January 10, 2016 | Luke 3:15-17, 21–22 | Jesus’ Baptism
Jesus’ baptism is one of the most important scenes in all of scripture. His humble actions symbolize a rite of passage for us all. To live as Christ is to die to our earthly selves and to be born again through the waters of baptism. We know this to be true because of the dove-like spirit that came down from heaven and the voice of God booming across generations, “This is my child in whom I’m well pleased.” This is the same voice we hear today. When we observe the life of Christ, we see God interacting in our world.
January 17 | John 2:1-11 | Look: Jesus’ First Miracle
Jesus opens up his miracle capabilities at a party in Cana. He turns water into wine and allows the party to continue on without a hitch. Much can be said about this moment, but this sermon focus’ on the several “signs” Jesus performs in the gospel of John showcasing his abundant love for humanity. When we observe the life of Christ, we see the unthinkable unfold, and it’s always for the betterment of humanity.
January 24 | Luke 4:14-21 | Look: Jesus’ Sermons
Jesus is in his hometown at his home church around his own people. It’s in this setting he stands up to declare that he is in fact the fulfillment of all of the scriptures that have been read in that place and that his life’s focus is to bring the freedom of release to all who need it. When we observe the life of Christ, we see the foundations of Christ’s faith - the oppressed must be set free.
January 31 | Luke 4:21-30 | Look: Jesus’ Haters
Sermon Synopsis: Needless to say, Jesus’ baptism, miracles, and sermons have gotten people talking, and not everyone likes what they are seeing. As a matter of fact, in Luke 4, Jesus is pushed to the edge of his life because those listening fail to understand. When we observe the life of Christ, we see the established order begin to hate him.
Lent - Listening to the Life of Christ
February 14 | Luke 4:1-13 | Listen: Jesus was tempted too
Sermon Synopsis: Jesus was tempted by Satan, and these temptations act as spiritual archetypes for each of us. This sermon will showcase how all three of Jesus’ temptations are still prevalent and relevant to our lives and how we can look to Jesus to overcome or avoid them.
February 21 | Luke 13:31-35 | Listen: Jesus Laments
Lamenting doesn’t feel natural, but’s a part of life and an important genre in the Bible. An entire book (Lamentations) is dedicated to it and multiple prophets use it as an act of worship and spiritual expression. Jesus laments in Luke 13 over the spiritual state of Jerusalem. It moves him to tears to think about the destructive lifestyles and worldviews, and it begs the question, “Does Jesus do the same at us?”
February 28 | Luke 13:1-9 | Listen: Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
The fig tree was an ancient Jewish symbol of Jewish spiritual leadership and authority. Jesus is on his way to the city’s Temple where he will declare it irrelevant and on his way in he curses the symbol of the religious establishment. This is a loaded social, religious gesture equivalent of burning a flag. Jesus declares that the militaristic, nationalistic approach to God is no longer important. We now get to God through Jesus.
March 6 | Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32 | Listen: Jesus Tells a Story
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the most famous stories in the Bible, and one of the most profound. The wayward son returns home to a father who embraces him and throws him a party. It’s time we return to our father and realize we are not too broken to be forgiven — but we have to return home.
March 13 | John 12:1-8, Isaiah 43:16-21 | Listen: Life is Bubbling Up
This sermon will focus on both Isaiah 43 and John 12. Together they foreshadow Jesus’ death and resurrection. Isaiah reminds us that in the midst of our desert periods, in the midst of our lamenting and repenting, God does a new thing. God promises to send a river of life into our troubles. John, on the other hand, tells a story of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet. She has a presence of mind to show us that is preparing for death and royalty. Together these texts show that Jesus is that river of life flowing and helping us experience “this new thing.”
March 20 | Zechariah 9:9-10, Mark 11:1-11 | Listen: Go Chase the Donkey
Palm Sunday is a sobering reminder that we follow a King who the world rejects. We follow convictions that society deems irrelevant. We embrace a kingdom that doesn’t measure success on a monetary plane or a weighted value-system. We chase after donkeys even though it appears to be insignificant or small potatoes. We chase after donkeys without seeing the full picture, without knowing the fullest extent of our works. We chase after donkeys because whether or not we know it, we’re furthering the ongoing work of a mysterious God who is mysteriously in control.
March 27 | 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, Luke 24:1-10 | Look. Listen. Live: Jesus is Alive!
On the third day of Jesus’ death, women went to the tomb carrying spices they had prepared, but when they arrived, Jesus’ body was gone! Two angels told them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead! Remember what Jesus told you.” The women could not believe it, so they ran back and told the apostles. Everyone was amazed at the news. This moment in time changed history. Jesus rose from the dead defeating the one thing that holds us all captive. This sermon will focus on the life-changing aspects of Jesus’ resurrection.
Living the Life of Christ
April 3 - Dr. Tracey Hartman guest preacher from BTSR
John 20 Lectionary text and the sermon title will be "Easter for the Rest of Us." (Thomas didn't get his Easter until a week later) I'll focus on acknowledging/owning our doubt, but then moving through that to live like Christ.
April 10 | Mark 16:1-8 | Live: The Appalling Silence of the Good People
MLK wrote a letter from Birmingham Jail. In that letter he said that which the world will have to repent from is not the evil done by the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. It was as if MLK was thinking about the disciples and the ending to the Gospel of Mark. Scripture says, which this is the last verse of the book, that the disciples went away and said nothing to nobody out of fear. We can’t be Christians who say nothing to nobody out of fear. God needs us championing the sick, the poor, the downtrodden, and the widowed. We can’t stay silent.
April 17 | John 21:1-19 | Live: Follow Me
In the last chapter of John, Jesus appears to the disciples on the Sea of Galilee and eats breakfast with them. During breakfast, Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me.” Three times Peter says yes and Jesus replies, “Feed my sheep. Follow me.” As Christians, we are called to follow Christ. If we really love Jesus, we must follow.
April 24 | Acts 9:36-43, John 10:22-30 | Live: Receiving Eternal Life
Everyone wants to know if Jesus is the Messiah. They plead, “Tell us plainly.” Jesus responds, “I have. My works testify to who I am. The Father and I are one, but you do not believe.” So often we want a sign from God but we aren’t willing to change our lives when we see it. Jesus wants followers willing change the world through love. People who just want personal salvation and not actually follow Jesus, those people do not inherit eternal life.
May 1 | Psalm 67, Revelation 21:1-6 | Live: God Future
Revelation 21 reminds us that that the home of God is among mortals. In other words, when all things come to an end, God will arrive on the scene and make God’s home on earth. This sermon will paint the picture of where God’s future is heading. We’re headed towards communion. We’re headed towards hope.
May 8 | John 1:14-18, Luke 24:13-35 | Live: Meeting Jesus on the Way
Sermon Synopsis: The resurrection scene on the walk to Emmaus is one of the most important of all the resurrection scenes. It captures the essence why we worship and how we are able to meet God in worship. This sermon is about how each Sunday morning, through liturgy, we re-experience the elements found in meeting Jesus. In short, worship is a place to meet God.