Alive in Christ - Sent

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: John 20:19-23

If you missed Easter Sunday here last week, you missed a great Easter Sunday service. You’re going to have to wait a whole other year for the next Easter Sunday, but if you did miss church last week, the good news is that Easter joy, and Easter hope, and Easter life are realities that we can experience every day of the year. The resurrection is the event that validates our Christian faith. It is the anchor of our hope, and it is the basis for the claim that in Christ we have been raised to new life through faith- a new life we live every day. It’s great to be alive with Christ and to know that we are alive with him, but it does beg the question, what does that really mean? We skimmed the surface of an answer to that question last week, but there is a lot that can be said so for the rest of the Easter season that’s what we’re going to be looking at in this sermon series, Alive with Christ, and we’re going to start today with this. To be alive with Christ means we are sentsee full sermon here

Are We Risen Indeed?

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: 2 Corinthians 5:17 and Romans 6:1-11

Jesus has risen from the dead! On Friday the Light of the World was extinguished, but today that light has been reignited like one of those magic birthday candles and it will never be extinguished again. This is the good news that we celebrate today with Christians all over the world. Now for some people, the question of the day is, did the resurrection really even happen? Is it just a story with no real historical, factual basis, because that certainly seems to be most likely given the normal laws of nature and science? People don’t come back to life from the grave. It’s impossible. If that is the question that’s on your mind today, I encourage you to pursue it. We aren’t going to pursue that particular question here this morning, but there are some helpful resources that examine the evidence of the empty tomb and show that there are good reasons to believe that the testimony that we find in Scripture is reliable and true. The Case for Easter by investigative journalist Lee Stroble is one example. Here this morning, though, I want to speak to the question that was raised in the drama that we just saw. This is a group of people who, like most of us, claim to believe that the resurrection is a historical fact. We heard the chaplain say, “He is alive!” and everyone agreed, “He is alive indeed,” but then Steve became thoughtful and asked, “what about us?” That is a good Easter question for those who say they believe….See full sermon here

Wash My Feet (Maundy Thursday Service)

Sermon Text: John 13:1-17, 31-35

We began our Holy Week journey on Sunday with the celebration of Palm Sunday. Jesus received praises and recognition as Israel’s king when he rode into Jerusalem on the donkey’s back, but he had also placed himself within reach of his opponents. Matthew tells us that they were looking for a way to arrest him. Knowing that trouble was brewing and knowing that he would soon be turned over to the authorities, Jesus planned a private gathering with his disciples where they would share the Passover meal togethersee full sermon here.

Motivated By Love

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text Matthew 21:1-9

One of the most memorable moments in Olympic history happened during the 1996 summer Olympics in Atlanta when Kerri Strug clinched the gold medal for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team with a heroic performance on the vault. The Russians had dominated in women’s gymnastics winning the team gold medal in every Olympics since 1948, excluding 1984 when the Soviet Union boycotted the Olympics. The U.S. had a special team that year. They were referred to as “The Magnificent Seven,” and they were determined to take gold in 1996. It looked like they were going to do it until they came to the final rotation with the U.S. gymnasts on the vault and the Russian team on floor exercise. Dominique Moceaunu, one of the U.S. favorites, took her turn on the vault and to everyone’s surprise she fell twice. Her score was low and now the gold medal was up for grabs. Enter Kerri Strug…See full sermon here

A Time of Dependence

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Exodus 16:11-26

As we continue through the Lenten season, we are still in our Wilderness Time sermon series, and this morning I want to talk about how our wilderness times are a time of dependence. Since Jesus’s time in the wilderness is our backdrop for Lent and considering our own wilderness times, I want to start by reading that story once again so it is fresh in our minds again. We’ve heard Matthew’s version and Mark’s version, and this morning I will read from Luke’s Gospel. Luke tells the story this way.

4 Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness2, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”

5 The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. 6 And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. 7 If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

8 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

9 The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. 10 For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; 11 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” 12 Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 13 When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time…See full sermon here

A Time of Challenge

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Mark 1:12-13 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18

During Lent, as we are remembering Jesus’s 40 days in the wilderness, we are also thinking about the wilderness times that we experience in life and as part of our spiritual journeys. I was talking about this sermon series with a friend that we were visiting with on Thursday and Friday, and she asked me, “what’s a wilderness time?” which made me think I should be sure everyone knows what I mean by that. When I’m talking about wilderness times, I mean those times when we’re dealing with difficulties or challenges that make us feel unsure of everything we thought we were sure of; those times when we have more questions than answers; those times when we may feel lonely and isolated; the times when God seems distant and the devil feels near; it could even be a time when we endure some kind of persecution. Sometimes it’s some event, like a divorce, or a death, or a diagnosis that sends us into the wilderness, and sometimes it’s more like a fog that just seems to descend and settle around us for a season. Like the time that Jesus spent in the wilderness, these aren’t easy times, but we can have hope because God can and God does work, even in wilderness times, to accomplish His purposes in our lives. With that in mind, in this sermon series, we are thinking about what else wilderness time is- apart from just being difficult- and last week we thought about how wilderness time is a time for learning. Today, I want to talk about how it is a time of challenge…See full sermon here

A Time of Learning

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Matthew 4:1-11

If you look at the front of your bulletin this morning, you’ll see the picture of a bright green plant that has started growing out of some very dry-looking cracked ground.  When you look at the ground in that picture it makes you wonder how in the world that little plant could possibly be growing because the conditions don’t appear to be the right ones for any growth to happen.  That ground looks like the kind of ground where seeds go to die.  The picture represents the big idea for this Lenten sermon series which is called “Wilderness Time.”  The idea is that even though it doesn’t seem possible that anything good could come from the wilderness times that we enter and experience in our own lives, sometimes we actually do some of our best growing when we find ourselves in the wilderness…See full sermon here

Weird Ambition

Sermon Audio

Sermon Text: Matthew 20:20-28

We have come to the final week in our Keep Church Weird series. It has been my hope that through this series you would begin to get a glimpse of the heart of your new pastor, but more importantly, as we begin to navigate a new season of life and ministry together that will surely bring some changes at some point along the way, I wanted us to spend some time thinking about some essential things that should never change no matter what. These are things that Jesus teaches us, and as I’ve been saying all along, when we keep in step with Jesus, it often takes us out of step with what’s going on around us, so we may be “weird,” but weird is good in this case, and I want us to embrace it! This morning, in this final message in our series, I want to talk about “weird ambition.”

I first thought that this message would be called “a weird mission,” and mission is certainly a “churchier” sounding word than ambition, but the two are related. Our mission is the work that Jesus has given us to do in this world, and we can be either eager and ambitious about it or apathetic and lazy. When it comes to participating in God’s mission, I don’t think lazy and apathetic is what Jesus wants from us. I think Jesus wants us to give energy and all the best of ourselves to God’s mission, and as your new pastor, I want us to be a church that is earnest, and eager, and ambitious about participating in God’s mission and building God’s kingdom…See full sermon here