April 2014

The Good Shepherd

When Jesus proclaimed “I am the good shepherd” the crowd could vividly capture the image in their minds because they were an agrarian community filled with shepherds and sheep. We might struggle to grasp the image Jesus was portraying in our cultures and experiences. So we'll study the unique relationship between shepherds and sheep to understand the profound theological truths about the cross Jesus was explaining and the loving, nurturing, protecting, challenging relationship Jesus invites his flock to experience with our good shepherd.

The Bread of Life

esus proclaimed “I am the bread of life” shortly after the miraculous feeding of five thousand people with fish and bread. The crowd wanted more good food, material things, and exciting miracles, but Jesus taught about spiritual bread that feeds the soul and satisfies forever. This image of bread also spoke to the agrarian crowd because bread was the primary source of nourishment, so Jesus portrayed how God is the foundation of our lives. This was also a religious crowd so the bread

March 2014

The Way, The Truth, The Life

What are your greatest fears? The disciples were overwhelmed with fear, grief, and confusion because Jesus explained that he would soon be arrested, killed, rise from death, return to the Father, and send the Holy Spirit. This was different from what they hoped so they were overwhelmed. Jesus spoke into their swirling emotions, and our lives today, by boldly proclaiming that he is the way to the Father for eternal life, the truth to base our lives upon in a constantly changing world, and the life who brings salvation to the world!

Gate for the Sheep

Jesus' masterful teaching connected with the agrarian people of his culture by sharing stories and using imagery about farming and fishing. So Jesus proclaimed that he is the good shepherd because a faithful shepherd provides guidance, feeding, and protection to the point of laying down his life for the sheep. He portrayed himself as the gate for the sheep because a faithful shepherd opens the way for the sheep to enter into the fold and guards his sheep from predators by laying across the o

Light of the World

Imagine the scene of Jesus standing in the Temple courts, where we can see huge torches behind him lighting up the sky during the Festival of Tabernacles, when he suddenly says: “I am the light of the world!” (John 8:12).  What did Jesus mean with this imagery? How is Christ the light of the world? We'll explore how this powerful “I AM” portrait describes Jesus and what difference this teaching can make in people's lives.

I Am the Vine

This Sunday‘s message is “I Am the Vine” from John 15:1-8.  The passage tells of a vine and branch that is meant to bear fruit. When the branch is separated from the vine it is unfruitful. How do we stay connected in Christ?  What are those things that “disconnect” us from the True Vine?

The Greatest Gift

The passage tells of a widow who gives only 2 coins, yet Jesus calls her small gift the greatest. As followers of Christ we are also asked to give our all to God, to bless him even in our weakness, and to live our lives from a place of trust in God instead of fear.

February 2014

Consecrate Yourselves

We'll go on a journey with God's covenant community as they leave behind the wilderness and prepare to enter the Promised Land. God guides them to the edge of the Jordan River, looking across at the raging water, walled city, and superior armament, where they camp for three days. During this time of waiting the Lord speaks through Joshua: “Consecrate yourselves! For tomorrow the

Rebuilding our Witness

Do you need to rebuild something in your life? Your faith in Christ? Your priorities in busy life? Your moral choices? Your witness to others? The Hebrew people came home from exile and began pursuing their dreams, constructing homes, building businesses, and educating their children, all the while forgetting about God with the Temple in ruins. God graciously raised up a prophet named Haggai to call them back to God. One of the leaders was Zerubbabel. But he was haunted by his past and discouraged about the work rebuilding the Temple. So God spoke through Haggai to remind his people that grace leaves our past behind and God will use our changed lives as a witness in the world.

Rebuilding the Future

When we choose to obey God, or serve the Lord, or rebuild an area of our life, we don't always see the results we hope for. Sometimes we can wonder if following Christ is worth it. In the book of Haggai, God's people began rebuilding the Temple and restoring God into the center of their lives, but along the way they became discouraged when they saw how humble the Temple they were building was compared to the glory of the previous Temple. But in Haggai 2:1-9 God reminds them to remain fai