Series Title:Generosity. Money is a sensitive issue in our culture and yet it is central to our commitment to follow in the Way of Jesus. And it is also a yardstick to measure our understanding of grace. In this sermon series we are going to experience why Christian giving is such an adventure.
Sunday, November 12, 2017; Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost; Title: Generosity: Worth versus Money; Theme: A true encounter with Jesus transforms the way we use power—not for ourselves but to serve others. Find out how the encounter with Jesus changes Zacchaeus’s life. Zacchaeus trades his money to keep his soul; Read: Luke 19:1-9
November 19, 2017 Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost: Title: Entitled or Grateful? Theme: Why do you suppose the Samaritan came back to thank Jesus? After all, Jesus hadn’t made a formal thank you as part of the bargain. He simply told them to go and show themselves to the priests. The Samaritan’s nine partners, obviously, felt no need to return. Why the Samaritan? Read Luke 17:11-19.
November 26, 2017 Twenty-sixth Sunday after Pentecost; Title: The Inclining Christian; Theme: When we lean into God, God provides support. What does it look like to “lean into God?” What must we do to welcome, accept, and receive that loving support through our lives? Is there anything that God requires of us in order to do so? Read Psalm 78:1-7.
Advent Series: Christmas through the Eyes of Joseph using a resource from Adam Hamilton. From his beginnings as a humble carpenter to his important role as the earthly father of Jesus, Joseph’s place in the nativity story is sometimes overlooked but contains valuable lessons for all of us. His courageous actions were crucial to the birth of Jesus and God’s dream for humanity
December 3, 2017 First Sunday of Advent; Title: Christmas through the Eyes of Joseph: A Carpenter named Joseph. Theme: We don’t often hear about Joseph because there is relatively little in the gospels about him. They contain only a handful of stories about him around the time of Jesus’ birth and a couple of references to Jesus as “Joseph’s son” later in the gospels. So we have to read between the lines to fill in the picture of Joseph’s life and to some extent we must use our imagination to connect the bits information we do find in the gospels. Read: Matthew 13:54-56
December 10, 2017 Second Sunday of Advent; Title: Christmas through the Eyes of Joseph: Whose Child is This? Theme: Matthew’s account of Joseph’s story and through it Jesus; story begins with a scandal. Mary became pregnant and Joseph was not the Father. While we as Christians know that Mary was not unfaithful, Joseph did not know that but based on his response to this news we do get a hint of Joseph’s character. Read: Mathew 1:18-19.
December 17, 2017 Third Sunday of Advent; Title: Christmas through the Eyes of Joseph: Raising a Child not your own; Theme: Joseph chose to care for, protect, and raise a child who was not his own. We will look at how Joseph shaped the life and ministry of Jesus and what that story tells us not only about this humble carpenter but about God and ourselves. Read Matthew 1:18-21.
December 24, 2017 Fourth Sunday of Advent (Morning Service); Title: Christmas through the Eyes of Joseph: The Journey to Bethlehem; Theme: Why did Joseph take the very pregnant Mary on the long journey to Bethlehem if it was not required by Roman Law? She was 9 months pregnant and the journey had to be arduous for her. Was there something nudging Joseph to take her on this journey? Was there something happening inside Joseph’s spirit to urge her to come with him. Read Luke 2:1-5
December 24, 2017, Christmas Eve; “Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph; Matthew 1:18-25. Theme: What if Joseph had said “no” to the angel.
December 31, 2017 First Sunday after Christmas/Epiphany Sunday; Title: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph: The Rest of the Story; What about Joseph? What kind of faith did he have? At every mention of Joseph in the stories surround the birth of Jesus, we see Joseph’s faithfulness. Matthew tells us that Joseph was a righteous man. In the week after Jesus’ birth, Joseph once again demonstrates his faithfulness. Read Luke 2:21-24; Matthew 2:1-12; 19-21
Epiphany Series: Our Christian faith reminds us what people are created for and should confront what distracts from that. How do we nurture both families and communities, promote a civil discourse and approach problems with solutions and hope instead of fear and blame. Using a resources by Jim Wallis—The (Un)Common Good.
January 7, 2018 Baptism of our Lord Sunday; Title: A Gospel for the Common Good; Theme: Laying the groundwork for the connection between Christianity and the common good; Read Matthew3:13-17; Matthew 22:36-40
January 14, 2018 Second Sunday after the Epiphany; Title: What We Get Wrong; Theme: We are in desperate need of thinking about Jesus and how we understand him in new, fresh ways. We often get it wrong about Jesus. How can we get it right? Read John 1:3-5.
January 21, 2018 Third Sunday after the Epiphany; Title: Who Jesus is and Why it Matters; Theme: The real question we need to answer is why did Jesus come. Jesus’ gospel was always to be good news for the poor. Jesus’ coming announces the beginning of a new order of things called the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was the herald of a whole new way of living. Read: Matthew 5:1-12; Luke 4:1-19
January 28, 2018 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany; Title: Treating Jesus Well; Theme: The journey back to faith goes through the poor. Jesus says that the way we treat those who are the least of these well be regarded as the way we treat him. Read: Matthew 25:31-46
February 4, 2018 Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany; Title: The Beloved Community Welcomes All Tribes; Theme: From scripture we learn that God welcomes all human tribes and asks us to welcome all the outsiders. We see God actively affirming diverse cultures rather than trying to make them into one. Read: Galatians 3:28 (The Message); Romans 12:2 (The Message).
February 11, 2018 Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany; Title: Surprising our enemies; Theme: Loving our neighbors is hardest when they are also our enemies but Jesus tells us to love them anyway. Loving enemies is the most difficult command of all and seems impossible to carry out but in a world full of conflict and enemies we need to learn how to do better. What might it mean to surprise our enemies? Read: Romans 12:20-21; Luke 6:27; Matthew 5:9