Jesus Christ calls us to be a joyful community that celebrates God's love, transforms lives, and is a force for justice in the world.

Sermons on Acts

Look up, look down, all around

The Ascension is probably one of the most important holidays on the church calendar, yet also the most overlooked.. If we can push past our scientific qualms for a minute—not ignore them, but suspend them for a bit to look at the meaning of the story—there’s profound truth here.

Tell the Story

One way to do evangelism is to tell the wider story of Scripture in a way that is personally meaningful to us. That’s the key: it has to be authentic to us and true to our lives if it is to be compelling to other people. It’s not trying to warp other people into a version of ourselves. It’s not converting people to our way of thinking. It’s invitational. Testifying to God’s presence in our life helps other people name it in theirs.

Christian Unity

As the refrain in our next hymn goes, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Unified congregations, congregations that can handle conflict in healthy ways have a role to play in this day and age. Christians of all stripes who can work together, despite their differences, can indeed be a peacemaking presence in a polarized society.

Disturbing the Peace

I’m convinced that you don’t have to get arrested to be a faithful Christian. But still, this text messes with me. It burrows into my mind, making me wonder: in what ways have I taken risks for my faith?” How have I “disturbed the peace,” so to speak, by telling a hard truth in my family or my workplace? How does our faith lead us to stand up for somebody who is voiceless?

In the Name of Jesus, Rise up!

It’s not just the church as an institution that has this choice. Each of us within it does. The Spirit can breathe the new life of the empty tomb through our deeds and words. Easter can take become tangible in our families, workplaces, and neighborhoods. We can as Wendell Berry said “every day do something that won’t compute… practice resurrection.” Forgive a grudge. Babysit a neighbor’s child. Visit a lonely person. Apologize. Be the positive voice in a room full of negativity. In the name of Jesus, rise up!

To the Ends of the Earth

I’m not sure if “ends of the earth” is meant to be interpreted geographically or metaphorically. Meaning if Jerusalem symbolizes life with God then the “ends of the earth” would symbolize life apart from God. Taken in that vein, I would say that today, in our society, the ends of the earth might be seen in racism, xenophobia, the effects of substance abuse, gun violence, the ever increasing wage and wealth gap, and in a society that fails our children by underfunding public school education, eliminating accessible health care, and depleting resources and services of the Department of Child Safety…