S14-2014-Contemp-Sermon

March 2015

Celebration & Crucifixion

Who is Jesus? Diverse perspectives of Jesus Christ fill people’s opinions, media portraits, academic research and everyday conversations. A religious philosopher?  A social revolutionary? A crazy guy who claimed to be God? A mysterious figure we can’t know much about? The Son of God? What does that mean? We’re exploring the identity of Jesus as revealed in the Gospel of Luke during 




Signs of the Times

As Jesus enters the final days of his ministry, he comes into intense conflict with the religious and political leaders of Jerusalem. In the midst of this confrontation, Jesus takes an opportunity to offer words of prophecy about the Temple, about Jerusalem, about history and, most importantly…about his followers. While the rest of the world may be pursuing power, pursuing wealth, pursuing change or pursuing security, the followers of Christ are called to pursue something altogether different:




The Rejection of Jesus

On our journey through the Gospel of Luke, Jesus and his entourage are about to enter Jerusalem, so Jesus prepares his followers to comprehend the unfolding diving drama. Jesus shared a parable about a property owner (God) who leaves on a journey and entrusted his vineyard (world) to his tenants (God’s people). But when messengers (prophets) come, the tenants ignore the warnings and abuse them. Finally the owner (God) sends his own son (Jesus) but many people reject him and kill him. This para




Where We Are and Want to Be

One of the greatest of all human desires is for relationship, but what happens when our access to relationships is restricted? This week, we will examine the story of Jesus and an influential tax collector named Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10 and see how this story is the culmination of many of the themes that Luke has presented throughout his gospel. In Zacchaeus, we see the extent and power of Jesus’ pursuing love, as well as the great breadth of his saving power as he restores Zacchaeus in the desire for relationship with God and others.




Letting Go

A rich guy approached Jesus and asked what he must do to inherit eternal life. This was a religious person meeting the religious demands of God’s Law. But Jesus looked into his heart and knew that self-centered greed was holding him back from God. The rich guy couldn’t let go of his stuff, so he walked about sad, and missed the invitation to follow Jesus. What are we holding on to? Pride? Bitterness? Success? Fear? Sin? We’ll explore this tragic story to discern what God might be calling us to release and set us free to more fully enjoy God and faithfully follow Christ.




February 2015

Kingdom Mosaic

Sometimes we feel like giving up in the midst of a health crisis, depression, parenting, job stress, seductive temptations, or unanswered prayer. Jesus shares a parable about a desperate widow with seemingly no hope who perseveres as an example of remaining faithful. This parable is part of a mosaic of diverse responses to the Kingdom of God in Luke 18-19 that we will explore the next three weeks, contrasting a proud Pharisee with a repentant tax collector, hurried disciples with humble children, a wealthy guy who can’t let go of his stuff with a tax collector whose faith evoked an outpouring of generosity, and more.




The Return of Jesus

When will Jesus come back? What will happen when he returns? There is a lot of confusion and sensationalism about the “second coming of Christ” or the “end times” in our culture. This Sunday we will break through misconceptions by studying what Jesus taught and live each day prepared for his glorious return.




The Justice of Jesus

Sometimes when we watch the news or experience evil in our lives we can wonder if injustice will reign in our world and if evil will last forever. We’ll explore a dramatic parable that probes the nature of our sin, tragedy of human injustice, God’s ultimate justice, and God’s grace poured out through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.




Trilogy of Grace

We’ll explore the third of a trilogy of parables in Luke 15, learning from the three characters. The prodigal son rebelled against his father, running away into sins especially shameful in his culture before coming back home, bringing to life that God’s grace is wider than any sin where we might have wandered or shame we might have experienced. The older brother was equally lost, because he didn’t grasp his father’s love so worked to earn his father’s approval, ending up bitter, teachi




January 2015

The Joy of Jesus

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  So often our sense of who we are comes from the values of our culture: we are what we have, what we do, or what others think of us. The truth that Christ teaches is that we are the highly valued, beloved daughters and sons of God, created in God’s image. The next time you look in the mirror, what will you see?






     

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