Sermon Series: Community, Cross, and New Creation

3/1 - 4/5/2020

We are told the Bible is the source of a more fulfilling life, but it is too complicated to understand without God and God’s community walking through it with you. Understanding the Bible as a set of books in their normal order can seem like an almost impossible task. This series looks at three images that are present in every one of the 27 books of the New Testament. Reading the Bible with these three images in mind reveals a consistent moral vision: the promise of a new creation, only possible through community and the cross.

Messages

4/4 - 4/5/2020 | Faith

The people greeting Jesus with palm leaves had faith he was the Messiah. Faith is what Jesus tried to teach the disciples who fell asleep in the garden. Faith gave the women the strength to stay beside Jesus through it all. Faith in God’s community, in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and in God’s new creation will carry us through this Holy Week.

3/28 - 3/29/2020 | Forgiveness

As broken humans, we are always searching for ways to be “made right,” with God and others. Through the cross and resurrection, God chooses to offer us forgiveness that we might be made right not only with God, but in our community.

3/21 - 3/22/2020 | Repentance

Even in the scriptural passages that don’t talk directly about the cross, it is baked in. At the cross we confront our own sins and brokenness and receive the gift of repentance and new life. When we become “doers of the word”, as James calls us to, we begin to enact the cross in our own time and space.

3/14 - 3/15/2020 | Suffering

While the world pursues the illusion of a pain free life, as Christ followers we are honest in knowing that suffering is the way of the world. The story of the cross is a story of suffering, and to be a follower of Jesus is to participate in his sufferings and and, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

3/7 - 3/8/2020 | Love

Many definitions exist for the word love, including the love of family, the love of a relationship, and the love of sacrifice. We discover the highest definition of love in the truest sacrifice: we know love through the cross. In fact, we cannot understand love without it.

2/29 - 3/1/2020 | Lamb

We worship God from the future, at which time Revelation reveals that the slaughtered lamb will be worshipped by every tribe, language, people and nation. The cross is the central point of the entire universe and through it, we are made to be a kingdom and priests serving our God.

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