Posts from January 2016

“Where Would Jesus Go?” John 4:1-15

Years ago, marketers trended with bracelets, bumper stickers, hats, T-shirts, and other items with the letters “WWJD.” The initials represented the question “What Would Jesus Do?” and came from the classic book “In His Steps” by Charles Sheldon, which was first published in 1896. It remains a question which I think we should ask, especially when faced with difficult choices or confounding dilemmas.
Today, I am beginning a sermon series which will hopefully complement the question “What Would Jesus Do?” We have heard today from two members of our Adult Spiritual Formation Team about their recent experiences at the Budget Inn. Among other responsibilities, this group directs “Wednesdays Without Walls,” a monthly opportunity to place faith into action by actually leaving the church campus and doing something for someone else by showing the love of God.

“When to Walk Away” I Samuel 26:17-25; Acts 15:36-41

Most of us do not enjoy conflict. I know some people who avoid conflict at all costs, which of course means sacrificing their own wants, needs, or even identities to “keep the peace.” Conflict is a part of life; it happens at school, at work, in neighborhoods, with families, and even at church. Some people are better at handling conflict than others, because of family conditioning or intentional training. Some are better equipped to address low-level tiers of discord rather than high-level tiers of hostile feuds.
This morning, we have heard two stories from scripture that feature conflicts. We have an idea that in significant relationships that we should be able to solve every problem, overcome every squabble, reconcile every hurt. But some disagreements simply never get reconciled. This morning, I’d like for us to look at these two biblical stories of giants of our faith: David and Paul. David became the greatest king in Israel’s history, and the Apostle Paul became the greatest missionary of all time. To be considered great, they had to make some difficult decisions. Let’s look at their examples.

 

“We Three A-Ha’s of Epiphany Are” Matthew 2:1-12

The word “epiphany” means a realization or sudden insight; originally, it meant “insight through the divine.” As early as the Fourth Century, Christians have celebrated Epiphany as the day that the Wise Men visited Jesus. Some may ask why this event gets a day of celebration. Do we celebrate the shepherds’ visit with a day? Actually, that would be Christmas Day, and the shepherds are not the reason we celebrate. The celebration of Epiphany has less to do with the astronomers from the east or the gifts they brought, but instead, the biggest deal is that this visit of the Magi was the first appearance of Jesus to Gentiles.
Dictionary.com defines ‘epiphany’ as, “a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something.” When someone says, “I had an epiphany,” they mean that a new meaning emerged; some would call these “a-ha moments.”