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” Some realities are just too obvious such as the Sun and God. And yet, we attempt to cover them up in moments of lunacy. Yet, if we are true to ourselves, or if the Holy Spirit is upon, we must acknowledge that we crave worship as a central part of who we are as humans. Why, because He is worthy of it as our God and King. Join us this Sunday as we delve into the value of majesty and its role in helping us to worship our true God and King.
In John 12:1-11 Mary, sister of Martha, does something extravagant. She takes an invaluable jar of perfume worth oodles of money, and typically reserved for sacred occasions like a wedding or a funeral, and she uses it to clean Jesus’ feet. It is what someone would do out of an intense, crazy love. Have you ever done something extravagant out of love? It can leave you feeling vulnerable, embarrassed or rather proud and full of exhilaration. This Sunday, we will look at the power of love in the life of Jesus, in our lives, and in the culture around us.
There are many beautiful stories of Muslims, Jews, and Secular Humanists who, in recent years, have come to faith in Jesus Christ through miraculous means- dreams, visions, divine interventions. These stories are a continuation of the promises of God to reach the world with His love. This Sunday, we will look back to the story of the Magi, who came to Christ by way of gazing-at-stars, and explore the unexpected ways that God reaches us.
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