Feb 23, 2020
Wk 4: The Glorified Sacrifice
During Epiphany, we’ve focused on how Jesus showed himself to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world through word and deed. Transfiguration reveals a glimpse of Jesus in all his divine glory, and offers a sneak peek of Easter morning. Therefore, it’s particularly appropriate to celebrate Transfiguration on the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, before the Church descends into the shadowy valley of Lent, and the Christ, revealed today through a glimpse of glory, experiences the humility of suffering and death. It sounds paradoxical. The one who will be sacrificed in weakness and death will be glorified? And yet, in God, this world gets turned upside down!
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  • Feb 23, 2020Wk 4: The Glorified Sacrifice
    Feb 23, 2020
    Wk 4: The Glorified Sacrifice
    During Epiphany, we’ve focused on how Jesus showed himself to be the Son of God and the Savior of the world through word and deed. Transfiguration reveals a glimpse of Jesus in all his divine glory, and offers a sneak peek of Easter morning. Therefore, it’s particularly appropriate to celebrate Transfiguration on the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, before the Church descends into the shadowy valley of Lent, and the Christ, revealed today through a glimpse of glory, experiences the humility of suffering and death. It sounds paradoxical. The one who will be sacrificed in weakness and death will be glorified? And yet, in God, this world gets turned upside down!
  • Feb 16, 2020Week 3: Every Sin is Serious
    Feb 16, 2020
    Week 3: Every Sin is Serious
    "Just a little white lie." "Just one quick peek." "Just this one time." "Everyone else was doing it." "At least I'm not doing things like those people do!" "Nobody's getting hurt." "No one else even knows!" We're very good at coming up with excuses why our sins aren't really that big of a deal. But as God's Word reminds us today, there is no such thing as a harmless sin. Because every sin separates a person from the Holy God, and brings us further from the holy life that God calls us to live. Every sin is serious. And God is serious about sin! So serious, that God took action!
     
    Sermon Text: Matthew 5:21-37
  • Feb 4, 2020Week 1: The Weak Are Strong
    Feb 4, 2020
    Week 1: The Weak Are Strong
    “Only the strong survive.” So the world says. In this world, the nations with the strongest militaries are feared. Those with the strongest investment portfolios are respected. Those with the loudest voices draw the biggest crowds. So the world thinks. That’s why it seems so upside down to hear Jesus say things like “Blessed are the poor.” “Blessed are those who mourn.” “Blessed are those who are persecuted.” That sounds like weakness, not strength, doesn’t it? So the world says. But in this world turned upside down, Jesus reminds us that those who the world thinks are strong are weak. And those who are weak, according to the world’s standards, are strong when they look for their strength in the right place.
  • Jan 27, 2020Jesus Got Baptized? (Baptism of Jesus)
    Jan 27, 2020
    Jesus Got Baptized? (Baptism of Jesus)
    The Greek word epiphany literally means "to shine into," bringing to mind how the special star lead  the wise men to worship the baby Jesus.  But the Greek word is normally used in the sense of "appearance." For 18 centuries, Christians have set aside the early part of the new year to talk about how God reveals Jesus' identity as true God, Messiah, the Christ - the anointed Savior.  Epiphany also stresses that when one has seen Jesus with eyes of faith, they are never the same. 
  • Jan 26, 2020Week 4: Many Parts, One Body
    Jan 26, 2020
    Week 4: Many Parts, One Body
    If you were compiling a list of the most important parts of your body, it might be hard to come up with a clear answer. So many parts play such important roles for you to stay alive and function; so many parts are dependent on each other's work to function properly! As God tells us in his Word, the same is true of the body of Christ. Many parts play different roles, but all for the same purpose. And you, every single one of you, are part of Christ's body. So what part are you? What role or function do you play? And what's most important? We'll look to God's Word to turn on the lightbulb for us as we celebrate "Body of Christ" Sunday.
     
    Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27
  • Jan 5, 2020Week 1: Why the Wise Men?
    Jan 5, 2020
    Week 1: Why the Wise Men?
    Today we celebrate Epiphany, which means "shine into." This season begins by commemorating the first time the Son of God in the flesh was worshiped by someone from another part of the world than Israel. Magi from the East (Persia) followed a special star, created by God to mark the presence of his Son. These wise Men worshiped Jesus and brought him gifts. But, who exactly are these unknown men? What purpose do they serve, that we celebrate their coming to see Jesus with a special church service? This is a lightbulb moment. Who are these Wise Men? What do they mean for us? We look to God's Word to "turn on the light" and help us understand the value and importance of The Wise Men this Epiphany. 
     
    Sermon Text: Matthew 2:1-12
  • Dec 29, 2019Week 4: When God Calls an Audible
    Dec 29, 2019
    Week 4: When God Calls an Audible
    On Christmas Eve, we talked about how God displayed the greatest love when he GAVE his one and only Son, born to be both true God and true man, so that he might be our Savior. But after the joyful peach of Christmas, things weren't always so peaceful for the holy family. As we'll see in our service today, God also displayed his great love for us sinners, in that he SAVED his one and only Son from a dangerous threat. And in doing so, God made it possible for us to be saved!
  • Dec 24, 2019The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
    Dec 24, 2019
    The Greatest Love Story Ever Told
    Christmas is not about a sentimental, warm, and fuzzy kind of love - although these ways that we show love to each other, especially in families, are certainly important. But the heart of Christmas is about God's redeeming love - God's rescue plan for a humanity alienated from him despite all claims of reform, goodness, or morality. The human condition of sin separates us from God, and only his action could have solved that problem. The life, death, and resurrection of his Son has solved the problem. By trusting what Jesus has done for us, heaven awaits us and we live life this side of heaven in loyal thanks for rescue. What great love God has lavished on us, by sending us the greatest gift we've ever received - the child born in Bethlehem's stable. Immanuel, "God with us," our Savior!
  • Dec 15, 2019Week 3: Focusing on Jesus in the Storm
    Dec 15, 2019
    Week 3: Focusing on Jesus in the Storm
  • Dec 8, 2019Week 2: Repent!
    Dec 8, 2019
    Week 2: Repent!
    Your friend is coming over for coffee, so you straighten up the kitchen and buy some fresh coffee beans. Your state senator is coming over to talk to you about some policy. The preparation is more intense, more meticulous, right? The more important the guest, the more preparation must be made. When it comes to meeting Jesus, whether during his first coming at Christmas or his second coming on Judgment Day, important preparation must be made. It is so important to prepare to meet Jesus that God raised up a special messenger, John the Baptist, whose only job was to help people prepare to meet their God in the flesh. If you want to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, if you want to stand on the Last Day, you need to be prepared too. And as John the Baptist preached to those who gathered to hear his message, part of preparing our hearts for Jesus' coming requires us to repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!