The mission of local congregations is more vital than ever in a world where we are more and more disconnected from each other and from God. Every church, including Reformation, is called to be a gift to its community. Today, with reflections on the words of Jesus in Luke 16:10-13, we begin our annual stewardship campaign, “A Gift for the World.” How can we be transformed so that, as a congregation, we are a gift to the people around us? Listen, and be challenged!
Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of Zacchaeus, a man who was small not just in his height, but in his soul. He impoverished his community while enriching himself, and his corruption left a trail of envy, anger, and bitterness. Then, Jesus met him. What happens next shows the transformative power of God’s forgiveness and love. The challenge for us, then, is this: what is our posture towards the world around us? Are we increasing the pain, or are we doing more than we need to in order to heal and restore others? The story of Zacchaeus is a powerful challenge for us to trust in the love of Jesus to lead us as agents of reconciliation and grace. It is a challenge, but truly, there is nothing better.
Two areas that Christians often find difficult are giving and receiving forgiveness, and figuring out how we actually grow in Christian maturity. The two are actually closely related. In this sermon based on Luke 17:1-10, Pastor Eric explores the mystery of how Jesus gives us new life in the community of the church. It is a challenging call, but truly, there is “nothing better!”
Our sermon series on discipleship, “Nothing Better,” continues with the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin from Luke 15:1-10. Pastor Paige invites listeners to reflect on what or who they reach for when they feel lost. The good news of both of these parables is that whenever we go astray, God is relentless in searching for us, in finding us, and in bringing us home as his beloved children.
In Luke 14:25-33, Jesus makes the disturbing claim that if we do not hate our families, carry the instruments of our own execution (the cross), and give up all our possessions, we cannot be his disciples. What is going on here? Well, “family” or “possessions” aren’t the enemy. A too-easy faith, a faith that never makes sacrifices (which isn’t really faith after all), is the enemy. It holds you back from the adventure of real faith. This sermon begins our series called “Nothing Better,” where we look at just why the call to follow Jesus is so challenging: because there is nothing better.