Sermon Series: See Clearly Now

1/8 - 2/26/2017

The world is full of people with vision. As followers of Jesus, though, our vision is different than what the world offers. The Bible tells the story of God’s singular vision for humankind  It is a promise of the restoration of God’s creation and our place in it. Our question as a church, as institutional and family leaders, and as individuals is, whose vision do you see?

Messages

2/26/2017 | Until There Is No More Need

As children in God’s household, we experience the joy of God’s redemptive vision. But this is not the end of the story. God’s vision isn’t just for some, but for all humankind, and God has no intention of letting us sit around on the couch. We are called to be agents of God’s vision, to create a world with no more pain or mourning, as we preach Christ and serve people, until there is no more need.

2/19/2017 | Vision To Help Others

Most of life is a journey to achieve God’s promised vision of the future. Yet in rare moments we may feel as if we have arrived - that we are in the land of milk and honey, and that life doesn’t get any better. The question in our best times is - now that we have a glimpse of heaven, what are we going to do with it?

2/12/2017 | Vision Which Can Be Rejected

As the people waited for an abundant future, their ability to see God’s vision waned, until they only saw the desert of their current lives. Their complaints increased and they began to long for the slavery of Egypt. As a result, they never saw the Promised Land. As we wait through desert periods, it can become tempting to look backward with misplaced nostalgia. Getting stuck in the past is destructive. Instead, have a different spirit like Caleb and lean on God’s promised future.

2/5/2017 | Vision Through Barriers

God’s people stood on the edge of the long promised land. But the next step to fulfilling it was going to be challenging. Most of the leaders Moses sent to scout the area saw not a land of abundance but giants that blocked the way. But in faith and with enthusiasm, Joshua and Caleb believed that the people were more than able to do the work necessary to make the vision a reality. In fulfilling the vision, there will be challenges, but God will equip you to do the work.

1/29/2017 | Vision That Cannot Be Stopped

Human brokenness and jealous comparison can lead us to compare our lives to others rather than to God’s vision. Jealous of the attention their father gave their brother, Joseph’s siblings sold him into slavery. But over the course of his life in Egypt, Joseph rose in influence and at a critical time of famine was able to save the lives of his family. In spite of suffering, God can redeem the events of our lives and produce not only good things but abundance beyond our imagining.

1/22/2017 | Vision Bigger Than Us

Many years after God’s vision for Abraham’s future, Abraham still found himself an immigrant. Yet God had not abandoned him. The vision was still coming to pass. When Abraham acquires a small piece of land - for a burial plot, no less - he experiences a bit of grace and a glimpse of the future, and the realization that God’s work in our lives is much bigger than what one generation can accomplish.

1/15/2017 | Vision for All People

From God’s first appearance to Abram, throughout the entire story of God’s redemptive work as recorded in the Bible and through the cloud of witnesses, the original vision has remained the same: that we would all together, from every race and every nation, be as one people, part of God’s household, a single nation blessed by God.

1/8/2017 | Vision for a New Day

The new year is a time when we name new goals and dream new visions. However, our visions are not independent and only for our benefit. God has a design for our lives, and it’s a part of a broader story of God’s redemptive action in reconciling us and building God’s kingdom at St. Andrew and around the world. Vision begins with God. When we abide in Jesus, we discover the knowledge and character of God. It is in this pursuit that we find God’s designs on our lives.

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