When God Moved into the Neighborhood – A Sermon Series for Advent & Christmas 2020, based on the first chapter of John’s gospel.
“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood.” – John 1:14 (As Translated in The Message, by Eugene Peterson)
John’s version of the Advent/Christmas message is different from the other gospels, to say the least. While the Matthew and Luke present narrative accounts of the nativity, John presents it to readers in the language of a philosopher-poet. Over the months of November and December, we’ll be exploring his words about a God who chose to come close, in Jesus.
In this season when we have spent so much of our time alone, apart, and at a distance from one another, we’ll reflect on the mystery and hope of the incarnation – the reality that, through the birth of a child called Jesus, the Divine decided to be near to us, and dwell among us.
The Upside-Down Kingdom – A Sermon Series Beginning in October 2020
“… the kingdom of God points to an inverted, upside-down way of life that challenges the prevailing social order. The way of Jesus certainly countered the cultural patterns in Palestinian society, and it still counters the patterns in our world today.” – Donald Kraybill, The Upside-Down Kingdom
This year has been marked by social upheaval and political transition. In some ways it has felt like other years, and at the same time it has felt like nothing that we have ever experienced before.
What does it look like to live as faithful followers of Jesus in a world like ours – a world of politicians, parties, campaigns and elections? A world of imbalance and inequality, where there are haves and have-nots? Where there are those who are on top and then there is everyone else?
In this series, we will be exploring the idea of the Upside-Down Kingdom. We will be looking at the words and life of Jesus as they appear in Luke’s gospel, and as they point to a different way of thinking and living, in which things are turned on their heads. And we will be drawing inspiration from chapters of the classic book by the same name as we go.
Pressing On – A
Sermon Series for Fall 2020, Beginning in September
Early on, many of us thought this would all be over in a matter of weeks or months. We shared about everything we were learning and doing with this time. We talked about what life would be like, on the other side of the pandemic.
As weeks and months went on, however, we came to the growing realization that this would be a reality for much longer than we expected. We came to recognize that, in many ways, this was going to be a marathon, and not a sprint. These changes to our lives would be the new normal for some time to come.
Beginning in September, we will be reflecting on themes of perseverance and endurance as they are found in the letter to the Philippians. We will ask what it looks like to faithful press on through life’s in-betweens, including this time that we find ourselves in today.
“One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-15