Sermon for October 31, 2021

Psalm 146:1-10 • Ruth 1:1-18 • Hebrews 9:11-14 • Mark 12:28-34 The theme this week is being the people of God. Our call to worship Psalm discusses the fleeting quality of life and the permanence of God and God’s people. Ruth 1 tells us about Ruth choosing to identify as one of God’s people and then becoming a great hero of the faith. Mark 12 is an expansion of the Shema, which Jesus called the greatest commandment in the law. Our sermon is on Hebrews 9, discussing Jesus as the end and aim of the Hebrew faith, what it ultimately means to be the people of God. The Real Footstep in the Hallway Hebrews 9:11-15 Read, or have someone read Hebrews 9:11-15. Kids are consummate imitators. They are wonderfully, sometimes manically... Read the article

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Sermon for October 24, 2021

Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22) • Job 42:1-6, 10-17 • Hebrews 7:23-28 • Mark 10:46-52 This week’s theme is faithful responses. The call to worship Psalm forms a response of faith in a God who rescues the needy upon hearing their humble prayers. Job 42 records Job’s final response to God as a penitent expression of faith in the Lord who “can do all things,” along with the Lord’s answer of restoration for Job after his journey of suffering. This response of faith is echoed in the reading in Mark’s Gospel with the story of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar, who receives healing on account of placing his faith in Jesus. It is this same Jesus who is declared to be the permanent and faithful High Priest for all who approach God for... Read the article

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Sermon for October 17, 2021

Psalm 104:1-9, 24, 35c • Job 38:1-7, (34-41) • Hebrews 5:1-10 • Mark 10:35-45 The theme this week is God made low— the creator of the universe becoming a humble servant. The call to worship Psalm portrays the almighty God “wrapped in light.” In Job 38 we glimpse the frightening depths of God’s power in creation. In Mark 10, Jesus explains that the greatest is the servant of all. Our sermon is based on Hebrews 5, which shows us how Jesus entered the complete helplessness of being human in order to become our priest. The High Priest Made Low Hebrews 5:1-10 ESV Begin with the lectionary reading: Hebrews 5:1-10. “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes” is a well-worn cliché about reserving... Read the article

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Sermon for October 10, 2021

Psalm 22:1-15 • Job 23:1-9 • Hebrews 4:12-16 • Mark 10:17-31 This week’s theme is God’s strength in our weakness. Following Christ does not mean that we won’t get hurt or discouraged. However, it does mean that whatever we go through, Jesus goes through it with us. The call to worship Psalm is a messianic psalm that prophesies the pain Jesus would suffer on the cross. In it, the psalmist laments because he feels far from God. In Job, we encounter a man unable to see God in the midst of his suffering. Hebrews 4 speaks about our High Priest, Jesus Christ, who is able to sympathize with our weakness. Finally, in Mark 10, we encounter a man whose attachment to money robs him of the conviction to follow Jesus. God in Our Weakness... Read the article

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Sermon for October 3, 2021

Psalm 26:1-12 · Job 1:1, 2:1-10 · Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12 · Mark 10:2-16 The theme this week is humanity – the jewel of God’s creation. The call to worship Psalm describes the daily choices we make. God cares about them because he cares about us. Job 1 and 2 tell us about Satan challenging God by saying humanity is a waste of his time, and God rebuking him. Mark 10 tells the story of the Pharisees trying to trip Jesus up with a complicated human question contrasted with the story of Jesus spending time with children. He tells them that the childlike simplicity, not the tired sophistication of society, is what pleases God and what he loves about us. Our sermon looks at Hebrews 1 and 2, which tell of God’s romance with the jewel... Read the article

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Their Voice Matters

When our young people speak, are we willing to listen even when their ideas are unfamiliar or different from how things have been done? I call it the “vacant stare of obligation.” It is the look that comes across the face of a young person sitting through a Sunday meeting that does not reach them. They are completely disengaged, but they feel the need to endure the meeting with courage and dignity. The young person either believes in Jesus and feels obligated to be in church, or an adult has told them that they should want to be in church. Whatever the case, those who suffer from this condition struggle to connect because nothing in the meeting was designed with them in mind. While songs can be sung about their bravery in trying to... Read the article

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Planting the Seeds: Practical Emergent Generation Investment

Planting a seed may seem a simple act, yet it bears tremendous potential for growth and fruitfulness. By Cara Garrity, Development Coordinator, US Last month I suggested that we exchange transactional and utilitarian models of investment in emergent generations for transformative and disciple-making models. When I think of transformative and disciple-making investments I think of planting a seed. Planting a seed may seem a simple act, yet it bears tremendous potential for growth and fruitfulness. Not only a one-time fruitfulness, but a fruitfulness that produces more seeds and potential for an expansion of fruitfulness. In the hands of God, even simple day-to-day acts of investment in the discipleship of emergent generations holds... Read the article

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Yes, the Day DOES Matter

Is the day and time we worship inclusive or exclusive? By Tim Sitterley, US Regional Director, West When Linda and I were planning our wedding forty-some years ago, I made the brilliant suggestion that we hold the ceremony at the base of the waterfall where we had one of our first dates. Sure, it was a strenuous four-hour hike in the mountains, but I had it all worked out. The entire wedding party would hike in together. There would be a beautiful ceremony (where we would have to yell to be heard over the sound of the falls). The champagne would chill in the stream for the reception to follow. And the crowd would throw rice and cheer us on as Linda and I headed up the trail for a back-pack honeymoon. Linda pointed out the multitude of... Read the article

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