Sermons by Shawn Reese
(Luke 2:1-20) Each year at this time, the tradition for world leaders from all over the world is to provide a Christmas message to their people, a Christmas proclamation. Some do it merely out of duty while others seem to have some conviction behind it. But, as thoughtful as those proclamations typically are, none of them will ever come close to the staggering proclamation made by the angels to the shepherds on that first Christmas. Join us this Sunday as we explore the staggering good news of Christmas.
John 21 (ESV) After 3.5 years, we’ve finally come to our last text in the Gospel of John. There is still one piece of unfinished business that John has to wrap up, and it involves Peter and a charcoal fire. As he wraps up Peter’s story, what does John want his readers to really know before they leave his book? Join us this Sunday as we explore this last great text from John’s Gospel.
John 20:19-23 This week in John, we pick up the narrative on the evening of that first Easter, where ironically, the apostles (ie. “sent ones”) have locked themselves inside a room. And, Jesus appears! He pronounces peace to them, shows them his wounds, and pronounces peace again. He then sends them on mission. Join us this Sunday as we explore what has been called “John’s Great Commission.
This week in John, we pick up the narrative midway through the first resurrection appearance on the morning of that first Easter. Loyal Mary Magdalene has stayed at the tomb after Peter and John have gone home. And, what she finds is the gardener, the gardener indeed! Join us this Sunday as we explore what else John wants us to see on that first morning of the whole new world.
It is finished … but it has not ended! Jesus died on Friday afternoon after he had said, “It is finished.” Two men, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, take Jesus off the cross, pack his body with spices and lay his body in a new tomb. Jesus is dead and buried on Friday afternoon. But that does not end the story! On Sunday morning, John tells us that Mary Magdalene, Peter and John find Jesus’ tomb empty – except for the grave cloths. Join us this Sunday as we get to explore the meaning of the empty tomb.
John 19:16b-42 This week we come to the crucifixion of Jesus from the Gospel of John. John sees a lot of details in his account, but at the heart of everything is Jesus’ cry, “It is finished” (19:30). So, what is finished? What is it that is finished? Join us this Sunday as we explore this very important question.
John 18:28-19:16 We return to the Gospel of John this week as Jesus is brought before Pilate. As we said three weeks ago, when Jesus was before the religious authorities, He wasn’t the one on trial, they were. And, at the very same time, Peter, representing the disciples, was on trial as he stood around a charcoal fire. In the text this week, even though Jesus is in the dock, Pilate is the one on trial. How will he respond to the great I AM standing before him? Join us this Sunday as we seek to learn from Pilate’s response.
“You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” This question is posed to Peter, the lead disciple, outside while Jesus is being interrogated inside. Only a few hours earlier in the upper room, Peter had proudly declared to Jesus, “I will follow you anywhere. I will even lay down my life for you.” And, now, a few hours later just before the rooster crows, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” Peter answers, “I am not.” All four Gospels contain Peter’s failure. And why? Join us this Sunday as we seek to learn from Peter’s failure.
John 18:1-12 This Sunday we return to our studies in John within the series I’ve called Come and See. Back in the spring, we ended with Jesus’ great prayer in chapter 17 where he says, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son, that the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). In other words, now is the time for glory. Glory means the revelation of what someone is like. This fall, we will see the supreme revelation of what the living God is like. We will behold His glory. And, it all begins in a garden. Join us this Sunday as we come and see the arrest of God.
Matthew 28:1-10 He has risen… He has risen indeed! Something happened that first Easter that makes all the difference in the world. Something happened on that first Easter that brought a new reality into our world. Something happened that first Easter that had never happened before, and it changed everything. Join us this Easter Sunday as we explore the resurrection account from Matthew’s Gospel and “see” how everything has changed.
John 17 This Sunday, we return to John 17 for the fourth and last time. I invite you once again to put your head on Jesus’ heart and listen to Jesus pray… for you. This week, as we come to the end of the prayer, we will begin with verse 24 where Jesus prays, “I desire,” or more literally, “I will.” This is the only place in the Gospel record where Jesus says “I will” to the Father! And, what does he “will”? Join us this Sunday to find out (hint: it will take your breath away!).
John 17 This Sunday, we return to John 17 for the third of four Sundays. I invite you once again to listen to Jesus, the Son of God, open his heart to God the Father. This week we come to maybe the most astounding desire of Jesus’ heart, our inclusion in the life and love of the Trinitarian God! Jesus prays that we, his given ones, not only be one like the oneness of the Trinity, but that we be one in the oneness of the Trinity. And, as I have said before, you can’t get closer than in! Join us this Sunday as we explore the many facets of being included “in” the life and love of the trinitarian God.