Jan 18, 2015
The Wedding Banquet
Series: Who Is Jesus
God has planned a wedding banquet to celebrate the arrival of his bride, the church, into the Kingdom of God. Have you ever attended a wedding banquet? Do you remember the joyful celebration, love of the bride and groom, delicious feast, words of blessing, and dancing into the night? God has a party beyond anything we could imagine to celebrate the consummation of Christ and his bride, the church, in God’s Kingdom. But Jesus has a twist in this parable, because many of the invited guests are too busy, or too distracted, or simply reject God’s invitation. But God is gracious and extends the invitation to the least likely people who humbly accept the invitation by the pathway of grace. We’ll be called to examine our response to God’s invitation, inspired to persevere by the promise of this eternal celebration, and challenged to align God’s Kingdom as our highest priority.
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  • Jan 18, 2015The Wedding Banquet
    Jan 18, 2015
    The Wedding Banquet
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    God has planned a wedding banquet to celebrate the arrival of his bride, the church, into the Kingdom of God. Have you ever attended a wedding banquet? Do you remember the joyful celebration, love of the bride and groom, delicious feast, words of blessing, and dancing into the night? God has a party beyond anything we could imagine to celebrate the consummation of Christ and his bride, the church, in God’s Kingdom. But Jesus has a twist in this parable, because many of the invited guests are too busy, or too distracted, or simply reject God’s invitation. But God is gracious and extends the invitation to the least likely people who humbly accept the invitation by the pathway of grace. We’ll be called to examine our response to God’s invitation, inspired to persevere by the promise of this eternal celebration, and challenged to align God’s Kingdom as our highest priority.
  • Jan 11, 2015Kingdom Trilogy
    Jan 11, 2015
    Kingdom Trilogy
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Jesus often spoke about the Kingdom of God. What is this Kingdom? How do we enter this Kingdom? Why would we want to devote our lives to this Kingdom? How does God’s Kingdom spread within people’s lives around throughout the world? How does God’s Kingdom resemble the kingdoms of our world and how are they radically different? Luke masterfully weaves several Kingdom Parables in the next chapters of our journey. I’m excited to explore these parables to further grasp the unique identity of Jesus, learn to align our lives with Kingdom values, and spread the Kingdom of God in our generation.This Sunday we will glean insights from a trilogy of parables describing how the Kingdom of God begins as a tiny seed but grows into a tree with “branches” everywhere for people to find their home in the Kingdom, and how a little bit of yeast spreads into a whole batch of dough to describe the Kingdom’s redemptive mission throughout the world, with a challenge to enter the Kingdom by the narrow path of God’s grace rather than wandering the wide roads that seem attractive but lead to destruction.
  • Jan 4, 2015One and Only Life
    Jan 4, 2015
    One and Only Life
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    What will we do with the one and only life God has given to us? Will we squander the resources God has entrusted to us or will we invest them wisely to make a difference in this world and impact eternity? We only have one chance to live our lives. The choices we make today affect the people in our lives, the world in our generation, and our footprint into the future. Imagine if God’s people became lavishly generous with our time, money, abilities, and the Gospel. Imagine impoverished children with healthy food, dignity where there is now racial tension, women protected from sexual slavery, health care for everyone, Scripture in every language, the Gospel changing lives around our global village, and more. What is stopping us? Comfort? Fear? Greed? Acculturation? We’ll explore a challenging parable shared by Jesus about a guy who accumulated more and more stuff but died spiritually impoverished and unprepared for eternity. Let’s orient our lives around the generosity of Jesus, who gave up his comfort and wealth to become human and pour out God’s spiritual riches into our lives.
  • Dec 14, 2014The Warnings of Jesus
    Dec 14, 2014
    The Warnings of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    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 Sunday worship. We will learn more about Jesus, break through our cultural lenses, and grow as we study who Jesus really is and the difference Jesus can make in our world today.
  • Dec 7, 2014Neighbors in Need
    Dec 7, 2014
    Neighbors in Need
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Jesus surprised everyone in the crowd when he shared the Parable of the Good Samaritan. We’ll probe challenging questions evoked by this thought-provoking story. Who are people in our culture robbed by racism, crime, poverty, violence, abuse, corruption, and thrown to the side of road like the victim in this parable? Since Samaritans were despised outcastes, what injustice and anger must this Samaritan have overcome to fuel such compassion on another suffering person? What can we learn, in our world filled with so many overwhelming needs, from the specific actions by the Samaritan to wisely meet needs? Come ready to be inspired and equipped to take genuine acts of compassion and justice in the name of Christ.
