Sermon: “Sin Came Into the World”
Theme: God created us with the capacity to choose good or evil, and through that choice we needed to be healed by the gift of Jesus’ sacrificial love.
Purpose: The congregation will recognize sin in their lives and how they have chosen evil.
Scriptures: Genesis 2:15-27; 3:1-7 The Lord commanded not to eat of the Tree
Romans 5:12-19 Grace and mercy came to us through Jesus of Nazareth;
What does it mean for us to sin? What is the affect that our choices have upon our lives? Should we be focusing on feeling guilty or should we focus on what we lose through our sin? What is the purpose of obedience? What impact does God’s mercy really have on our lives? How much of this is about punishment and how much is about living the fullness of life that God has for us?
Sermon: “Being Born from Above”
Theme: Jesus invites us to be in a relationship with God through which we are renewed and transformed by submitting our heart to God.
Purpose: The congregation will seek to know Christ through submission and obedience to God.
Scriptures: Genesis 12:1-4 God calls Abram to a covenant to follow faithfully.
John 3:1-17 The story of Nicodemus, you must be born from above.
What does it mean for us to be “reborn from above?” What is required that we be born by the power of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God? In what ways are we trying to change our lives by our own willpower and self-determination rather than to open ourselves to being born from above? How do we see ourselves needing to be like Abram, ready to leave behind the old life and live out of our trust in God? Why do we like Nicodemus struggle with the idea of God acting in our lives today?
Sermon: “Living Water that Gives Life”
Theme: Jesus invites us to be healed through opening our hearts to the water of life rather than our own will and stubbornness.
Purpose: The congregation will see the importance of worshipping God in Spirit and in truth.
Scriptures: Exodus 17:1-7 The Hebrew people in the wilderness, complain because they have no water.
John 4:5-42 Jesus and the Samaritan woman by the well.
What does “living water welling up with us” mean to us? What is causing us to be dried out and barren in our lives? What causes us to continue to struggle with the same issues and emptiness in our relationships? How does our “quarrelling” and self-absorbed ways affect our relationship with God and with the people around us? How does the process of acknowledging our need and our struggles affect our relationships with God and with others? How do we learn to worship in “Spirit and in truth?”
Sermon: “Choosing to See”
Theme: We choose to know God and in that way to have vision of what God is doing in the world with us and through us.
Purpose: The congregation will confess their need to see and choose to allow God to show them a new way to live.
Scriptures: Ephesians 5:8-14 Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light.
John 9:1-41 Jesus heals the man who was born blind by washing in the pool of Siloam.
What does it mean for us to be able to see spiritually? What kept the Pharisees and other religious leaders from being able to see Jesus’ ministry as a work that came from God? What keeps us from recognizing God’s work in our midst? How is it that we become unaware of God’s works happening around us? In what ways does faithfulness to God affect our ability to see what God is doing? In what ways does our own stubbornness blind us to the opportunities to show God’s love and care for others?
Sermon: “Dry Bones and Hopeless Hearts”
Theme: We are alive in Jesus Christ as we set our minds and hearts on the Holy Spirit’s love and God’s grace.
Purpose: The congregation will recognize that our source of strength and renewal comes from our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Scriptures: Ezekiel 37:1-14 Valley of the dry bones – The Spirit gives life and hope.
Romans 8:6-11 To set the mind on the flesh is death, to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
In what ways do we feel like “dried up bones?” What parts of our lives are hopeless and without energy or life? How do we set our minds on the Spirit, rather than allow our minds to be set on the flesh? Is this something we do in prayer or meditation or is this something that involves all of our days? What has happened to us so that we do not trust God or feel prepared to depend on the Spirit of God? What is the result of being focused on things that feel like they
Sermon: “Welcome the Humble Reign”
Theme: Christ comes to us in humility and invites us to live in that same joyful mind of humility and grace.
Purpose: The congregation will recognize the value and power of the ‘mind of Christ.’
Scriptures: Matthew 21:1-11 Jesus enters Jerusalem, riding on a donkey.
Philippians 2:5-11 Have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus, that he humbled himself.
What does it mean to have the “Same mind as was in Christ” as we humble ourselves? What is the message of Jesus coming to Jerusalem riding on a donkey? What difference does it make to us that this event happened in a distant city so many years ago, especially with all of the war and violence in the world today? In what places is a humble servant king needed to bring peace to the world? In what ways does a humble servant king bring peace in our own minds and hearts? How do we embrace the coming of Christ as our Lord?