Tag Archives: Gospel of Luke

(November 3, 2019) “Glimpses of Jesus: Inviting”

from Luke 19:1-10

(*including an invitation to the Lord’s Table, and to consider where we might invite someone to a fellowship meal this week. )

If the promise we have in Jesus through the Holy Spirit is that God is present with us always, then why is it that the hope we should have in that truth can seem so fleeting?

For one, we can point to the fact that we live such distracted lives…that’s it not Jesus Who is absent, it is we who are not paying attention.

For these 4 weeks we are going to look at the ways Jesus might be present with us. In knowing how Jesus longs to meet us in our day to day, we might just find that He is not only with us, He is working within us, while at the same time revealing to us the ways we might be a reflection of Who He is in the lives of people around us.

We begin with a familiar story found in Luke’s Gospel that asks us to consider the inviting nature of Jesus!

w/ Vern Collins

“Encountering Jesus: On The Journey” (April 28, 2019)

from Luke 24:13-35

Without encounters with the Risen Christ, the empty tomb would be nothing more than the place where Jesus WAS…instead, as Luke and the other Gospel writers attest and as the early church bore witness to…the reality was Jesus was on the loose!

Does it feel that way in your life? Is Jesus on the loose, free to shake things up, free to redirect, free to reorient, and inspire, and challenge, and love, and meet you where you are…? Or has Jesus simply gone missing?

As we begin our new series, “Encountering Jesus,” we invite you open yourself up to the places that Jesus might just be showing up in your life…the place where He might already be at work.

w/ Vern Collins

“Resurrection Repair” (April 21, 2019) Easter Sunday

from Luke 24:1-12

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

So often we think of what the Cross of Christ means we are saved FROM, but how often do you consider the empty tomb of Christ and ask the question, “what am I saved FOR?”

Why do we look for life in dead places? What if the resurrection isn’t just something that happened 2,000 years ago…what if the resurrection can happen in your life NOW?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our View of Money” (April 7, 2019)

from Luke 12:13-21

We have a tendency to equate things like security, peace, worth, and identity with the accumulation of money or possessions. Or even more simply, maybe there’s just this one thing you feel like you have to have, and if you can somehow have that thing…

The question you must wrestle with is: While more wealth or more square footage or more possessions might change your circumstances, will they transform your heart?

We have from the beginning felt the tension of feeling like we need more…but what is it we really need more OF?

w/ Vern Collins

“Broken: How Sin Affects Our Time”

from Luke 21:25-36

If you knew how something would end, would it change the way you give yourself to being a part of it?

While, we might tend to think of such a question as it relates to a business opportunity, saying yes to a relationship, or a financial decision and the potential risks or rewards associated with any of the above…what if instead of decisions that are made based on how we think life should go, we make those decisions based on how the story of God at work in this world ends?

One of the ways we see sin create brokenness in our lives is in the way we view and use time. We worry that there isn’t enough. We waste the time we have. We don’t honor the time of others.

What if we stopped being so short-sighted and started taking a long view of the way we see God’s time and timing? What if that could change the way we live right now with the time we have?

w/ Luke Edwards

“Believe” (January 6, 2019)

from Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

Much of our energy and effort at the start of a new year is given to some measure of improvement of who we are. Whether it is committing to exercise more, be more intentional in relationship, eat healthier, or work harder…the new year represents for many a new start.

What if instead of simply trying to improve something about who you already are, you allowed a new or renewed understanding of who you are as one loved by God to transform the way you live the life that is ahead of you?

Imagine what could be different if you lived into the truth that you are the beloved of God. In the waters of baptism we have opportunity to claim that truth over our lives.

w/ Vern Collins

“Losing Jesus” (December 30, 2018)

from Luke 2:41-52

While we might give Mary and Jospeh a hard time for losing track of young Jesus…we must deal with the question, “when have you taken your eyes off of Jesus…when have you lost sight of Jesus in your life?”

w/ Vern Collins

“Manger and Mystery: Recalling the Story, Restoring the Call” (Christmas Eve Service 6:00pm)

from Luke 2:8-20

The story of Christmas is often a familiar one. Come to think of it, the story of your life can begin to feel familiar as well. The hope of Christmas is that the birth of Jesus speaks something NEW into the familiar!

w/ Vern Collins

“Manger and Mystery: Remembering the Song” (December 16, 2018)

From Luke 1:39-42, 46-56

We all have those songs that define a moment or a season.  Those songs that transport us back in memory, or that focus and excite us toward some goal or event in the future.  

But what about a song that names a promise?  What about a song that claims hope in the face of trial?  What about a song that offers a future for the forgotten?  What about a song named and still can spark a revolution?  

In week 3 of Advent, listen to Mary’s Song as Luke records it in his Gospel account…yes it is the song of an expectant mother, but it is also the song of a faithful follower…one who longs to see God’s Kingdom become a reality on this earth.  Imagine what could change, if you took up this song!

w/ Vern Collins

“Framework for Faithfulness: Christ at the Center” (September 23, 2018)

from Luke 10:38-42

We are conditioned, many of us, to compartmentalize our lives as a means of surviving the pace at which we tend to operate.  We can call it self-preservation, and while it might help us feel like we are keeping our heads above water, when that mentality creeps into our spiritual life it becomes dangerous.

