4/28/2019

Sermon:           “Jesus Comes to Us”  

Theme:            Jesus makes his presence known to all who seek to know him and seek him.        

Purpose:          The congregation will continue to seek Christ’s presence in their lives.      

Scriptures:       Revelation 1:4-8          Jesus will come with the clouds and proclaims he is the beginning and the end, the Almighty.

                        John 20:19-31 Jesus appears to the disciples, and again appears to Thomas.

Questions

What do we need to experience so that we can receive the resurrection with all of its meaning? How do we see our lives differently through the confidence of the power of God to overcome death? What do we need in order to take the resurrection seriously in our perspective towards the problems and fears that we face? In what ways does Christ become for us a source of strength and confidence over all of the evil that is in the world? How can we participate in the reign of Christ that overthrows the powers of evil and darkness in the world?

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4/21/2019 Easter Sunday

Sermon:           “Why are You Weeping?”      

Theme:            The gift of Easter is a promise of resurrection life that renews us in hope and restores us to a constant anticipation of God’s renewal.       

Purpose:          The Congregation will renew their hope in Christ.   

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 15:19-26           Christ is the first fruits of resurrection and our source of eternal life.

                        John 20:1-18   The empty tomb, Jesus appears to Mary.

Questions:

What does the resurrection really mean to us? How does the gift of Christ’s resurrection make a difference in our fears and worries? How can we receive the resurrection as more than a theological or traditional event? How can we receive the resurrection as a sign of God’s power to overcome death? What difference does it make to us to orient our lives around God’s love and power?  How can we participate with Christian’s throughout the ages in the triumph of the resurrection over the forces of death and evil?

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4/14/2019 Palm Sunday

Sermon:           Choose The Mind of Christ    

Theme:            Through humility we are able to enter into a mind of Christ’s love and compassion which enables us to be lifted up and full of joy.      

Purpose:          The congregation will seek to finish their Lenten journey focused on sharing Christ’s compassion for others.          

Scriptures:       Luke 19:28-40 Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a donkey.

                        Philippians 2:5-11       Let the same mind be in you that was in Jesus that he humbled himself.

Questions:

What does it mean that Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem was an act of humility to fulfill the words of the Prophet Isaiah? In what ways does our faith need to spring from strength of humility in order to be meaningful and strong? What does it mean to us to have the mind of Christ? What can we empty of ourselves in order to know the joy of God’s approval and blessing? How can we use our influence and capability to proclaim the gift of God’s forgiveness and blessing?

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4/7/2019 Communion, 5th Sunday of Lent

Sermon:           “Choosing to Let Go” 

Theme:            We are gifted with freedom from our past as we sacrifice our past hurts and stories in order to enjoy the gifts of God’s love today.           

Purpose:          The congregation will embrace the gifts of God’s grace and let go of the past losses and hurts that props up their egos.       

Scriptures:       Philippians 3:4b-14     All things that were accomplishments are meaningless in perspective of the surpassing gift of the knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord.

                        John 12:1-8     Mary anoints Jesus’ feet, and the disciples do not understand her sacrifice of love and appreciation.

Questions:

In what ways do our fears from the past and memories of hurt influence our view of ourselves and others? How can we let go of the stories we tell ourselves about our past which shape our hurt and resentment? In what ways do we allow our issues and unforgiveness to dominate our relationship with God and with one another? What would be different if instead of living out of our past hurts, we were joyfully willing to receive Christ’s love in the present?

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3/31/2019 4th Sunday of Lent

Sermon:           “Choosing: The Past or the Future?” 

Theme:            God invites us to lay aside our past history and accounts against one another and to instead extend grace to one another.

Purpose:          The congregation will intentionally practice grace and forgiveness rather than holding onto the grievances of the past.    

Scriptures:       2 Corinthians 5:16-21 We no longer regard others from a human point of view, all have become new in Christ.

                        Luke 15:1-3, 11-32      The parable of the Prodigal Son and the older brother, a story of forgiveness and struggling to choose love over resentment.

Questions:

What does it mean for us to cease to see people from a human point of view? How do we open our minds and hearts to seeing people differently? Does forgiveness mean that we allow others to take advantage of us? How do we practice grace and forgiveness while at the same time recognizing healthy boundaries and wisdom in relationships? How is the story of the Prodigal Son a story of God’s grace and our need to develop healthy relationships?

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3/24/2019 3rd Sunday of Lent

Sermon:           “Choosing: Fear or Joy?”        

Theme:            God’s people must practice choosing to live in the love and joy of God rather than to be pulled into fear, grievances, and despair.    

Purpose:          The congregation will reflect on daily practices to choose serving Christ over dwelling in fear and worry.      

Scriptures:       Isaiah 55:1-9    Why do you spend your money on that which does not satisfy? Seek the Lord and know his ways.

                        Luke 13:1-9     Galileans speak of the atrocities committed against them, Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree bearing fruit.

Questions:

Why do we spend so much of our time and energy on things that are meaningless? How is it that we become caught up in things that do not matter? What is the impact upon our relationship with God when senseless disasters and atrocities take place? How do we live in the healing and renewal of Christ Jesus rather than in the grief, hostility, and resentments of unresolved past hurts?  What can we do to help others be part of what truly bears fruit rather than caught up in what does not add to anyone’s life?

