Posts by Shawn Reese

Posts by Shawn Reese

A Year of Uncertainty

2020 is the year of “oppressive uncertainty.”  Ray Barbieri Isn’t that how we all feel?  Oppressively uncertain. Constantly uncertain.  And we want certainty because certainty brings a measure of peace and safety and security.  Yet this year is stretching our patience, to say the least. In the 11th century, St. Anselm of Canterbury, Italian monk and theologian, wrote this, “Let us live with uncertainty as with a friend.”  Say what?  A friend? That seems like a not so fun place…

Who Knows Best?

We are the most technologically advanced society ever.  With telescopes, we can peer into deep space and see far away galaxies.  With microscopes, we can see the basic building blocks of matter.  And, after thousands of years of human experience, we now understand the basic foundations of life and can determine the intricacies that bring about human life.  But, with all these scientific advances, humanity still struggles with how to live life (the headlines of the news reveal the everyday…

Our Great God

1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his,…

A Different Kind of God

We continue our studies this Sunday in the book of Philippians. And, we come to holy ground. In this text, known as a hymn to Christ, we find a different kind of God. Into a world where “gods” are expected to use absolute power, power to advance themselves and power to exploit others, we find these extraordinary words. Here, we find a God who seeks to not advantage himself, but to humble himself in obedient servanthood. This God becomes defined by a cradle, a cloth…

The Rock

I love backpacking around Lake Tahoe, especially in the Desolation Wilderness where this picture was taken (Aloha Lake).  I love this picture because it reminds me that God is our rock.  He is an unchanging, solid foundation with a proven track-record.  As he was faithful in the past, so he will be faithful today and on into the future.  “He is the rock eternal.” This is one thing I’m learning by studying the Gospel of John.  Jesus is revealing to…

The Living Water

This week we come to one of John’s famous passages, where Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at a well.  She is an outcast, Samaritan and woman.  He is a rabbi (even God), Jew and man.  Throughout their conversation, we find that she is empty, her water pot symbolizing her emptiness.  In the same way she needs to continually fill her water pot with water, she is continually filling her life with relationships that ultimately do not satisfy.  And, what does…

Friend of the Bridegroom

After that deeply theological conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus heads back into the Judean wilderness where John is baptizing.  And, we hear John’s last speech in this Gospel.  He joyfully says he is not the bridegroom; he is the friend of the bridegroom.  Jesus, the one from above, is the bridegroom (implying he is God), while those who receive him become his bride (implying a new people of God).  For John, as the friend of the bridegroom, his job was to…

A Pruning

We have the privilege today to hear from a guest contributor.  Rich Harmon, who is an elder at PBCC, has some encouraging thoughts for us today.  Thanks Rich! I have enjoyed the slower pace of life during these weeks of staying at home.  I have especially enjoyed my early mornings on the back patio with God and a cup of coffee, watching the sunrise and the birds wake up with the day. In fact this has become my most cherished…

The New Birth

In this section of John, we are seeing that Jesus is making all things new.  So far, we’ve seen the gathering of a new people of God, the miraculous new wine at a wedding and the promise of a new temple.  In our text this week, we hear of the necessity for a new birth.  Jesus meets one-on-one with a man named Nicodemus who comes to him by night.  Nicodemus is very smart, very good and very religious.  Yet, Jesus…

What Kind of God?

What is your picture of God?  Before yesterday’s sermon, if you didn’t know where Jesus, God with us, began his public ministry, where would you have imagined him showing up first? It is generally agreed that the first few chapters of John happen before Mark 1:14. In other words, Jesus really does enter the public scene first at the wedding at Cana.  The curtains are drawn back, and we see the living God at a wedding, enjoying himself, enjoying the…

When Jesus is Invited

Up until this point in John’s gospel, Jesus has been mostly moving around privately, gathering his team of followers.  This week, in chapter two, the curtains get drawn back, and God enters the public stage.  And, where does he make himself known first?  At a wedding celebration.  So, what happens when Jesus is invited to a wedding (or into anything in life)?  Come and see!

The Followers

Last week we heard the witness of John the Baptist. This week, Jesus takes center stage as people begin following him. Jesus’ first words of the Gospel are to these followers, “What are you seeking?” It’s an inviting and searching question. If he were to ask you that today, how would you answer it? The first followers then respond with a question, “Where are you abiding Jesus?” It’s a way of saying, “If we come to you Jesus, what will we find?” And, in this text, Jesus…
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