Sermon Series: More Than the Twelve

6/13 - 8/1/2021


7/31 - 8/1/2021 | Mother Teresa (1920-1997)

We are called to servanthood, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked. Simply put, we are called to do, not merely to hear. In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus’ last parable is the judgment of the nations, the all-important question of “How well did we do?” One disciple who responded to God’s grace with faithful action was Mother Teresa, who, in 1950, founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that has over 4,500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012. Her dedication to serving the poor is a model of faithful leadership, embodying the truth that we all are called to bring God’s mercy and abundance to others.

7/24 - 7/25/2021 | Polycarp

As the decades passed, the Christian movement found itself increasingly under threat from the Roman Empire. Though Empire-wide persecution would not come for a couple of centuries, even in those early years Christians lost their lives for nothing more than their allegiance to Jesus. Polycarp, the Bishop in Smyrna, was one of them. He had been a student of John the Apostle, and the story of his death is told in the aptly named Martyrdom of Polycarp. As we venture beyond the pages of scripture and into stories of the early church, is crucial for us to know and remember that Christians, to this day, are martyred for their faith in Jesus. How are we blessed by their loyalty to God?

7/17 - 7/18/2021 | The Disciples of Romans 16

So many names! As we come to Romans 16 it is so tempting to skip the first sixteen verses of this chapter. What are we to do with these strange names? So many people we have never heard of! But we cannot skip a single one. There is hardly a better place in the NT to grasp the energy, diversity, and dedication of the first-century Christians than Romans 16. Women, men, Gentiles, Jews, families, a woman apostle, and more! We might not know a lot about all these people, but we know more than we might think at first. Without them and others like them, we would not be Christians now.

7/10 - 7/11/2021 | Priscilla and Aquila

As we continue to learn about the large network of disciples, we will discover Prisca (Priscilla is a nickname) and her husband, Aquila, are the ones who correct Apollos’s errors about baptism. This is how God has created the church to be: we all strive to pull in the same direction, helping one another as needed. As we read their story, pay attention to the little details about Prisca and Aquila, their roles in the work of God’s Kingdom, and the unique ways they participated in the early church. As Paul would put it, diverse gifts, many members, one Lord.

7/3 - 7/4/2021 | Apollos

Who is Apollos? He gets a lot of space in the New Testament for a man few Christians have thought about. Apollos was an evangelist who traveled preaching the Good News of Jesus. He didn’t have everything right, but he was a worker in the field. As we read Paul’s words, he is teaching us the value of Apollos work in the midst of mistakes we can still fall into as modern Christians. Apollos might not be perfect, but God takes imperfect offerings and transforms them into worthy gifts of grace.

6/26 - 6/27/2021 | Stephen and the Seven

After Jesus’ resurrection, the work of the Kingdom is focused on the apostles (the Twelve). Soon after it quickly broadens, as the apostles find that they must delegate and others are invited into the work that must be done. As we read the names of Christians from ages past, we are called to realize their participation in the work of God. When Luke writes decades later, the community has remembered the names. Each of us matters.

6/19 - 6/20/2021 | The Seventy

Jesus sends seventy out in pairs. Even in the early days, the “Jesus movement” is large, with an evangelistic zeal. Jesus is putting a lot of people to work in his proclamation of the kingdom’s arrival, and he sends them in partnerships to carry the Gospel message. Kingdom work is to be done with others; isolation is not our way.

6/12 - 6/13/2021 | Mary Magdalene

So many Marys. Let’s take time to get to know Mary Magdalene, understanding her role as part of Jesus’ ministry, working and traveling alongside the Twelve. As we confront falsehoods about her life, we will read John’s story of Mary in the Garden, revealing her essential work in the Christian movement.

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