Sermon Series: Supporting Actors

6/25 - 8/13/2017

Most of the time, we view ourselves as the main character of our own lives. 

In the entertainment industry, actors that last discover something akin to a biblical truth, which is that sometimes, we’re not the star. We’re the supporting actor. This summer, we’re going to highlight eight people whose actions put the spotlight on God’s power and love, on Jesus, and on the building of God’s kingdom.

Messages

8/13/2017 | Timothy

One of the youngest of the early church leaders, Timothy is a protege of Paul, a “loved and trusted child in the Lord,” who excels in modeling and encouraging what it means to walk in the Way and not become distracted by poor teaching.

8/6/2017 | Phoebe

A sister in faith, a servant of the church in Rome, and a sponsor of Paul’s ministry, Phoebe plays a major role in the life of the early church. While only briefly mentioned in the Bible, her presence says volumes about Paul's respect for women believers, women in leadership, and the diversity of backgrounds in the early church.

7/30/2017 | Stephen

Stephen is well-respected in the Christian movement, a man with exceptional faith. He's appointed to leadership roles to solve problems in the community. But his exposure leads to debate and then accusation. He is put on trial. Ultimately, he is murdered for his faith. Yet his story grows the church.

7/23/2017 | Elizabeth

Elizabeth is well aware of her connection to the tradition of God’s people. The Bible describes her as “blameless.” But her life isn't without trouble. With her husband, she has been praying for a child for years, and is now old. One day, her waiting is rewarded, and she becomes pregnant. Her child isn’t just any child, either.

7/16/2017 | Naomi

Naomi loses everything when her husband and sons die in a foreign land. She decides to return home to Israel, and tries to send her daughter-in-law Ruth home to her family, but Ruth insists on staying with her. They work together to survive as widows, and even though Naomi is too old for another husband, their plan leads to new life.

7/9/2017 | Esau

When his little brother Jacob takes the prominence and privilege that is rightfully his, Esau vows revenge. But when they finally meet again, in spite of the legitimacy of the older brother’s grievance and the power he has over Jacob, Esau chooses reconciliation and peace.

7/2/2017 | Jonathan

Supporting characters model loyalty and friendship, even when the result benefits someone else. The eldest son of Israel’s first king, Saul, Jonathan was rightful heir to the throne. But his deep friendship with David was more important, and when Saul threatens to kill David, Jonathan intervenes and clears the way for David to eventually become king.

6/25/2017 | Sarah

God made a promise to Abram and Sarah that set the stage for all that would follow in Scripture and to this day, that their descendants would fill the earth. But how could this be? The couple was childless and old. All things are possible with God - even when we, like Sarah, laugh at the very thought of such blessing.

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