06/09/2019 – First Corinthians – Part Six – The Body
1 Corinthians 12 – One of the most famous images in the New Testament is that of the church being the Body of Christ. This is an incredible image of unity and connectedness, a message we badly need in our culture. But in the context of the whole letter and the problems in Corinth, what else was this image trying to accomplish?
06/02/2019 – First Corinthians – Part Five – When Our “Wisdom” Fails
1 Corinthians 10:1-13. In this text, Paul warns the church at Corinth not to put too much confidence in their own wisdom. He also speaks a word about the the trials and sufferings God allows to come our way. And although this letter was written nearly 2000 years ago to a different audience, it has MUCH to say to us today.
05/26/2019 – First Corinthians – Part Four – Right and Wrong at the Same Time
1 Corinthians 8:1-13; 10:23-33. When Paul writes “everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial”, he is highlighting one of the great paradoxes of life: it’s possible to be absolutely right and completely wrong at the same time.
05/19/2019 – First Corinthians – Part Three – Choosing to be Wronged
1 Corinthians 6:1-11. Just like any church today, the church at Corinth wasn’t perfect. People got hurt. When this happens we are faced with a choice of how we will respond.
05/12/2019 – First Corinthians – Part Two – Seeing the World Differently
Before tackling questions and specific issues within the church at Corinth, Paul must first challenge the way the Corinthians see the world.
05/05/2019 – First Corinthians – Part One – Introduction
1 Corinthians 1:1-17. When one looks closely at the personality (and struggles) of the city of Corinth, it is not hard to see similarities to modern day America. This all makes Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians even more interesting to read.
04/28/2019 – Earth Day 2019
Psalm 19:1-4; 104:16-21; 50:10-11; 96:11-13. What would a scriptural Ecotheology look like?
04/21/2019 – Easter Sunday 2019 (and baptisms)
Romans 8:18-25. Easter Sunday and the already-and-not-yet Kingdom of God (plus baptisms)
04/14/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part Seven – Paul
2 Corinthians 11:16-30. Paul offers a fascinating defense of his ministry and of what qualifies him for leadership – a defense that would disqualify him by human standards. But as is often the case, the Kingdom of God operates with a different set of metrics.
04/07/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part Six – Anna and Simeon
Luke 2:22, 25-38. Anna and Simeon are very old at the time of Christ’s arrival … an arrival they were both awaiting for many years. There is something inspiring and needful for us all to learn from their example of living through disappointment and awaiting the arrival of something better.
03/31/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part Five – Jeremiah
Jeremiah 29:1-14. The oft-quote promise of Jeremiah, that God has a plan to prosper us, is almost always taken out of context. A context of slavery and bondage. Perhaps we need to hear this text again for the first time, placing in its context and letting it speak into our greatly divided world.
03/24/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part Four – Israel (in the desert)
Exodus 16:1-3, 11-21. The people of Israel witnessed a lot of spectacular events on their way to freedom. But the miracle of manna they experienced in the desert was markedly different from the miracles that brought them out of Egypt. What can we learn from this miracle?
03/17/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part Three – Moses
Exodus 2:1-15. The life of faith will necessary include pain and hardship. There is no “direct flight” to wisdom and maturity. It requires passing through disorder and deconstruction. Moses was no exception.
03/10/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part Two – Joseph
Genesis 40:1-41:14. Most of the great characters of faith in the bible had long seasons of waiting and of seeming silence from God. Joseph in the Genesis story is no exception. Wrongly imprisoned, he spends two plus years in prison. How was Joseph impacted by this season of waiting? What can we learn from his example?
03/03/2019 – Are We There Yet? – Part One – Abraham and Sarah
Genesis 12:1-4; 17:1-17. All of faith takes place in this season of waiting — longing for the day when Christ sets all things to right. For those of us who don’t like to wait (i.e., all of us), what can we learn from the stories in the bible about patience? Perseverance? Waiting?
02/24/2019 – We Are All One – Part Four – Nor Is There Male and Female
Galatians 3:26-29; 1 Timothy 2:11-15. In his letter to the Galatians, Paul seems far ahead of his cultural stage when it came to views on race and gender and slavery. But yet, his first letter to Timothy seems so regressive and archaic. How do we reconcile this?
02/17/2019 – We Are All One – Part Three – Neither Slave nor Free
Galatians 3:26-29; Colossians 3:18-4:1. How do we reconcile Paul’s awe-inspiring words “there is neither slave nor free” alongside his enigmatic instruction, “slaves, obey your earthly masters”?
02/10/2019 – We Are All One – Part Two – Neither Jew nor Gentile
Galatians 3:26-28; Luke 10:25-27. When Paul writes in his letter to the Galatians, “there is neither Jew nor Gentile,” and when Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan, they are both addressing racism. Plain and simple. What do these texts have to say to us today?
02/03/2019 – We Are All One – Part One – Unity
Galatians 3:26-29. “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
01/20/2019 – Refresh 2019 – Part Three – Community
Matthew 22:15-22. How do we embrace a life of community in a world that pushes us toward individualism?
01/13/2019 – Refresh 2019 – Part Two – Discipleship
Matthew 22:15-22. What is discipleship? It must be more than a love for the scriptures for surely nobody loved the scriptures more than the Pharisees.
01/06/2019 – Refresh 2019 – Part One – Kingdom
Matthew 22:15-22. When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with a question about taxes paid to Caesar, Jesus brilliantly turned the tables on them.
