November 2014

The Flip-Flop of Forgiveness

How do we think about or, more importantly, experience forgiveness in our lives and community? In this incredible story, Luke paints a picture of forgiveness that subverts countless social norms and reveals a love of God that is both universal and unfailing. Through the actions of a known sinner and social outcast, the question of Jesus’ mission will be made even more clear as he envisions relationships with God undergoing the transforming power of true forgiveness and restoration.

The Upside Down Kingdom

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. Some

October 2014

The Authority of 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.

The Community of 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.

The Mission of Jesus

What is the mission/vision of our lives?  Jesus gives us a beautiful picture and vision of the Kingdom of Heaven in this passage.  We are invited to enter into the “mission of Jesus” as we live our lives as “bringers of the Kingdom”.

The Temptation of Jesus

Just when we commit to honor God temptations seem to arise! We decide to begin tithing and growing more generous, when suddenly our car breaks down with a big mechanic bill. We devote ourselves to academic integrity, when a friend devises the perfect scheme to cheat on an exam. We commit to breaking a substance addiction, then we find ourselves where that substance is offered. Temptations often arise when we make commitments and while we are most vulnerable. We’ll learn from Jesus, when he was fiercely tempted while vulnerable in the wilderness, how we can protect ourselves to follow Christ, and why Jesus’ obedience was so important for God’s plan of salvation.

September 2014

Preparing the Way

Imagine arriving in eternity and looking back at our lives from God’s perspective. We’ll see so many ways God was working in our lives to bring us to Christ, guide us in decisions, convict us of sins, bring people into our lives, open opportunities to serve, prepare us for the next chapter of life, and more. God is working in our lives right now to prepare the way into the future! We often don’t comprehend what the Lord is doing until later. This message will explore the ministry and messa

The Dedication of Jesus

Luke continues masterfully unfolding the identity of Jesus by introducing two witnesses, Simeon and Anna, who testify that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah, fulfilling the Jewish Law requiring testimony of two witnesses. Sometimes waiting for God to act in the midst of painful circumstances, unanswered prayers, or unfulfilled expectations is so hard. Simeon and Anna were longing for Messiah to come redeem their hurting people. We’ll join in their celebration, learn from their lives, and explore their prophecies defining Jesus’ mission.

The Birth of Jesus

Based on his extensive research, and guided by God’s Spirit, Luke continues unfolding the identity of Jesus, by describing how God orchestrated the birth of Jesus. We’ll explore how the arrival of Jesus was both miraculous and mundane. God worked miraculously by fulfilling Old Testament prophecies that Messiah would be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and situated Jesus’ parents in Bethlehem at exactly the time for the birth, through a census called by the Roman Emperor. These miraculous eve

Who Is Jesus

Who is Jesus? Diverse perspectives about 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 revealed in the Gospel of Luke. Luke was an accomplished intellectual and renowned physician who conducted extensive research to write a thoughtful account of the life and teaching of Jesus.