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 from January 2016

The Prophet’s Price

That’s the thing about prophets: they’re not provocative for provocativeness’ sake. They sense a Spirit-breathed call. That’s what gives them the courage, the conviction, the stamina. Firm trust in the loving justice of God fuels ordinary people to risk telling the truth. But that’s another aspect of being prophetic: the price. There’s always a price…

Lessons for Leaders

We are all called, wherever we are to, by our words and deeds, point the way toward the infinite compassion and peace that we find in the God revealed in Jesus. Like Jairus, faithful leaders realize that they cannot heal the world by themselves or bring hope to others by themselves. They are the ones who push through a laughing, cynical crowd saying, “No, death and despair never have the last word… and like the woman who had the tenacity to grab hold of Jesus’ tunic, leaders of this sort lead from their own struggle to find God in the midst of pain and confusion.

To: Jesus / From: Bart / Re: Seeds

[Jesus replies] The seeds are scattered in rocks, thorns, shallow dirt, and rich soil; they’re no respecters of ground. So it is with God’s kingdom– God’s radical love showers upon all without consideration for merit or response or inherent goodness. Yes, it’s true, that people respond differently to me, what I’m about, and the kind of world I’m trying to shape. There are powers that try to stamp out my kingdom at every turn, you know that. But that’s my concern. I am still going to sow wildly and indiscriminately.

Those People

We don’t welcome because WE have deemed people tolerable. We don’t accept others because WE find them acceptable. We do so because we recognize that this world belongs to God and we are not entitled to any corner of it. We do so because we, too, are broken, imperfect people in need of grace and mercy. We are or can be, on any given day, “those people.”

Unclean Spirits

Naming those demons and inviting the presence of Jesus in those experiences can be healing. I’ve prayed for people who can’t seem to shake a destructive habit before along the lines of, “God, set them loose from this awful thing.” Or someone whose life is in ruins because of depression, I find myself saying, “God, free them from this weight!” So many people have stories about how appealing to a higher power has delivered them (they use that language). It seems that, through the Spirit, Jesus is still about the work of casting out such demons, releasing people from what binds them and leading them to wholeness.