Sermons from April 2022
The Cost of Community Jesus promises that his community of believers will be a blessing and a support. How close are we supposed to be in this community? And why will there be challenges? Though Christian community comes at a cost, Christ tells us it is worth pursuing.
One might be forgiven for thinking that Easter means new clothes, candy, and other marketed goods. Even though it might seem that Easter is becoming another consumer holiday, millions of people worldwide continue to use the Easter holiday to reflect on the meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Generally, a celebratory mood marks the day because of the ‘good news’ (the literal meaning of the word “gospel”) Jesus’ resurrection brings to peoples’ lives. Therefore, we will use this Easter service to consider one of the reasons why Jesus’ resurrection is good news and what that message means for our lives.
We like to think of ourselves as people who know and obey the Bible. The Pharisees also liked to think of themselves in the same way. The gospels, however, record several occasions where Jesus condemned the Pharisees for failing to know and obey God’s Word; he accused them of “rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish [their] tradition” (Mark 7:9). In our effort to follow Jesus, we need to avoid the disrespect Jesus accused the Pharisees of having towards God’s word. Rather, we need to cultivate proper respect for the Bible that motivates us to submit to the purpose for which God created it. Consequently, we will use this lesson to explore the respect Jesus expects people to have for the Bible so that we can better understand the relationship we should have with it.
We have all endured the challenge of learning a new concept or witnessed that struggle in our children. It offers a familiar, relatable experience common to our education-oriented path to adulthood. While frustrating, struggling to learn a new concept generally carries low stakes. Imagine how that experience would change if the idea held unimaginable high stakes. Jesus was a teacher whose teachings proved deeply challenging to his audience, even to his own disciples. But Jesus was also a teacher whose teachings carried the highest possible stakes. We will consequently consider the story of Jesus teaching two disciples in Luke 24:13-35 to see what insights it can offer us into both the challenge of Jesus’ teachings and how he worked to overcome it.