"Telos: Our Future is Proleptic" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Telos: Our Future is Proleptic" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

If there were ever a ranking system dedicated to complex words, prolepsis would be in the top five. Prolepsis is the thought or image of something describing a situation that hasn’t happened yet. For instance, one proleptic statement is, “dead man walking.” The person walking isn’t actually dead but the sentence insinuates he’s headed somewhere and will be punished for some past act. He’s alive but proleptically dead. This sermon will break this concept down, for we need it to truly understand Revelation 7.

Read More

"Telos: Our Future is God's Past" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Telos: Our Future is God's Past" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Our future is God’s past. Wolfhart Pannenburg made this concept famous over the last 75 years, and it is one I can’t shake. God steps into God’s own past and paints for us a future. In other words, our future is God’s past. We’ll break this deeply confusing thought down together with the help of Revelation 1. Holding this thought helps us see the telos more clearly. 

Read More

"By Christ's Light, We See Light" An Easter Sermon by Barrett Owen

"By Christ's Light, We See Light" An Easter Sermon by Barrett Owen

When the stone rolled away, Jesus defeated death. When he stepped out of the grave, he overcame the darkness that tried to bury him. And at that moment, the world changed forever. Since that moment, we’ve felt and seen and experienced God’s light that causes us to see more light. This light matters. How we choose to reflect it matters too. 

Read More

"The Light Comes to the City" A Palm Sunday Sermon by Barrett Owen

"The Light Comes to the City" A Palm Sunday Sermon by Barrett Owen

 The Triumphal Entry matters. Jesus comes shining a spotlight on all things wrong with where humanity has gotten. Instead of a stallion, he rides a donkey. Instead of an army, he has women and disenfranchised men. He challenges the religious order. He critiques the Temple system. He turns over tables. He argues with priests. He quotes scripture to scribes. He reframes for the political leaders an understanding or blessing and God. In other words, he shines a big spotlight into the city. But they weren’t ready to see it.  

Read More

"Our Actions Change When We Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Our Actions Change When We Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Sometimes scripture paints a picture that words can’t quite articulate. In John 12, Jesus eats at Martha and Mary’s house and a lot unfolds at this meal. Lazarus is there, eating. Martha is there, serving. Judas is there, critiquing. Mary is there, anointing. Jesus is there, teaching. What unfolds is the perfect dichotomy for us to see what happens when some people choose to go back to the start and others don’t. For those who do, their actions change. For those who don’t, their sins remain.  

Read More

"Our Minds Change When We Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Our Minds Change When We Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

When we’re lost out on the wayward road of sin, we develop quite a taste for an “us vs. them” mentality. We divide people, compare people, and judge ourselves by these standards constantly. This life is exhausting and sinful. But when we return to the start, our thinking changes. How we perceive others shifts. Instead of constantly seeing them as a threat, we see them as Christ does, “a new creation.” Our mind gets reprogramed and everything that was old becomes new.

Read More

"What Happens When We Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"What Happens When We Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Returning to the start means we’ve embraced the journey of earnestly seeking a life of spirituality. What happens in our soul is quite amazing when this journey is made. Even in the face of tragedy and pain, our soul learns what it means to “sing in the shadow of God’s wing” because we know “God’s right hand upholds us.” In short, getting back to the start transforms us, and our soul mirrors King David’s in Psalm 63. 

Read More

"When We Don't Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"When We Don't Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Not everyone wants to change. As Alfred tells us in The Dark Knight, “some people just want to watch the world burn.” Paul tells the church in Philippi “those people live as enemies of the cross of Christ, and their end is destruction; their god is the belly; their glory is in their shame.” This Lenten season, we need to reflect deeply on whether or not we’re willing to return from our wayward selves. If we don’t, we’ll continue to live in shame. 

Read More

"Everyone Can Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Everyone Can Go Back to the Start" A Sermon by Barrett Owen

Everyone has a beginning. Everyone started on the right path. Life took us off-center and for whoever reasons sin has kept us off track. But we can return. We can go back to the start. Paul tells us in Romans that no matter how far we’ve strayed, returning is closer than we think. Scripture says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.  In short, confession points us back to the start. 

Read More

"Old Paths. New Light." A Sermon by Barrett Owen

"Old Paths. New Light." A Sermon by Barrett Owen

“Arise. Shine. A new light has come. It is from God and it is leading us down old paths.” These ancient words from the prophet Isaiah still ring true today, and they remind us of the truth that something new can in fact happen under the sun. And when we have the eyes to see the radiance of God shining on our old paths, we too “shall proclaim the praise of the Lord” (Is 60:6).  

Read More