Sermon Series: Already One

1/10 - 2/14/2021

“…for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This is not only a future promise from Galatians 3, but it is a current reality. Christ has already made us one: one body, one family, unified in purpose. In the sacraments of baptism and communion, God creates bonds of the Holy Spirit that cannot be easily broken. If this is true, why don’t we act like it? Throughout this series, we will answer the call to live out the truth of our lives: We are already one.

Messages

2/13 - 2/14/2021 | Gift of Grace

How often do we choose debate and philosophy over relationship and reality? Not our broken reality, but the reality Christ has spread before us, just waiting for us to take a bite and enjoy. The Kingdom is more than a possibility, it is a gift here and now, offered to us by the One who made true reconciliation and hope possible.

2/6 - 2/7/2021 | Seeing Clearly

We ask Jesus to heal us of the brokenness of our world, but sometimes we create barriers that stop us short from experiencing God’s fullest healing. We see dimly, we miss the point of Christ’s teachings, we give up too quickly. What if we invested our time and energy into living out the transformation Jesus has already accomplished for us?

1/30 - 1/31/2021 | Freedom and Power

Even with shared ancestors, we can find ways to separate, to build walls and hide behind cultural differences. It is so tempting to move away instead of reaching out, and yet we miss out on the fullness of a life in Christ when we choose hatred over love. Our baptism vows ask us if we accept the freedom and power God gives us to transform the world. Why do we choose to turn away from that essential promise instead of taking part in the work of the Holy Spirit?

1/23 - 1/24/2021 | Crossing Barriers

What do we assume about the people we encounter? When we walk into a new space with new people, do we truly see them with the eyes of Christ? Would we even know what that could look like? In this week’s scripture, the example of Phillip will teach us what is truly possible when we see others as Christ calls us to: people who are already beloved, already our brothers and sisters.

1/16 - 1/17/2021 | Daily Decisions

To live into the truth that we are already one in Christ requires daily decisions. Daily sacrifices that often go against what our culture teaches us result in a life of Christ-like relationships. The world tells us people are not worth our time and commitment, yet in the story of Ruth we find two women who choose each other against all odds, over and over again, and become the epitome of faithful, Christ-like friendship.

1/9 - 1/10/2021 | The Great Debate

In these familiar words from Galatians, we have the chance to listen in on an ancient dispute between the most renowned apostles of Jesus, Peter and Paul. The question presents itself over and over in scripture: Who is welcomed and who is excluded? Every generation of the church has faced this question, and Paul gives the ultimate answer in Galatians 3. All other tribes must fall away as we become one in Christ.

All Series

More Than Conquerors
5/14 - 6/19/2022
In the early first century, culturally speaking, everything was positioned around the idea that a nation ought to expand and conquer to accumulate power and influence. In this way, the movement that began with Jesus was positioned well to be a religion that was focused on going out in the world, spreading its message to new nations, and converting others to this system of beliefs. The world was primed for a religious movement that would respond to the great commission, and in effect, go forth and conquer. Yet, the church was not about conquering. It did not hope to extinguish and assimilate every other person and culture. Instead, the early church grew on the basis that it had the ability to universally speak to the human condition of brokenness and offer hope and promise in the wake of that very condition. The church would be more than the conquerors. Everyone was coming to believe in the promise of God. The Gospel reached into different cultures, differently idioms and languages altogether. In this message, they preached and believed that Jesus would return again, and would return again sooner rather than later. Nobody could have fathomed the idea that 2000 years into the future, we would still be waiting on this return. They were teaching each other lessons and lifting each other up in the hopes that they would be alive to see the grand return. However, those lessons taught have a practicality that transcends any time period. In growing over this time, the church moved beyond the disciples. What was once an effort of individuals and leaders who had all had direct connections to, and conversations with, the risen Lord now transitioned to a movement of different ages, nations, and races of converted believers who had simply heard the Good News of the Gospel. They would lean on their own spiritual experiences of the divine rather than tangible interactions with God Incarnate. What will leadership look like in this new Church? Who can be a part of this faith movement? What will be required to participate? Most importantly, how do those messages speak to us today?
Appeared
4/23 - 5/8/2022
Easter has come, Christ has been resurrected. We have enjoyed the big celebrations, the Easter egg hunts, and the family meals, but we forget that there was more than an empty tomb after Christ was resurrected. There were more visits than the brief encounter of the women in the garden. A fully resurrected Christ is a free Christ. Jesus could have gone anywhere and done anything after the resurrection, and yet he chose to search for the disciples. Jesus sought out the ones who abandoned and failed him more than anyone else. The ones who swore loyalty disappeared. The ones who followed in his footsteps for three years turned their backs on the suffering Savior. The ones who pledged to help transform the world abandoned the mission in fear and shame. Yet the story of the cross and resurrection is true for each of us through the power of God’s grace: we are more than our worst moments. The worst thing is never the last thing. What might those disciples have been feeling after the cross? Can you imagine the deep silence between them? The shared knowledge of their failures? The unrelenting question: “What now?” Brene Brown defines shame as “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love, belonging, and connection.” It is not hard to imagine the deep shame of these disciples, one that each of them knew intimately and yet did not want to name. Shame assigns identity based on our worst moments. It thrives on secrecy. It is “the fear that something we’ve done or failed to do, an ideal we’ve not lived up to, or a goal we’ve not accomplished makes us unworthy of connection” (Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart, 137). We see over and over again in the Gospels and Acts scenes of redemption and healing through God’s grace. Jesus could have chosen to abandon the ones who left him at the cross, who pretended they did not even know him, to start from scratch with better disciples. Yet in God’s infinite grace and unrelenting love, the disciples were chosen for connection, relationship, and entrusted with the mission of Christ. Jesus confronts their failures head on. This is the Christian story: our deepest shame is redeemed and we are transformed into world-changing disciples