12/24/2018 – Christmas Eve 2018 – The Inn Keeper
Luke 2:7. A closer look at the one who is remembered for saying, “There is no room for you here at the inn.”
12/23/2018 – The Star – Part Three – The Star of Kokhba
Matthew 2:1-2; 22:15-22; 20:25-28; Luke 19:41-44. In the Jewish story, there were many “stars” who claimed to be the Messiah. But there is only one story that still commands our attention 2000 years later.
12/16/2018 – The Star – Part 2 – Julius’ Star
Luke 2:1-21. Luke’s Christmas story is one that proclaims good news, a savior, and the arrival of peace. Caesar Augustus had already been making the same proclamations for fifty years about himself … which makes the Christmas story far more relevant and politically charged than we tend to read it.
12/2/2018 – The Star – Part 1 – A Star Arises from Jacob
Matthew 2:1-12. Matthew’s Gospel tells us that a star rose in the East at the birth of Jesus. In our world, this is often viewed as a quaint miracle, but what did it mean in a world in which every king believed their destiny was written in the stars?
11/25/2018 – Thankful – Part 2 – The Father
Luke 15:11-32. In this Thanksgiving week filled with the joy and messiness of family and friends, we reflect on the messy and beautiful love of the father in the story of the Prodigal Son.
11/18/2018 – Thankful – Part 1 – The Order of Good Cheer
Philippians 1:1-11. Paul writes to the church at Philippi with such joy and thankfulness. On this Sunday, we gathered and shared some stories of thankfulness for our little church from within our faith community.
11/11/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 6 – Love Your Neighbor and Hate Your Enemy
Matthew 5:43-48. Sometimes we prefer what ‘we say God says’ over what God may actually be saying. This is true of the sixth and final time Jesus uses the phrase, “You have heard it said.”
11/4/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 5 – To Turn the Other Cheek
Matthew 5:38-42. To “turn the other cheek” is more than a nod to pacifism. It offers a third-way of being in the world.
10/28/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 4 – Oaths (and Sacred Space)
Matthew 5:33-37. “But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all … Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No.’” Once again, Jesus takes a well-known Old Testament thought and expands upon it beautifully – and meaningfully for us today.
10/21/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 3 – Divorce
Matthew 5:31-32. This text about divorce and infidelity is about so much more than first meets the eye.
10/14/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 2 – Lust and Hell
Matthew 5:27-30. In this text, Jesus draws a connection between lust and hell. How should this impact our sexual ethic?
10/07/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 1 – Murder and Anger
Matthew 5:21-26. Jesus takes a common phrase from the law, “do not murder” and expands upon it, moving from external compliance to internal transformation.
9/23/2018 – Faith & Technology – Part 6 – Our Ever Diminishing Attentions Spans
2 Kings 5:1-3, 9-14. When Naaman travels from Aram to Samaria to be healed from leprosy by the prophet Elisha, his response to Elisha exposes a tendency in all of us.
9/9/2018 – Faith & Technology – Part 5 – Technology and Gratitude
Philippians 4:4-13. How do we live with contentment and gratitude in a culture that literally makes-its-living on creating dissatisfaction and discontentment?
9/2/2018 – Faith & Technology – Part 4 – Technology and Mission
Deut 15:7-8; Prov 22:22-23; Isa 1:17; Jer 22:3; Mic 6:8; Rom 12:13; Mt 25:37-40. Stories from our church’s recent mission trip to Guatemala.
8/19/2018 – Faith & Technology – Part 3 – Technology and Theology
1 Corinthians 1:18-25, In Week 1 we talked about how our brains are shaped by our habits. How have language and the written word shaped our brains and the way we think about God?
8/12/2018 – Faith & Technology – Part 2 – Faith and Social Media
1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 11-13. How is social media adversely impact community? What can we do to minimize the impact?
8/5/2018 – Faith & Technology – Part 1 – Technology and the Brain
Genesis 2:8-9; 15-17; 3:1-7. How is technology shaping and reconfiguring our brains? Is it true that we “become what we do”?
7/22/2018 – Illustrated Compassion – Part 4 – The True Bethesda
John 5:1-9. Jesus heals a man who had been waiting near the pool of Bethesda for 38 years to be healed. In the healing story, Jesus asks a profound question and offers a powerful challenge.
7/15/2018 – Illustrated Compassion – Part 3 – Love that Removes All Barriers
Luke 7:11-17. When Jesus encounters a funeral process preparing to bury the only son of a widow, Jesus intervenes in the most remarkable of ways.
7/8/2018 – Illustrated Compassion – Part 2 – A Camel and the Needle’s Eye
Mark 10:17-27. On his travels, Jesus meets a rich young ruler. Through their conversation, we learn how hard it is for the wealthy (i.e., all of us) to enter into the life of the Kingdom of God.
7/1/2018 – Illustrated Compassion – Part 1 – The Shepherd and the Gate
Matthew 9:35-38. Jesus describes himself to his disciples as both the Shepherd and the Gate. The gate metaphor is more nuanced (and beautiful!) than one might think!
6/24/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 8 – Pregnant
Genesis 18:1-15. The story of Sarah’s old age pregnancy is a challenge to all of us: to dare to believe. It’s also a reminder to us all that when we’re tempted to dismiss the bible as old and beyond-her-years, it turns out she is pregnant with life after all!
6/17/2018 – You Have Heard it Said – Part 7 – Leftovers
Matthew 5:31; 19:3-9
The journey of scripture – which begins with Law, moves through Prophets, and ends with Wisdom – is meant to be a model for our own journey of faith.