Without realizing it, it means that define what is at the center of our lives by determining what Christ can touch and what He must leave alone.  We set aside time to connect with Him, and often in doing so, try to decide the parts of us that He gets to connect with.

What if everything we do is meant to be an act of worship, and act of placing and keeping Christ at the center of who we are?

w/ Vern Collins

“Anxious: Mary” (December 17, 2017)

from Luke 1:26-56

How do you navigate the unexpected interruptions that come in life?  The phone calls, the turn of events, the changes that sometimes come without any warning?  Do you just get through them, try to survive until you get to the other side?

What if it were possible to navigate those unexpected interruptions and challenges faithfully rather than just trying to get through them?  What if God could change your worry into willingness or your pain into possibility?

w/ Vern Collins

“They’ll Know We are Christians: Out of Order” (May 14, 2017)

from Luke 7:36-50

Do we have any hope of reclaiming the adage, “They’ll Know We are Christians…by our LOVE?”

Christians are known for a number of things today…is love…the love that Christ offers us, the love that Christ modeled for us, and the love that Christ calls us to one of them?  Or are we known for our hypocrisy?  Are we known for our self-centeredness?  Are we known for our exclusivity, or our neglect of those not like us?

What if the church came to be known as a place for those no one else wanted?  What if all of the, “wrong people,” showed up?  How beautiful it might just become.

But how is that possible?

Only by allowing Jesus to re-order our lives…

w/ Vern Collins

“Disordered Love: Greed” (March 12, 2017)

from Luke 12:13-21

Is enough enough?

It seems like a simple enough question…perhaps even a bit ridiculous, but when you consider what you really need for this life…is enough enough?

On top of that, when you consider what you have been so freely given in the sacrifice of Jesus so that you might have life…what more do you need?

When does abundance become greed?  When does blessing become excess?  In Jesus’ parable in Luke’s Gospel, he challenges our tendency to want to “store away” for a future…a future that God has already secured.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: Things Have Changed” (April 10, 2016)

from Luke 24:36-53

Paul promises in his 2nd letter to the Corinthians that if anyone is in Christ then they are a new creation…he goes on to say that the old has gone and the new has come (from 2nd Corinthians 5).

That is quite a promise for those desperate for change.  It is a promise that is full of hope that things don’t have to continue to be as they are…that the struggles we currently have we might just be able to lay down, right?  Well, yes…sort of.

What if the change that is promised does not have anything to do with your circumstances, but you within them…or your perspective about them?

We tend to get frustrated when we don’t see the change we long for as followers of Christ, but perhaps we are looking for change in the wrong place.

What if the reality were you were just  few adjustments away from experiencing the change you long for in Jesus…change that sets you loose on this world as one who can shape it for God’s Kingdom?

Things change when things have changed.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Life: What Just Happened?”

from Luke 24:13-35

It is not uncommon for significant change in life to be met with confusion, self-doubt, unrest about how it affects both the present and the future.

Encountering Jesus can be no different.  If you’ve given your life to following Jesus and welcoming Him as Savior, then what happens once the novelty wears off?  What happens when the music stops, when the weekend is over, when life creeps or crashes back in?  Doubt.  Fear.  Uneasiness.  Confusion.

When these feelings start to creep in, guilt is not often far behind.

Take heart…for it is right in the midst of their confusion and fear and doubt that Jesus met the Emmaus road travelers and journeyed with them through it.

w/ Vern Collins

“Rhythms: God’s Symphony” Easter Sunday (March 27, 2016)

from Luke 24:1-12

Whether you’ve grown up in church or not, the story of the Resurrection is at least mildly familiar.  Each year the church looks to an empty tomb and proclaims the Hope that walked out of it…but by the end of the week is the hope still a reality, or have we allowed life to dull the song of salvation and cloud the light of a new dawn?

How is it 2,000 years later the Resurrection might still have the power to transform, the power to call us to life, the power to break the chains that bind us, and the power to send us into the world?

Perhaps it is time, like the first disciples, to allow ourselves to be surprised…maybe even confused by the Resurrection again.  Perhaps it is time to stop stopping short at an empty tomb and look for the One Who walked out of it.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Beginnings: Things Get in the Way” (February 7, 2016)

from Luke 4:1-13

How do you handle interruptions to your plans?  What do you do when it seems that things are starting to run off the rails?  How do you handle those obstacles?

What about the obstacles and interruptions in your relationship with Jesus?  How do you handle giving in to temptation?

The moment you decide to make a new beginning in Christ is the moment the enemy will begin working against you.  May you find strength and comfort and hope for the rest of the journey in knowing that Christ allowed himself to be tempted on your behalf…so that you would find grace and strength when you face those things that get in the way.

w/ Vern Collins

“New Beginnings: Fearless” (January 31, 2016)

from Luke 5:1-11

What if the confidence you find in your new beginning has nothing to do with what you have accomplished and secured for yourself, but everything to do with the One Who has secured it for you?

In week 4 of our “New Beginnings” series, we look at the invitation, not to membership, but to mission; not to program, but to passion; not to safety, but to sending.

w/ David Hockett