Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Sermon Preview’ Category

I’m not great at waiting; I don’t enjoy it. I especially find it hard to wait when I’m anticipating something exciting but I know the date is still far off. How do we wait in anticipation?

Our story this Sunday is about the early church waiting for God’s promise. This diverse group finds a way to join together as they wait.

Acts 1:12-14   (CEB)

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a sabbath day’s journey away. When they entered the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus’ son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James’ son— all were united in their devotion to prayer, along with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.

 

What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a glimpse of what we’re talking about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with study and discussion questions. I post these for two reasons. First, I hope they help you connect the sermon with your week. Second, you can share these with friends so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

The Book of Acts tells stories about God’s Spirit doing big things. Our story this Sunday contains one of the biggest shifts the early church experienced. The disciples are surprised and amazed at what God’s power can do!

Have you ever wondered how to tell if God is moving? How can we discover what God is up to or if an idea is from God? And once we discover that God is moving, what is our role?

 

Acts 10:44-48 (CEB)

While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell on everyone who heard the word. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. They heard them speaking in other languages and praising God. Peter asked, “These people have received the Holy Spirit just as we have. Surely no one can stop them from being baptized with water, can they?” He directed that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they invited Peter to stay for several days.

When we recognize God’s Spirit moving, our job is to celebrate and join in! God will provide the vision; Spirit is always moving ahead of us.

For Your Week

Personal Reflection:

What is a dream that you have? Using these three questions, where do you find God in that dream?

  1. Is this dream consistent with who God is and God’s desire for the world?
  2. Does this praise God?
  3. Does this draw me out beyond myself toward something greater?

 

Scripture Questions:

Read Acts 10:1-43. How does Peter’s vision inspire him to respond?

Read Mark 7:14-23. How do Jesus’ words here compare to Peter’s vision?

What stories can you think of that show God inviting all people into relationship?

 

Table Questions:

When have you experienced an invitation grow bigger?

How do we make space for new people in our communities (neighborhood, school, work, church)?

What is a dream you have? How can we help you discern where God is in it?

 

Prayer:

God, your Holy Spirit moves ahead us, calling us out into new places. Amaze us with your dream. Surprise us with the new people you invite. Help us celebrate what you are doing in the world.

What is a sermon preview?
Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a glimpse of what we’re talking about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with study and discussion questions. I post these for two reasons. First, I hope they help you connect the sermon with your week. Second, you can share these with friends so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

Read Full Post »

Has someone ever asked you a great question? A question that made you really stop and think before you answered? A question that helped you clarify your own thinking? There’s power in a great question.

Great questions can open space to hear from God and share good news with others. After listening to God, Philip asks a great question that unlocks the opportunity to change a man’s life.

Acts 8:26-35             (CEB)

An angel from the Lord spoke to Philip, “At noon, take the road that leads from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he did. Meanwhile, an Ethiopian man was on his way home from Jerusalem, where he had come to worship. He was a eunuch and an official responsible for the entire treasury of Candace. (Candace is the title given to the Ethiopian queen.) He was reading the prophet Isaiah while sitting in his carriage. The Spirit told Philip, “Approach this carriage and stay with it.”

Running up to the carriage, Philip heard the man reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you really understand what you are reading?”

The man replied, “Without someone to guide me, how could I?” Then he invited Philip to climb up and sit with him. This was the passage of scripture he was reading:

Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter

   and like a lamb before its shearer is silent

   so he didn’t open his mouth.

In his humiliation justice was taken away from him.

   Who can tell the story of his descendants

       because his life was taken from the earth?

The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, about whom does the prophet say this? Is he talking about himself or someone else?” Starting with that passage, Philip proclaimed the good news about Jesus to him.

 

For Your Week

Personal Reflection:

How am I building quiet space into my day to hear the Holy Spirit? What could I change to add more time?

How am I at making space to listen closely to others? How could I do better?

 

Scripture Questions:

Philip has a similar discourse with Nathanael in John 1:43-46. How does Philip invite Nathanael?

The eunuch is reading from Isaiah 53:7-8. How do these verses and Isaiah 53 as a whole point to Jesus?

 

Questions around your table:

How are we making space to listen closely to one another? How could we do better?

What did you learn in past week you’ll still care about in 5 years?

 

Prayer

 Holy Spirit, move through me. Open my ears to hear your quiet whisper. Open my heart to listen deeply. Guide me to come alongside others to help them discover who you are. Amen.

 

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a glimpse of what we’re talking about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with study and discussion questions. I post these for two reasons. First, I hope they help you connect the sermon with your week. Second, you can share these with friends so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

Read Full Post »

Have someone ever given you a really big goal, so big you weren’t sure how to get started? What did you do? Were you excited or nervous? Did you think it was even possible?

In this passage Jesus gives the disciples a really big goal in the form of the church’s first mission statement. We’ll see some clues about how Jesus believes we can accomplish the goal.

Matthew 28:16-20            (CEB)

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”

Jesus instructs his disciples to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations, what we call today “the Great Commission.” That sounds like a tall order, but Jesus says the church can do this because he has received authority and he promises to be with us always. And we remember that Jesus starts his ministry with a small group. We don’t have to get the whole world at once; we start with one person. God’s great mission starts with one.

 

Personal Reflection:

When is a time you have been “commissioned,” given a goal and then trained or equipped to live it out?

Who is one person whom you could walk alongside and share your faith?

What’s one thing you could teach or share about your faith with someone else?

What good does being a Christian bring to your life?

 

Scripture Questions:

What details are the same in this story as with the previous two we’ve read (Luke 24:36-48 and John 20:19-31)? What’s different?

