Sermon Series: Restoration

5/28 - 6/18/2017

Micah offers people a vision of restoration. Like an old object retrieved form the attic or shed, dusted off, and cleaned back to its original condition, Micah offers the Israelites an opportunity to dust off and restore their relationship with God. The image of restoration also invites us to respond. We have a job to do.

Messages

6/18/2017 | Walk Humbly With Your God

If we follow Micah’s commands to do justice and love mercy out of obligation rather than love, they mean nothing. Our actions aren’t about rules, but the practice that grows our relationship with God. Micah's command is an invitation to continually pursue a loving relationship with God. It is the key to becoming the people God made us to be.

6/11/2017 | Love Mercy

The Hebrew word for mercy is most easily translated as “loving kindness.” This loving kindness comes first from God’s essence and God’s grace. As we experience God’s mercy in our lives, our response develops into a desire to do good for others, in body and in spirit. As some have noted, doing good for others is the certain proof of a Christian spirit.

6/4/2017 | Do Justice

While it is easy to focus on being "good", a better starting point may be to consider a challenging question: “Am I doing harm to others in how I live?” This question moves beyond looking for ways to act and invites us to think about how our lives affect those around us. Considering our lives in relationship to others is the first step to fulfilling the directive to do justice.

5/28/2017 | What Does God Require?

Sometimes it's tempting to think of a relationship with God in terms of rules and requirements: what minimum sacrifices are necessary in order to be in good standing? Meeting requirements doesn’t lead to a relationship with God, and God's grace does not come with a cost. Yet, Christian faith, fully lived out, includes an outpouring of justice, mercy, and love of 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