  • Nov 23, 2014The Healing of Jesus
    Nov 23, 2014
    The Healing of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    We’re among a huge crowd jammed around Jesus on his way to the home of Jairus, a prominent synagogue leader, whose daughter is dying. Can you feel the anticipation for another miracle? Don’t push as we move faster to get there before the girl dies. Suddenly everything stops. Why did Jesus stop? Look ahead. Can you see Jesus talking with someone? Must be an important man to stop Jesus on the way to Jairus’ home. You’ve got to be kidding! Jesus is talking with that homeless woman, can’t remember her name, she’s been sick for a long time. Jesus touched her and healed her and called her a daughter! Here we go again to Jairus’ house. Look at the weeping and wailing. The girl is dead. Wait. Hear the cheering? The girl is walking out with her parents. Jesus raised her back to life. What a journey with two diverse people healed. Jairus is a blessed religious leader, but we’ve always viewed that woman as cursed by God and religiously unclean. Jairus is a wealthy community leader, but the woman is impoverished after spending everything on doctors to no avail. Everyone knows Jairus, but we can’t recall the woman’s name. They do have something in common. They were both desperate, trusted Jesus, and experienced healing deep in their lives. Are we desperate for Jesus? Do we need to go through painful circumstances before we will trust Jesus? How do we view diverse people like Jairus and this woman? Let’s continue this epic story and challenging questions on Sunday.
  • Nov 16, 2014Spiritual Soil
    Nov 16, 2014
    Spiritual Soil
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Imagine you’re traveling in the year 2034 and we run into each other at an airport or conference or reunion. We would celebrate seeing each other after 20 years and catch up about where we live, our families, our work, and a lot more. Then we would ask about our faith. What will we say? Tragically, too many people will have fallen away from God because life became dominated by careers demands, education stress, too much media, family worries, seductive sins, or other things that can choke out our faith. I know what we’re thinking. Not me! I’m not going to wander away from God! No one thinks they will become too busy for God, or mix up life’s priorities, or fall into sin, or die unready to face God. But we know too many people whose hearts became hardened with tragic consequences. How can we build faith that lasts and stands the test of time? We’ll study the “Parable of the Sower” to grasp the power of the “seed” of the Gospel and discern the condition of the “soil” of our hearts. Come ready to be challenged to look within ourselves and inspired by the power of the Gospel that we too often miss.
  • Nov 2, 2014The Upside Down Kingdom
    Nov 2, 2014
    The Upside Down Kingdom
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Jesus comes down a mountain, for the first time with his twelve apostles gathered together, to a huge crowd with expectations of the Messiah, but surprises everyone with by teaching what we call The Beatitudes. The kingdoms and cultures of the world so often value power, success, appearance, accolades, comfort, etc. But Jesus defines the ethics of the Kingdom of God, upside down from so many expectations, challenging his followers to pursue humility, generosity, sacrifice, forgiveness, etc. Sometimes living these values will be honored, while other times we might face persecution, but we rejoice that God has eternal reward for those who live as the Kingdom of God on earth. Jesus explains if we seek after these values we’ll build our lives on the rock solid foundation of God, but if we chase after worldly values, our lives will be like a house on shifting sand. Come ready to be challenged to look through the lens of God’s kingdom to make changes in our lives and how we look at the world.
  • Oct 26, 2014The Authority of Jesus
    Oct 26, 2014
    The Authority of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    Luke continues unfolding the identity of Jesus with a story revealing the authority of Jesus over physical creation (by healing a paralyzed man) and spiritual realm (by forgiving sins). Do we really believe Jesus has authority over everything? This can be difficult in the midst of global chaos, human tragedies, and controlling power of sin. We’ll be challenged to discern if we live with Jesus in authority over our lives and whether we more resemble the Pharisees, in their prideful skepticism of Jesus, or the paralyzed man’s friends, who desperately persevered to get their friend to Jesus by climbing onto a roof, tearing open a hole, and lowering him down to get to Jesus.
  • Oct 19, 2014The Community of Jesus
    Oct 19, 2014
    The Community of Jesus
    Series: Who Is Jesus
    We were created for community. We need each other. We’re better together. When we are alone we are more vulnerable, but in community we can really know each other, care for each other, learn together, hold each other accountable, and equip each other to live our faith. Jesus chose to live in community. We’ll explore how Jesus called his first disciples and why he formed his community. Luke masterfully reveals how real these first disciples really were as Peter at first felt too sinful to follow Jesus and Levi (Matthew) was a despised tax collector. Luke also shows the diversity of the first people called into the community of Jesus, from wealthy Levi to working class Peter, Greek culture Levi to Jewish culture Peter, and more.