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3/17/2019 2nd Sunday of Lent

Sermon:           “Choosing the Cross” 

Theme:            Through prayer and focusing on God’s love we learn to choose the love and healing of the cross over our own defensiveness and bitterness.   

Purpose:          The congregation will work to live and express the grace of God.   

Scriptures:       Philippians 3:17-4:1    “Enemies of the cross,” those who set their own wants and issues above their relationships with Christ and with the body of Christ.

Luke 13:31-35 Jesus is warned by the Pharisees of Herod’s intent to kill him. Jesus mourns the division between the people and God.

Questions:

What does it mean to be an enemy of the cross? How is it we are entangled in resentments and conflicts? From where does our animosity and bitterness arise? How is it we allow grievances to dominate the way we see ourselves and our relationships? How do we live without participating in the divisiveness and bitterness of the world? How can we have freedom to daily live in love and acceptance for all who are around us?

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3/10/2019 1st Sunday of Lent

Sermon:           “Who Are You Really?”          

Theme:            We are invited to allow Lent to be a season of discovering God’s love and grace for us individually and as the people of God together.       

Purpose:          The congregation will commit to seeking to deepen their relationship with God through Lent.           

Scriptures:       Romans 10:8-13 Confess with your lips Jesus is Lord, believe in your heart, and God who receives all will save you.

                        Luke 4:1-13 Temptation of Jesus, questioning what it means that he is the Son of God.

Questions:

Do you think of yourself as a beloved child of God? Does God’s love and approval of you enable you to see yourself differently? Do you know what it means to have confidence in your value and place in the world because of God’s love for you? How do we go about shaping our thinking of ourselves around God’s love for us? How do we become people who are joyfully living as God’s chosen?

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3/3/2019 Communion Transfiguration Sunday

Sermon:           “Listen to Him”          

Theme:            We are transformed and renewed through the power of the lamp of Christ’s love and presence.       

Purpose:          The congregation will reflect on what they can do to be more open to hearing and dwelling in Christ’s presence in their lives.          

Scriptures:       Exodus 34:29-35         Moses’ face shone as he spoke with God and became a light that shone in his face.

                        Luke 9:28-43   The transfiguration, and the message that shines to the world that is greater than ourselves.

Questions:

What does it mean to us to listen to the voice of Jesus? What impact does it have on us to experience the awe and glory of Jesus? How does it change our perspective to see Jesus’ divinity and authority? How does a limited perspective of Jesus’ power limit us? What do we need to do in order to authentically know the majesty and power of God in Jesus?

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2/24/2019

Sermon:           “Love that Makes a Difference”        

Theme:            Our knowledge of God and God’s law gives us a lamp that shines brighter as we encounter hostility and conflicts.

Purpose:          Congregation members will focus on letting go of grievances in order to be part of God’s work of renewal in the world around them.          

Scriptures:       Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40  Do not fret about the evil doers but allow the law of God to become your refuge.

                        Luke 6:27-38   Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, do not practice judgment.

Questions:

How can we possibly authentically learn to love our enemies and do good to the people who hate us? How do we find freedom from our resentments, suspicions, and fears of people who have hurt us in the past? What does it really mean to have relationships of practicing Jesus’ love for people we don’t like? In what ways does the love of Christ by-pass our feelings and open abilities to live in grace and freedom rather than being driven by our fears and other emotions? How do we work to make this a reality in our daily lives?

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2/17/2019

Sermon:           “Emptiness and Fullness”       

Theme:            Only through being filled with the knowledge of God will we have a message and light that will be sustained and valuable.         

Purpose:          The congregation will reflect on what leads to satisfaction and fulfillment in their lives and what we then share with the world about what matters.

Scriptures:       Psalm 1 Those who follow the law of the Lord are like trees planted by streams.

                        Luke 6:17-26   Blessings to those who have known poverty and hunger because they have roots in the knowledge of God.

Questions:

What brings us real fulfillment and peace? How does focusing on what really matters affect our way of living from day to day? In what ways do we find strength and energy in our relationship with God and our relationships with one another? How do we learn to mediate on God’s law and draw strength from God’s Word? What do we need to do in order to not become obsessed with the things we are lacking? How do we become people who are filled by God’s love and Holy Spirit?

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2/03/2019 Sermon Communion & Souper bowl of Caring Sunday

Sermon:           “We Are Called to Love”        

Theme:            The people of God learn to put love first as they offer a message of healing that the world does not understand. 

Purpose:          To learn love with the power of humility.     

Scriptures:       1 Corinthians 13:1-13 Love is patient, kind, never boastful or rude.

                        Luke 4:21-30   Doubtless you will say to me, “Physician, heal thyself.”  Jesus confronts unbelief among his own community.

Questions:

What does it mean to truly love as God commands us to love? What does it mean to love with humility, compassion, and grace? In what ways does love call us to seek healing and reconciliation for others? How do we learn to practice loving in a way that shines light of hope to the world? In what ways are Paul’s teachings of love in 1 Corinthians 13 a challenge for Christians to demonstrate their knowledge of God in all relationships?

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