Sermons

Are You Willing?

Date: January 17, 2021

Passage: John 1:43-51, Psalms 139:1-6

God has something special planned for each and everyone of us. And at the appropriate time, God calls us to follow the way that will bring us the most satisfying and fruitful life. It’s not a question about if God is calling you; the question is are you willing to follow?

    What Pleases God?

    Date: January 10, 2021

    Passage: Mark 1:4-11, Psalms 29:1-11

    In general, most of us believe that we are not holy enough. Even if we do our best and try our hardest, we often doubt that God is pleased with us. More often, we believe the opposite is true. How might your life be different if you believed God is pleased with you just the way you are? How might that truth impact your daily life?

      Intuition

      Date: January 3, 2021

      Passage: Matthew 2:1-12, Psalms 72:1-7, Psalms 72:10-14

      After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph were visited by three wise men. When they were about to leave for home, they were warned in a dream not to return home by way of Jerusalem. How often do we heed the warnings of our gut? How often do we trust in that still, small voice coming from the inside?

        Change Came to Change Us

        Date: December 27, 2020

        Passage: Luke 2:15-20

        2020 has been a year of learning how to make adjustments. We were forced into change
        and we have been changed. On our worst days, God reminds us to hold on to the the hope, the love, the
        peace and the joy that is found in Jesus. As his followers, we seek to embody and spread these spiritual gifts
        that have kept us through a wilderness year.

          A Savior is Born

          Date: December 24, 2020

          Passage: Luke 2:11-14

          Join us for an evening of music and celebration as we anticipate together the newness that the birth of the Savior will bring to a world in need. As we learn to live into our new reality, God reminds us to hold on to the the hope, the love, the peace and the joy that is found in Jesus. As his followers, we seek to embody and spread the hope, love, peace and joy that has kept us through a wilderness year.

            Needed Change

            Date: December 20, 2020

            Passage: Luke 1:26-38

            Mary questions how these things can be since she is a virgin. That the Holy Spirit will come upon her calls to mind Isaiah 32:15 which sings of the spirit coming upon the community as part of the restoration of justice, peace and abundance. The angel models the way Luke would like the people to respond to the news of the manifestation of God’s realm through Jesus. Mary has repented of her doubt and trustingly seeks to serve. By making Mary a model believer, Luke signals in the divine realm the situation of women will be fully restored. Where else is restoration needed? What other situations need change in our world?

              Changing Our Focus

              Date: December 13, 2020

              Passage: Isaiah 61:1-4

              Scholars have been puzzled over the identity of the servant in Isaiah. But to worry about that question is to miss the larger point that the servant is not named is deliberate. Many within Israel could be the servant in different times, places and circumstances and it is utterly appropriate that Jesus is also regarded as the servant. With all of our knowledge and wisdom, we have a tendency to focus on the wrong thing and miss the main thing. As a person of color, one who grew up in the inner city, who attended public schools which lacked funding and resources, whose parents struggled to make ends meet; when I read this text, my mind and heart go directly to those who are the object of the servant’s mission—the poor, the captives, the oppressed. My initial concern is not the identity of the one being sent to help. From the perspective of the one in need, it doesn’t matter if the servant is black or white, male or female, Jew or Gentile—the servant has come to offer compassion.

                Children of Light

                Date: November 15, 2020

                Passage: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

                We are living in difficult days. In these past months we have witnessed the worst of humanity and the best of humanity. We have seen death, depression and despair. We live in uncertain times and the future contains many mysteries. But even with all of that, we still have the power to control how we interact with others. Through it all, we are still able to encourage and build each other up.

                  Is God an option for you and your family

                  Date: November 8, 2020

                  Passage: Joshua 24:1-3, Joshua 24:14-25

                  There are many in our society who have given up on faith or some define themselves as atheist or agnostic. What many fail to realize is that human beings operate in this world based on some level of faith and faithful practice. We all believe in something and follow some sort of value system. Like Joshua and the Israelites, we will all come to different crossroads in our life and it will require us to make a choice and that choice will be based on some degree of uncertainty or based on some level of faith in the unknown. Might God be an option?

                    Blessed are they who Mourn

                    Date: November 1, 2020

                    Passage: John 3:1-3, Matthew 5:4

                    Grief is a natural response to loss. It is emotional suffering which occurs when someone or something is lost to us. Most common causes for grief are the death of a loved one, divorce or a breakup. Grieving is important because when we do so we make space that is bound to the lost person, object or experience. This enables us to reinvest that energy that is lost to us in deep grief. How’s your grieving going?

                      Change is Inevitable

                      Date: October 25, 2020

                      Passage: Deuteronomy 34:1-12

                      It’s interesting how the concerns of our parents, grandparents and even great grandparents are exactly the same concerns we have today about this next generation—music, fashion, relationships, etc. I often hear people say; “this is the worst generation of them all. We never did what they’re doing; we weren’t that bad!” Well, here’s a new flash for all of us; God has not forgotten or overlooked this next generation. God did not give up on us and we should not give up on them.

