Sermon Series: Inevitable

3/5 - 4/10/2022

Inevitable. Given the depth and pervasiveness of human rebellion against God, it was inevitable that God would have to step in and take upon himself the burden of putting things right. And God would do this by taking on human flesh, born a faithful Jew. Jesus would do and be for Israel, and, hence, for us all, what only God could do and be.In this Lenten series, Jesus turns his face toward Jerusalem and what awaits him there. It will be a cosmic clash between Jesus’ faithfulness and the dark powers of this world. Thus, as we progress through the series, we will see a ever-fuller portrait of Jesus and his work in this world, culminating in his humiliating death on a Roman cross. Want to know what God is? This is it.


4/9 - 4/10/2022 (April 9th & 10th) | The King Arrives

A millennium before, God had promised King David that one from his line, his house, would sit on the throne of Israel. And now, on the Sunday before Passover, Jesus lays claim to that throne for all to see, He wraps himself in every messianic symbol—the colt, the cloaks, escorted in through the Eastern Gate—all it. There was nothing hidden now. But there was more, for in riding into Jerusalem, YHWH had returned to Zion. For God’s people, there was to be no king but God.

4/2 - 4/3/2022 (April 2nd & 3rd) | A Last Supper, A Passover Meal

And so it comes to this. It was always going to come to this. For God so loved the world that he was willing to give his only Son over to the darkness of this world, so that we could be saved through the Son’s faithfulness, all the way to death, even death on a cross. In a word . . . it was inevitable, ever since the rebellion of the humans against their Creator. So Jesus will lead a new Exodus, not from slavery to pharaoh, but slavery to sin and darkness. Jesus would be the sacrificial lamb at this freedom party. This meal, this last meal, would be shared by Jesus’ disciples the world over forever after.

3/26 - 3/27/2022 (March 26th & 27th) | Transfiguration

Who is Jesus? What is his vocation? Important clues are revealed in the story of Jesus’ transfiguration on a mountain top. There are a couple of keys. When we are told that Jesus was speaking with Elijah and Moses, they spoke of Jesus’ “departure” the Greek word is exodos, for Jesus is going to Jerusalem to create a new exodus. This will not be a flight from slavery to pharaoh but from slavery to sin. Jesus will be the lamb whose blood is shed for the sake of Israel and, hence, the world. The second key is to read on in Luke and see that all the gospel writers immediately tell of a sick boy whom the disciples cannot heal while waiting below. It is tempting to stay on the mountain top, but the world beckons. There is always God’s work to be done.

3/19 - 3/20/2022 (March 19th & 20th) | Son of Man

Throughout his public ministry, Jesus has referred to himself as the Son of Man. What does he mean? As the final days and hours approach, this question becomes more urgent and the answer ever clearer. Jesus is the Son of Man from Daniel, the one who comes before the Ancient of Days and is given dominion over all of God’s creation.

3/12 - 3/13/2022 (March 12th & 13th) | Parables of Return

As Jesus’ hour draws closer and closer, he begins to tell parables of a return with one over-arching question. No timetable. Just a question. Will Jesus’ disciples be ready?

3/5 - 3/6/2022 (March 5th & 6th) | Toward Jerusalem

The time has come. The hour does draw near. Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem and what awaits him there. His teachings turn a bit darker, with words of warning about what is to come. There is no time to waste, no other choice to be made than to embrace Jesus and his kingdom. And he gives his disciples the gift of a prayer, from Jesus’ own mouth.

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?
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