Did I Hear That Right? The Enigmatic Teachings of the New Testament – February 17, 2019

 Jesus raised his eyes to his disciples and said:“Happy are you who are poor, because God’s kingdom is yours. Happy are you who hunger now, because you will be satisfied.

Happy are you who weep now, because you will laugh. (Luke 6:20-22)

Jesus said the most enigmatic things, possibly none so enigmatic as the Beatitudes. This sermon will explore a variety of things Jesus says, and what we should make of them, based on the teachings in Luke called the Sermon on the Plain.

God’s Gift of Jesus – February 10, 2019

He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.” (Luke 4:21)

The gift of Jesus is the foundation of all we are as Christians, the culmination of all scripture up to that point, the vision for a future with God.

Tell-A-Vision Personalities – February 3, 2019

Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth; and the Lord said o me, “Now I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms. (Jeremiah 1:.9)

Who were the prophets of Israel and just what was their commission to share the vision of God? Our journey through the Bible continues as we discover just what the prophets said, how they said it, and how our response today is important.

Old Testament Lit. 101 – January 27, 2019

The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple, the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes… (Psalm  19:7-8)

An overview of Ecclesiastes, Job, Psalms, Proverbs and Song of Solomon.

The sages had two sources of information about life: the natural world and their Wisdom tradition. Unlike prophets and priests, the sages believed that God wove important principles into the fabric of the universe, which careful observation could discern. The sages believed that things happen for reasons and that humans are able to figure out the workings of the universe. The prophets, in contrast, believed that God gives divine knowledge to select humans thorough dreams, visions, ecstasy, and divine appearance. Yet some of the sages felt outrage because their expectation was that the universe should make sense, but in their experience it did not. So these sages challenged the rationality of their universe and even the justice of God.

The Riches to Rags Story of Israel – January 20, 2019

“For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly, turning aside from the way that I have commanded you. In time to come trouble will fall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.” (Deuteronomy 31: 29)

From Israel’s HeyDey with Saul and David to the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, the story of Israel hinges on how well they follow the way of God. Could this perhaps be a parallel of the dangers all nations face when they do not stick to the statutes that make them great? Today we look more deeply into God’s ways for God’s people.

Torah: From Beginnings to the Promised Land – January 13, 2019

You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. O that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statues! (Psalm 119 4-5)

The importance of the Torah in the foundational story of the Hebrew people cannot be overestimated. Just like the story that led Israel to the Promised Land and the crossing of the Jordan, baptism is our symbol of crossing into the Promised Land of God’s presence.

The B-I-B-L-E, Is That the Book for Me? – January 6, 2019

For surely you have already heard of the commission of God’s grace that was given me for you, and how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I wrote above in a few words. a reading which will enable you to perceive my understanding of the mystery of Christ. (Ephesians 3:2-4)

The Bible was written to reveal the mystery of Christ, the way God is at work in the world. This first week of the series will give insight into the origins of the Bible, and what it means for us today.

…Is Born – December 30, 2018

…Is Born

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a [betrothed] beautifully dressed for [their beloved.] I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “Look! God’s dwelling is here with humankind. [God] will dwell with them, and they will be [God’s] peoples…Then [God] said to me, “All is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will freely give water from the lifegiving

spring.” – (Revelation 21: 1-6)

The story continues. Even though we feel as if the Christmas “season” is over and the tree is quick to come down, the real story begins again in the renewal of our very souls as God nudges us toward new life and possibilities in the new year. What is being born within us?

Let us Sing – HOPE – December 23, 2018

A child is born to us, a son is given to us, and authority will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. –(Isaiah 9: 6)

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the territory of Judea during the rule of King Herod, magi came from the east to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”When King Herod heard this, he was troubled… – (Matthew 2: 1-12)

The last verse of the hymn invites us to lift our voices in alleluia’s to the one who is “King.” This descriptor was more radical for the people of Jesus’ time as it resisted the powers of empire that threatened “the least of these” that Jesus came to serve. We are reminded by this seemingly benign and sweet song that whenever there is injustice in this world, we are to look to the one whose power is love. How might this increase our hope for the future?

Christmas Eve Puppet Show – December 24, 2018