Sermon Topic: Grace
This Sunday is one you won't want to miss. This week, we will take time during worship to celebrate the good provision of God and the plans we are discerning for our future as a church. God is on the move, and I'm excited to prepare with you for what's to come.
We will also continue our journey through Genesis. Some of the stories in this first book of the Bible are hard, but they are also real. And they help us understand God's character and the human condition. We come to know God as full of grace and patience, and ourselves as vulnerable and in need of a savior. Which makes knowing that we have one all that much sweeter. This Sunday we'll encounter the Tower of Babel (Genesis 10-11), and we'll talk about that need we humans have for more. God's response is always more of him, which is exactly what we need.
You know, it's one thing to cancel or ghost the people in your life. But its another thing altogether to cancel God. Can you even imagine having the nerve to tell God you think he got it wrong? Well ... of course, you can! We all do it, in big and subtle ways, when we either ignore God's call to action or fuss at him for not doing as we've asked. And we disagree with God all the time when it comes to people we don't much like or agree with. Sometimes God's mercy doesn't line up with our preferences. This is the big lesson of Jonah, and this week we wrap up the story with a conversation about how choosing God's mercy is very much a choice for life over death. I'm excited to be in the room with you and the great "whale tail" one more time!
This Sunday well finish our series on Ezra with a word on the need for discernment and the discipline of waiting on the Lord. Because like a pendulum, the world seems to swing from one extreme to another. We desperately need to develop real discernment. Amidst a fast-paced and distracted culture, discernment requires a willingness to wait on the Lord. For most of us, waiting on the Lord sounds passive, and ... boring. However, what if waiting is our best opportunity to bring our most authentic selves before God? What if it also opens the door for us to participate in God’s solutions to the world’s problems? What if God’s ways are worth the wait? Join us Sunday and we'll explore those questions and so much more.
How often do you feel overwhelmed by the chaos in our world? It's easy to find ourselves living in the tension between order and chaos, healing and brokenness. We want to do something to make it right, don't we? Not only in the world, but our worlds. What if the only thing that will bring order out of chaos is God's presence? What if the only thing we can do is lean in and join God where he is already working? That's what we find in Ezra 7 & 8. Join us this Sunday and to discover your own unique thirst for God's presence, a presence that brings healing into our lives and the lives of those around us.
Beginning this week, we start our journey toward the cross, knowing that we will not only encounter the grace of Christ there but find an invitation into a Kingdom life that is not of this world. I look forward to taking the journey with you, and pray that we will all have eyes to see what God is doing so we can join him.
How does social activism relate to a deeply formed faith? And how do we as spiritually formed people engage in the world without letting ourselves become entrenched in culture wars? This week, we'll talk about a familiar topic, using the lens of spiritual formation to shape our response to a broken world. We will learn from the Apostle Paul how to root our opinions scripturally, trusting that the Kingdom of God is our country, King Jesus is our leader, and his gospel is our worldview. I look forward to being with you this Sunday in worship.
This Sunday is going to be beautiful! We'll worship with a simple acoustic band, listen to the song of Zechariah (Luke 2:67-79), then consecrate our new baptistry. At the 11a service, we'll baptize three people and help another to remember and claim her baptism. As they are baptized, we can all remember our salvation and be glad as we make our way toward a meaningful Christmas Eve celebration. I hope to see you Sunday.
Sometimes the best stuff takes the least words. An "I love you" or "I'm sorry" can be far more powerful and life-giving than a whole page about why. That's why we're looking at these little books in the New Testament. Because even though they keep it short, they manage to say a lot. In just 335 words, Paul's letter to Philemon may well contain the most potent picture of both the pure gospel and its practical application. And it also manages to capture the beauty of partnership, or what it really means to belong to each other. We can't wait to share this word with you.
Mike Barr is our preacher and grace is our topic. Apostolic grace is an empowerment given to Christ’s church. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3 what apostolic grace is and its purpose for the church. Come join us as we discover why that same grace is just as essential today as it was 2000 years ago.3