Sermons from April 2020
John 1:19-34 This Sunday we will continue our studies in the Gospel of John. After that magnificent prologue, we now enter into the story with the witness of John the Baptist. Throughout John’s Gospel, the concept of witness is very important. In fact one could read the entire Gospel through the “lens” of witness. Jesus is on trial, and many witnesses are called forward to testify to his nature, character, words and actions. By the end of the Gospel, we, the readers, will need to render our own verdict. Who is this Jesus? But, for now, let’s call the first witness. John the Baptist, please come forward and take the stand.
Invitation to Life
John 1:1-18 This Sunday we begin a new series in the Gospel of John. The title of this series is “Come and See.” The entire Gospel of John is an invitation to all of us to “come and see” who this Jesus really is. Come is the first word of command spoken by Jesus in John. He invites us to come, and in coming and encountering him, we will see (John 1:39). And, when we do, we will have – LIFE! Life abundant and life eternal! That’s the ultimate invitation from Jesus – an invitation to life! As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Jesus calls people not to a new religion; but to life!”
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 Resurrection Power gives us the confidence to live ‘all out’ for Jesus, knowing that our faith is not in vain and death will not have the final say in our lives
Presence and Absence
1 Thess 2:17-3:13 During this time of Shelter-in-Place we feel the physical absence of family, friends and work colleagues. Modern technology allows us to stay connected, but we miss physical presence. Presence and absence were poignant realities for Paul. He longed to visit his beloved brothers and sisters in Thessalonica, to be present in person, but was hindered from doing so. So he did the next best thing: he sent Timothy to represent his presence and to see how they were doing. The report that Timothy brought back only intensified Paul’s longing to be with them in person so he could further instruct them. So he did the next best thing: he wrote them a letter to represent his presence. We look forward to again being present with one another. In the meantime we do the next best thing: we connect remotely. At the end of Sunday’s live-streamed service we will take communion together remotely. “Communion remotely” is an oxymoron; it is the next best thing to gathering together. Communion is about presence: though Jesus is absent from earth and present with the Father, he is present to us through his Spirit, especially as we take the bread and the cup together. I invite you to prepare elements which represent the body and blood of Jesus; please use what you have at home, don’t go to the store. It does not need to be special bread or even bread, nor grape juice or wine. Then be ready to eat and drink with your families as a church family. Who may partake? All who give their allegiance to our Lord Jesus Christ and follow him.