Luke Sermon Series: Why has the healing of the paralytic confused Christians for centuries?

Centuries ago, a paralytic and his friends aggressively pursued a healing; and Christians for centuries have been confused by Jesus’ response.

What was so confusing? What was it so difficult to swallow? And how can that change our lives today?

Join us Sunday as Sam speaks to us on the Healing of the Paralytic from Luke 5:

17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.

18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”

21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”

25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”

Luke Sermon Series: The Great Catch

John closed his gospel with these two sentences: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” And Luke begins his gospel with his intention “to write an orderly account for you … that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”

If there are thousands of stories about Jesus (that would fill the whole world), why did the gospel writers choose these stories? Why did Luke choose to tell of the Great Catch?

Join us Sunday as Sam speaks to us about seeing Jesus in the miracle of the great catch of fish.

The Fruit of the Spirit: Gentleness

I have been accused of many things in my life–some fairly and some not–but I have never been accused of too much gentleness.

And yet “gentleness” is a command of God and a fruit of His life in us. How do we grow in the Fruit of the Spirit? How do we grow in the very virtues we find most difficult?

Join us Sunday as Sam Williamson speaks to us of growing in the gentleness of God.

 

The Song of Songs

No discussion of Jesus’ invitation to intimacy can be complete without wandering into  the Song of Songs.  Join us Sunday as we take a taste of this great poem of human love and intimacy, which is a foretaste, a prelude, pointing towards Jesus’ passionate love and his longing to know us, His bride.

What does this ancient middle-eastern, romantic (sometimes edgy) poem have to show us about intimacy with God?  About what does that look like?  About how does Jesus see us?  About how are we to see Him?  And what stands in our way?  How will we respond to His passion for us and his pursuit of us?

Song of Songs2:8-14

The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing through the windows,
looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
11 for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.

Upcoming Sermon: Seeing the Resurrection through Isaiah 53

The Apostle Paul claimed that he preached the cross, and only the cross. And yet later in that same book, 1 Corinthians, he claims that if Christ wasn’t raised, all his preaching was in vain, and that of all people, we are to be pitied most.

How does the resurrection teach the cross, and how does the cross teach us about the resurrection?

Join us this Sunday as Sam Williamson speaks to us of Isaiah 53 and the resurrection of our Lord.

Is. 53:1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

Sermon: On the Road to Emmaus

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the central theme of our faith, so we’re taking a few extra weeks past Easter to continue looking at it.  This Sunday we’ll discuss the intriguing Bible study Jesus held with the two disciples on the way to Emmaus.

What about these disciples is so common with us 2,000 years later?  Come Sunday and let’s discuss.

Invitations to Intimacy: Practicing His Presence

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)

In one of the most magnificent and comforting promises ever given, Jesus promised He would always be with us.  But it certainly doesn’t always feel that way.  How might we live our lives and experience our relationship with the Lord so we sense His Presence more consistently?  Come Sunday and let’s talk about it!

 

Seeking God and “Welcoming & Confronting Doubt”

No matter how strong and confident we are, we all succumb to doubts from time to time.  Abraham was no exception.  So what can we learn from Abraham about how to look at our doubts, and how to deal with them?

And just WHAT is going on in this strange chapter of Genesis, when Abraham expresses his doubt to God?  Come Sunday and let’s talk about it!

Read Genesis 15:1-21

Upcoming Sermon: Remembering, Engaging the Past to Connect with God

Over and over, God command us to “Remember!” How does “remembering” re-engage us with God?

“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deut. 6:6-9)

Come this Sunday and hear Sam share with us how remembering God’s past gives us hope for the future.

We are invited to join sister church Cross and Resurrection for a Seder meal

Cross and Resurrection has been sponsoring a Seder meal for the last several years. This year it will be led by Andrew Barron, a missionary for Jews for Jesus. And they’ve invited us to join them on Friday, April 7th at 6:00 pm at Cross and Resurrection church.

Click this image above for a copy of the brochure

Please do consider joining them. You can find contact information on the brochure: Seder Announcement.

One of the most significant Jewish holidays, Passover, or Pesach in Hebrew, recalls and rejoices over the Israelites’ redemption from slavery in Egypt. The symbolic elements of the feast cause us not only to look back and remember what the Lord did for our people in the past; they also foreshadow a greater redemption through Jesus, the Passover Lamb. Jewish people around the world have celebrated Passover for thousands of years; however, most do not understand the ultimate significance of the festival.