Sermon Series: Better Together

6/25 - 8/14/2022

The Old and New Testaments: two pieces of one whole that tell us who we are and who God is.Yet as Christians we often neglect to realize these are two crucial pieces of the same story. Instead, we see them as separate pieces and neglect to realize the threads stretching from Genesis to Revelation that are all telling the same story: the loving, merciful God is in our midst. This summer we will take time to pull at those threads of God’s story and come to find a deeper understanding of these two testaments to God’s gracious actions throughout history.

Messages

8/6 - 8/7/2022 (August 6/7) | ONE + THREE

Why do we worship a God who is “one in three and three in one?” The Trinity is the most crucial and yet one of the most confusing parts of our Christian doctrine. It is also easy to make the mistake of assuming the Trinity did not exist as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit until the New Testament. Yet we worship a God who is unchanging, and the Old Testament shows us that our Trinitarian God has been and will always be from the very first words of scripture.

7/30 - 7/31/2022 (July 30/31) | LEAD + SERVE

The world gives us a very specific image of leadership, and yet scripture in the Old and New Testaments show us that God calls us to lead through service. Deborah was a non-anxious presence offering wisdom, Peter’s mother chose to serve in response to Christ’s healing, and the women at the tomb were prepared to serve before they were transformed into the first evangelists of Christ’s resurrection. The message of scripture is consistent: we are called to lead by service.

7/23 - 7/24/2022 (July 23/24) | MOSES + JESUS

God fulfills God’s promises, plain and simple. Since the time of Genesis God has set aside people to act on God’s behalf here on earth, and we have seen leaders rise up like Moses to bring God’s people through challenges and into new life. Jesus was the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promises and the quintessential leader, set apart to do what no other prophet or priest could.

7/16 - 7/17/2022 (July 16/17) | ELIJAH + JOHN

The threads tying the Old and New Testaments together matter deeply, not just for us but for the people who encountered Jesus face to face. Christ was sent here on a mission, and yet God chooses to always include humanity in the work of God’s Kingdom. Any Jewish person in the first century would recognize the weight and importance of John the Baptist’s words and actions. John was sent as the new Elijah to prepare the way for Christ, the new Moses (which we will learn about next week!).

7/9 - 7/10/2022 (July 9/10) | WATER + SPIRIT

Just as we take communion for granted, we often forget that baptism is a ritual that connects us not only with the people of the New Testament and Christ himself, but with so many of those who came before us in the pages of the Old Testament. God has been inviting God’s people into a new life, putting our “whole trust in his grace,” from the beginning of creation, and we are called to be part of that holy covenant.

7/2 - 7/3/2022 (July 2/3) | BREAD + WINE

Even though communion is a sacrament we participate in every month, it can be easy to miss the deep connections from our communion table to the Passover meal and salvation of God’s people in Egypt. Just as they were freed from slavery and rescued into a new life of promise, we are “freed from slavery to sin and death,” and invited to recommit to the life of Christ.

6/25 - 6/26/2022 (June 25/26) | LOVE + LAW

How do we put together the law of the Old Testament and the love of Christ’s message in the New Testament? This is one of the greatest challenges many face in their journey of reading scripture, and yet the law of the Old and New Testaments add up to the same thing: Love the Lord your God, love your neighbor as yourself.

All Series

More Than Conquerors
5/14 - 6/19/2022
In the early first century, culturally speaking, everything was positioned around the idea that a nation ought to expand and conquer to accumulate power and influence. In this way, the movement that began with Jesus was positioned well to be a religion that was focused on going out in the world, spreading its message to new nations, and converting others to this system of beliefs. The world was primed for a religious movement that would respond to the great commission, and in effect, go forth and conquer. Yet, the church was not about conquering. It did not hope to extinguish and assimilate every other person and culture. Instead, the early church grew on the basis that it had the ability to universally speak to the human condition of brokenness and offer hope and promise in the wake of that very condition. The church would be more than the conquerors. Everyone was coming to believe in the promise of God. The Gospel reached into different cultures, differently idioms and languages altogether. In this message, they preached and believed that Jesus would return again, and would return again sooner rather than later. Nobody could have fathomed the idea that 2000 years into the future, we would still be waiting on this return. They were teaching each other lessons and lifting each other up in the hopes that they would be alive to see the grand return. However, those lessons taught have a practicality that transcends any time period. In growing over this time, the church moved beyond the disciples. What was once an effort of individuals and leaders who had all had direct connections to, and conversations with, the risen Lord now transitioned to a movement of different ages, nations, and races of converted believers who had simply heard the Good News of the Gospel. They would lean on their own spiritual experiences of the divine rather than tangible interactions with God Incarnate. What will leadership look like in this new Church? Who can be a part of this faith movement? What will be required to participate? Most importantly, how do those messages speak to us today?
Appeared
4/23 - 5/8/2022
Easter has come, Christ has been resurrected. We have enjoyed the big celebrations, the Easter egg hunts, and the family meals, but we forget that there was more than an empty tomb after Christ was resurrected. There were more visits than the brief encounter of the women in the garden. A fully resurrected Christ is a free Christ. Jesus could have gone anywhere and done anything after the resurrection, and yet he chose to search for the disciples. Jesus sought out the ones who abandoned and failed him more than anyone else. The ones who swore loyalty disappeared. The ones who followed in his footsteps for three years turned their backs on the suffering Savior. The ones who pledged to help transform the world abandoned the mission in fear and shame. Yet the story of the cross and resurrection is true for each of us through the power of God’s grace: we are more than our worst moments. The worst thing is never the last thing. What might those disciples have been feeling after the cross? Can you imagine the deep silence between them? The shared knowledge of their failures? The unrelenting question: “What now?” Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” It is not hard to imagine the deep shame of these disciples, one that each of them knew intimately and yet did not want to name. Shame assigns identity based on our worst moments. It thrives on secrecy. It is “the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal we’ve not lived up to, or a goal we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection” (Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart, 137). We see over and over again in the Gospels and Acts scenes of redemption and healing through God’s grace. Jesus could have chosen to abandon the ones who left him at the cross, who pretended they did not even know him, to start from scratch with better disciples. Yet in God’s infinite grace and unrelenting love, the disciples were chosen for connection, relationship, and entrusted with the mission of Christ. Jesus confronts their failures head on. This is the Christian story: our deepest shame is redeemed and we are transformed into world-changing disciples