Sermon Series: Three Short Years

1/8 - 2/27/2022

Within three years, Jesus healed the sick, freed the oppressed, and set a course for all of human history to be made right. As we explore the gospels, we'll dive into a study of Jesus' ministry, meeting those who were on the receiving end of his work, and realize how Christ's work continues to this day.

Messages

2/26 - 2/27/2022 | His Face In The Crowd

Jesus is the central fixture of many bustling crowds moving together from location to location. This appears to be the status quo from which Jesus withdraws to quiet places alone for respite and prayer. Nevertheless, we are never told that Jesus discourages or dislikes the crowds, rather it seems that the witness of Jesus’ work is most evident within crowds! What must it have been like to sit at the feet of Jesus during his teachings, or witness a healing miracle? Who is this man, Jesus, that responds to the cries of the needy, or who welcomes children to his side? The crowds are one evidence of the reality that there is something different about Jesus, something worth following.

2/19 - 2/20/2022 | Under Authority

Trust and faith are two sides of the same coin. A famous instance in the Gospel of Matthew demonstrates this by the Roman Centurion’s interaction with Jesus. For Gentiles and Jews, the tendency to embody the division of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ was just as tempting as we find it today. The Gentiles, people who religiously did not identify as Jewish by worshipping YHWH, populated different geographic regions than most Jews and both sides did not intermingle…on purpose anyway. Upon the arrival of Jesus’ teachings however, the Gospel message drastically flipped the present expectation upside down and new believers were formed.

2/12 - 2/13/2022 | Noticing Others

Jesus is famously accredited with many healing accounts by radically restoring physical health to many. However, the accompanying quality of such healings is the radical expression of love that flows from Jesus. In the Gospels, Jesus never qualifies the status, age, race, or ability of the person in need of healing – instead, he pursues the individual with intentionality and graciousness. Noticing others is a powerful gift… and offering grace and love to them without qualification is a direct emulation of Jesus.

2/5 - 2/6/2022 | How to Pray

It is no coincidence that the central peak of Jesus’ ‘Sermon on the Mount’ is the prayer today commonly referred to as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. Right before teaching his followers the specific verbiage of this prayer, Jesus insists that we must not pray to be ‘seen’. So often, our human tendencies implore us to do certain things in order to be seen. What could this mean that Jesus outlines a way of prayer that is counter-cultural? The Lord’s Prayer is one more way that we are bound to Christ, for we share the same words and hopes that Jesus himself spoke. Prayer does just that – it is the tie that binds.

1/29 - 1/30/2022 | Beautitudes: A World Turned Upside Down

“A beatitude simply means a statement of divine blessing; but the most famous Beatitudes are found spoken by Jesus at the onset of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’. Have you ever noticed that each of the nine blessings of Jesus’ Beatitudes are hinged on traits that are opposite of what the world says is valuable today? These Beatitudes demonstrate the reality of God’s expansive graciousness, and the motivation to continue pursuing the Way of the Lord in the face of a chaotic world.”

1/22 - 1/23/2022 | Growing Pains

Just because Jesus was followed by many, does not mean he was accepted by all. In a return to his hometown of Nazareth as an adult, Jesus begins to teach in the synagogue quoting the scroll of Isaiah. While many were amazed, the murmuring of his childhood acquaintances begin whispering comments of judgement and skepticism. Can’t you hear them wondering…“Who does Jesus think he is? He cannot possibly be THE Messiah! We saw him as an infant, he is one of us!”. As our lives progress, we grow. Where might we notice such growth in those around us… in encouraging and naming the indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord in others.

1/15 - 1/16/2022 | Calling The Disciples

What does it mean to be called and who exactly is called? In the first chapter of Mark, Jesus makes it clear that he desires for Andrew, Simon, John and James to follow him in discipleship. In fact, it says that ‘without delay’ he called them. Not only do they obey, but without hesitation. Today we are constantly being advertised things, movements, or persons to follow… how do we know which to follow, or where they might lead? Using scripture as our guidepost, we see that Jesus is a reliable source of trust. Jesus is the Word made flesh, the One who is worthy of our worship and discipleship.

1/8 - 1/9/2022 | Pointing Ahead

Much like the highway road signs that alert you to what is coming, John the Baptist provides a significant introduction to the ministry of Jesus. In the Gospels, John the Baptist is the first recorded baptizer using water as he stands on the Jordan River. However, he is clear that “after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry.” What kind of humility and conviction did that take for John the Baptist to point toward the Messiah he knew was to come? Even before baptizing Jesus, John knew that the significance of the Holy Spirit was more glorious than anyone could expect.

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