Matthew narrates several big events happening on a mountain. Why do you think that is?

 

Questions around your table:

What’s a big goal you have for yourself? For our family?

Who is someone who discipled you, who walked alongside you and taught you something about your faith?

What good does being a Christian bring to your life?

 

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a glimpse of what we’re talking about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with study and discussion questions. I post these for two reasons. First, I hope they help you connect the sermon with your week. Second, you can share these with friends so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

Read Full Post »

Do you have any scars? Do you remember the stories behind them? Even after we’re healed, we still carry reminders of our wounds. After his resurrection, Jesus shows the disciples his scars. Why would he still have scars after his resurrection?

Here’s what we learn from the resurrection: our scars are not erased but they are redeemed.

Luke 24:36-48 (CEB)

While they were saying these things, Jesus himself stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” They were terrified and afraid. They thought they were seeing a ghost.

He said to them, “Why are you startled? Why are doubts arising in your hearts?  Look at my hands and my feet. It’s really me! Touch me and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones like you see I have.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. Because they were wondering and questioning in the midst of their happiness, he said to them, “Do you have anything to eat?” They gave him a piece of baked fish. Taking it, he ate it in front of them.

Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the Law from Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. He said to them, “This is what is written: the Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and a change of heart and life for the forgiveness of sins must be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

We all carry scars, physical and emotional, that stick with us. When we can look on them with perspective, our scars become places where we’ve seen healing. Our scars are those mistakes we’ve grown from or times when we’ve received or shared forgiveness. We can point to them and say, “God was here for me.”

Our scars show where God has been in our lives as they tell the story of God’s grace. Looking back over your life, what’s a scar that points to God’s grace? How can you share that story of where God showed up for you?

 

Prayer:

Lord, thank you for the ways you have redeemed my story. Thank you for the places you have appeared in my life. I offer you this wound to be redeemed. Help me ask for forgiveness where I have hurt others and offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me. Heal this wound so that it too can witness to your grace.

 

Going Deeper:

What does the promise that our scars are not erased but they are redeemed mean for you? What is a wound for which you still seek healing?

 

Scripture Study Questions:

Who are the “they” in v36? (Read Luke 24:13-35)

What details are the same from the story in John 20:19-31? What is unique in Luke’s story?

Why does it matter that Jesus eats a piece of fish?

 

Questions around your table:

What’s the story of one of your scars?

Why did the disciples think Jesus was a ghost?

Where have you seen God’s love this week?

 

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with study and discussion questions. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday

Read Full Post »

With the election season behind us, we’re turning our eyes toward Advent. Advent is our season of preparation and waiting for the promise of Jesus. We look both backwards and forwards in time, back to the promises of Christ’s birth and forward to the promises of Christ coming again.

This Sunday we start that journey looking at God’s promise to do a new thing. Doing something new can be both exciting and scary. God’s promise, found in both Isaiah and Revelation, is a word of hope to those hurting and mourning. God’s desire for creation isn’t throwing it away, but renewing it. God’s future is one of joy.

We’ll talk about this promise, God’s desired renewal and our joy this Sunday.

 

Isaiah 65:17-25            Common English Bible (CEB)

Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:

past events won’t be remembered;

they won’t come to mind.

18 Be glad and rejoice forever

in what I’m creating,

because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy

and her people as a source of gladness.

19 I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad about my people.

No one will ever hear the sound of weeping or crying in it again.

20 No more will babies live only a few days,

or the old fail to live out their days.

The one who dies at a hundred will be like a young person,

and the one falling short of a hundred will seem cursed.

21 They will build houses and live in them;

they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit.

22 They won’t build for others to live in,

nor plant for others to eat.

Like the days of a tree will be the days of my people;

my chosen will make full use of their handiwork.

23 They won’t labor in vain,

nor bear children to a world of horrors,

because they will be people blessed by the Lord,

they along with their descendants.

24 Before they call, I will answer;

while they are still speaking, I will hear.

25 Wolf and lamb will graze together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox,

but the snake—its food will be dust.

They won’t hurt or destroy at any place on my holy mountain,

says the Lord.

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with a way to respond to the message, like an action to take or question to consider in your life. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends. You can share through email or Facebook / Twitter so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

Read Full Post »

This week we’re finishing up our series on keeping faith in an election. We’ve moved through John Wesley’s Three Simple Rules for the people called Methodists. We’ve explored what it might mean to Do No Harm, Do Good, and Stay Connected to God in the midst of all the noise and confusion

Now this Sunday we’re looking towards what happens on November 9th and following. On the other side of the election, to what are we called? How do we keep our faith and find our place after this season? We’re looking at a letter written to a church with some advice for living out their public life. In it, Paul points them back to the source of their hope.

Coming on November 9th what is your hope?

Philippians 2:1-11        Common English Bible (CEB)

Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy, 2 complete my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. 3 Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. 4 Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. 5 Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus:

6 Though he was in the form of God,

he did not consider being equal with God something to exploit.

7 But he emptied himself

by taking the form of a slave

and by becoming like human beings.

When he found himself in the form of a human,

8         he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

9 Therefore, God highly honored him

and gave him a name above all names,

10     so that at the name of Jesus everyone

in heaven, on earth, and under the earth might bow

11         and every tongue confess that

Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What is a sermon preview?

Sermon previews are released on Thursdays. They offer a short glimpse of what we’re going to talk about on Sunday morning. They are updated on Mondays with a way to respond to the message, like an action to take or question to consider in your life. I post these for two reasons. First I hope they help you see the sermon connecting with your week. Second, I hope you’ll share these with friends. You can share through email or Facebook / Twitter so they know what we’re exploring on Sunday.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »