Sermon

Sermon

The Gift of a Second Chance

Matthew 3:1-12
December 4, 2022

,


Bear Fruit Worthy of Repentance.

Matthew 3:8

.


What would you say if someone asked you, "Are you prepared to celebrate Christmas?"



Expect the Unexpected

Mark 10:42-56
November 27, 2022

,


Be ready, for the Son of Man is coming
at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:44

.


"Be ready," Jesus says. Be ready because the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected time. Be ready.

It is tempting to think that Jesus is speaking to a gathering of notorious sinners, but he isn't. He is speaking to his inner circle of disciples, not the crowds. He is calling on those closest to him to be ready.

The church season of Advent is about the coming of Jesus, the advent of Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, as well as his coming return.

We don't know the hour or the day of his coming again, but Jesus calls for us to live every day ready for his return.


Once Was Blind

Mark 10:42-56
November 20, 2022

,


Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.”
Immediately he regained his sight
and followed him on the way.

Mark 10:52

.


People with eyesight problems know that there is much that they cannot see.

When we think we see all there is to know about Jesus, we often become stubbornly blind to what Jesus needs to show us.

Lightening the Load

Mark 10:17-31
November 13, 2022

,

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing;
go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven;
then come, follow me.”

Mark 10:17-27

.

What distracts us from lasting hope and life?
Jesus calls us to put down these unnecessary burdens and follow him.

Follow Me

Mark 8:31-38
November 6, 2022

,

“If any wish to come after me,
let them deny themselves
and take up their cross and follow me."

Mark 8:34

.

Jesus calls for us to follow him, but how many times do we detour when the going gets tough? How often do we reject the people he welcomed? How often do we work harder to tell Jesus what we want than listening to what he says?

Now I See

Mark 8:22-30
October 30, 2022

,

Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again,
and the man looked intently, and his sight was restored,
and he saw everything clearly."

Mark 8:25

.

God's intentions for us are far more and far better than we dare to ask or imagine. Unfortunately, after gaining a glimpse of God's love, we often settle for far less than God offers, assuming we have seen it all.

Deep Pockets

Mark 8:1-21
October 23, 2022

,

Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation ask for a sign?"

Mark 8:12

.

Gratitude and thanksgiving are under-appreciated spiritual disciplines. As we become attentive to God's presence, protection, and providing in what we call "ordinary life," our eyes are opened and our faith and hope are strengthened for when we face adversity.

Your Own Story

1 Peter 3:13-18
October 2, 2022

,

Always be ready to share the reason
for the hope that is in you.

from 1 Peter 3:15-16

.



What is your story?

In what ways have you experienced the God who loves you? When have you experienced God's love, forgiveness, nearness, provision, protection, and quiet presence? As we grow aware of these truths, our eyes are opened and we have a blessing to share with others.

The Real Story

Mark 7:31-37
September 25, 2022

,

Jesus said to him, “Go home to your own people,
and tell them how much the Lord has done for you
and what mercy he has shown you.”

from Mark 5:19

.



The most powerful thing we can tell people about Jesus is what he has done for us.

Deep theology has its place, but it is often an obstacle rather than an advantage for sharing our faith. Our greatest opportunity is the same call that Jesus offered to the previously demon-possessed man, to tell people "how much the Lord has done for us and what great mercy he has shown us."

Let us tell the story of Jesus in our own words and life.

Table Scraps

Mark 7:24-30
September 11, 2022

,

A woman whose little daughter
had an unclean spirit heard about Jesus,
and she came and bowed down at his feet.

from Mark 7:25

.


Jesus reveals that God's grace, mercy, provision, and love abundantly extend beyond human expectations and religious sensibilities.