John 17:20-26 In John 13-16 we have Jesus teaching and training his disciples to go out in the world and represent him. But in John 17, Jesus starts to pray aloud, so his disciples hear him. This is one of the most astonishing passages in the Bible. At one level it’s astonishing because it is an extended conversation inside the triune God, an actual conversation between the Son and the Father. It’s also true that Jesus is, so to speak, on his deathbed, and having been at the bedside of many people right before they have died, I can tell you that people who are dying are not really interested in small talk. They go right to what is most important to them. And that is true here as well. And when we look at this prayer in its entirety, we see the main thing that he has on his mind and heart as he is about to die is us, the church. He prays for a number of things for us in this chapter. This Sunday we will focus on one of those things as we look at the final 7 verses of that prayer.
As humans, we long for community, a place of belonging and connectedness. However, these longings are being eroded by a culture that does not make time or create space for deeper relationships. Instead of togetherness there is an increasing sense of isolation and loneliness. The influences of the culture seep into the church. Authentic spiritual community is more difficult to find. Our souls suffer and God’s presence in the world is diminished. This Sunday we conclude the summer series by exploring the question, Does Community Matter?
The gospel is the good news of what God has done in Christ. It is good news for us, and we receive it as true. Is it also good news and true for the world around us? We live in a multicultural, pluralistic age and location where diversity, acceptance and tolerance are promoted. How do we bear witness to the truth in such a world? God sent his Son into this world on a mission: to proclaim the good news, and to be the good news. Now we too are sent into the world around us on a mission: to be witnesses to the good news of Jesus.
Living in our Silicon Valley culture today we can find ourselves so easily driven, distracted and feeling depleted as a result. How do we sustain our life with God so that we can thrive and not just survive? The art and practice of learning how to catch our breath become invaluable and essential for us all.
This week we get the privilege of hearing from our good friend from Regent College, Bruce Hindmarsh. Bruce and Carolyn are dear friends of ours who have poured into the PBCC family over the past few years in different ways. Carolyn will also be the women’s retreat speaker next year. Bruce will be preaching this Sunday on Christ being the solid rock. Come near to him, as near as you can. He is the living stone, the precious stone, the cornerstone and capstone, and the scandalous, stumbling stone. Come near to him as the new people of God, as the new temple of God, living a life that in every possible way is centered on Jesus. And, we will appropriately finish our time this Sunday coming near to Jesus at the table.
Isa 6:1-9a What picture of God do you have in your mind? This Sunday, we’ll dive into Isaiah 6 as Isaiah is brought into the heavenly temple of God and sees God on his throne. As a result, he experiences God’s presence, God’s grace, and God’s call in ways he’s never experienced them before. And as we stand alongside Isaiah, we’ll ask ourselves the question: Does my picture of God match the God we meet in the pages of Scripture?
Heb 12: 1-13 Carolyn Hindmarsh, Professor at Regent College and friend of PBCC, will be preaching here at PBCC this Sunday while her husband, Bruce, teaches our men at their retreat at Mount Hermon. Carolyn and Bruce were with us for our Pastors’ Retreat last May and they’re both very gifted teachers. We are in for a treat!
Mark 10:46-52 Join us this Sunday as we meet Jesus on the road outside Jericho on his journey to Jerusalem. Through Jesus restoring sight to the blind beggar Bartimaeus, we’ll hear 3 questions answered in the text – 3 questions that we, too, are called to wrestle with: Who is Jesus? Who are you? What do you want Jesus to do for you?
Col 2:6-7 Like Walking Trees Once a person comes to faith, how does one continue to live and grow in faith? This Sunday we have a guest speaker who will share on this key idea for the spiritual life from the book of Colossians. Bruce Hindmarsh is the professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, BC, and his main area of research is Evangelical Spirituality. Bruce and his wife, Carolyn, have been with the staff for a retreat this week. We have been so blessed by his time with us and are thrilled he will be speaking this Sunday.
Eph 3:14-21 How does Paul pray for the church at Ephesus and what can we learn from his prayer? This Sunday David Misson (youth pastor at Peninsula Bible Church Willow Glen) will preach from Ephesians 3:14-21 on finding fullness from God through prayer.
Jas 1:2 – 5:20 This Sunday we have a special privilege to hear from one of our dear friends, Mariam (Kamell) Kovalishyn, who was our 2012 women’s retreat speaker. She is currently a professor of New Testament at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada. Mariam has a M.A. from Denver Seminary and a Ph.D. from Saint Andrews. Much of her research has centered on the epistle of James, which involved extensive work in both Jewish wisdom literature and the gospel of Matthew. Mariam has co-authored a commentary on James, has published several articles in books and journals, and is currently working on a biblical theology of social justice. Mariam has a diversity of interests including music (both making and listening), hiking, skiing, and backpacking, art (painting and now pottery), and hanging out with her nephews and niece. She and her husband, Val, have been married for 2 and 1/2 years.