                        God’s Mercy is Far and Wide

                        Date: October 18, 2020

                        Passage: Exodus 33:12-23

                        We desire God’s presence because without it we are lost; and without it we may not even know we are lost. Moses says to God “If your presence will not go, do not carry us up from here.” If you don’t have plans to see us through this process, then leave us here to die in the wilderness. Moses is seeking God in a most powerful way because he understands the significance of the moment.

                          Excessive Force

                          Date: October 11, 2020

                          Passage: Exodus 32:1-14

                          People often remark about the excessive violence in the Old Testament. However, it is becoming increasing difficult to distinguish today’s violent culture from the ancient world. In the case of the Old Testament, God not only listened to the prayers of his servant Moses, but moved on behalf of Israel and in doing so has given us a formula to be used in our current context to help us deal with our anger, our road rage, our angry outbursts, our verbally abusive language, with our desire to get even by using violence.

                            Resting in God

                            Date: October 4, 2020

                            Passage: Exodus 20:8-11

                            Finding time for Sabbath in our lives has become a more urgent matter in 2020. The idea that we have to find time for Sabbath indicates to me that it is quite possible that we may have lost this practice along the way. And if we have lost Sabbath, then chances are we are neglecting to meet God and neglecting to enjoy our life. Is joy still possible?

                              Change your Mindset

                              Date: September 27, 2020

                              Passage: Matthew 21:23-32

                              When we change our mind, our thinking, our decisions and our direction, this is what’s known as repentance. It means that we have turned away from a harmful path and turn towards God’s path. Are you ready to turn and move towards the direction of God?

                                Working or Waiting for Work

                                Date: September 20, 2020

                                Passage: Matthew 20:1-16

                                Do you ever find yourself disagreeing with God? There are some occasions when the Word of God seems unfair, backwards and confusing and you simply want clarity. As human beings living in what we believe is a just society, we expect just treatment. Is Jesus’ idea of justice the same as ours?

                                  The Gospel of Forgiveness

                                  Date: September 13, 2020

                                  Passage: Matthew 18:21-35

                                  Forgiveness is a foundational principal of the Body of Christ. Yet, it remains a struggle for followers of Christ to both give and receive forgiveness. We judge harshly the sins of others and we make excuses for our own bad behavior. Have you forgiven all?

                                    God Came Down

                                    Date: August 30, 2020

                                    Passage: Exodus 3:1-15

                                    God will use some of the most unexpected people to teach us and prepare us for the next transition in our lives. God sent Moses to deliver Israel from Egypt’s oppression. Moses, who was once a slave master, has now been sent to liberate the ones he formerly enslaved. Is it possible for someone to change their entire belief system in order to do the will of God?

                                      Unlearning the Lessons of Slavery

                                      Date: August 23, 2020

                                      Passage: Exodus 1:8-2:10

                                      The Book of Exodus depicts exactly what the word exodus means — a way out. And, for Israel, it was a way out of bondage and oppression which they suffered for 400 years at the hands of the Egyptians. Israel spent centuries absorbing Egypt’s pagan beliefs Now they would have to unlearn them. Unlearning will prove to be just as important and learning about the One true God. What lessons have we learned from our past that we now need to unlearn?

                                        Is it good and pleasant?

                                        Date: August 16, 2020

                                        Passage: Psalms 133:1-3, Matthew 15:21-28

                                        In the Psalm, we hear that it is good and pleasant when people live together in unity, and yet in the gospel story, we hear Jesus liken a woman from another region to a dog. Can we live in unity when, deep in our hearts, we hold bias and prejudice that comes out when we least expect it? How can we be more like Jesus who, when confronted with his derogatory comment, understands that he was wrong and changes his actions?

                                          The Living Lord - Walking With Jesus

                                          Date: May 17, 2020

                                          Passage: Luke 24:13-35

                                          Sometimes it feels like we are so in the trenches and overwhelmed, that we don't realize that Jesus is right there with us, walking with us and breaking bread with us..

                                            Have you Drifted from the Fold?

                                            Date: May 3, 2020

                                            Passage: John 10:1-10, Psalms 23:1-3

                                            The Shepherd says that his sheep will come in and go out. Coming in and going out describes the two-sided activity of human life. The one side is the contemplative life of interior union with God. The other side is the active life of practical obedience in the field of work or service which God provides for us. How do you balance coming in and going out? Have you been out too long?G

                                              Is Dying to Self Necessary?

                                              Date: March 29, 2020

                                              Passage: Isaiah 43:18-21

                                              Isaiah reveals that God is doing a new thing and we can discover it during wilderness times. The dry days can become times of refreshment for our souls. Things also die in the wilderness. What are the benefits of allowing some things die?

                                                How Do We Survive in this Valley of Death?

                                                Date: March 22, 2020

                                                Passage: Psalms 23:1-6

                                                In the life of Christians, the valley is often used to describe a time of difficulty, sorrow and pain. It is a low season in one's life where both believers and non-believers struggle with invisible concepts such as faith and hope. It's a time when we are desperate for tangible evidence that God is real and with us. Have you experienced God's presence in this Coronavirus pandemic?