What stories do you have of someone reaching out to you with God’s love? As we approach the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Pastor Paige shares Martin Luther’s life-changing experience of understanding God’s grace as a free gift. The Apostle Paul, who once persecuted Christians, also came to understand God’s love in a whole new way after the risen Jesus appeared to him. In Acts 9:19b-21, we hear how Jesus changed the direction of Paul’s life, making him a bold preacher for the Lord. Both Paul and Martin Luther grasped God’s promise of forgiveness and eternal life as a gift to be received, not as something to be earned. How do we continue to build our lives on God’s promise today? How do we live generously, reaching out to others with the love God has first given us, so their lives can be transformed as well?
What does it mean to be in true community? What does it mean to “show up” with others? In this sermon, Pastor Eric explores the story of Thomas (in John 20:19-25) and the description of the earliest community of believers in Acts 2:42-47 to help us discover how we can encounter the Jesus who has promised to show up for us. In this message, we continue our Foundations 500 series and begin our annual stewardship emphasis.
So often, we let fear paralyze us and keep us from leaping into the authentic life God created us for. Part of Martin Luther’s genius was seeing how God acts to create faith and courage in anxious hearts. Today, Pastor Eric lifts up a Lutheran understanding of Baptism and Holy Communion as ways that God actually comes to us, giving himself to us in real, tangible ways. And, we talk about zip lines. Because they are always a great metaphor for faith!
God’s word is a treasure of the Reformation. Martin Luther translated the Bible from ancient languages into German so his contemporaries could read the good news of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for themselves. Today, we continue to treasure the ways God’s word acts on us with power. From diagnosing what’s going on in our hearts, to showing us God’s good plans for us, the word of God speaks the truth of His love and grace into our lives. In this sermon, Pastor Paige highlights images from Isaiah 55:6-11 and Hebrews 4:12-16, as well as the day’s psalm, to remind us how God’s word brings the good news of Jesus to us.
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther began a reformation to restore the grace of God to the center of the church’s life. Today, we begin our "Foundations 500” series, looking at how the spiritual treasures of the Reformation can be the foundation of our Christian life today. In this morning’s sermon (based on Isaiah 41:13-14, 17-20), Pastor Eric grounds us in the truth of God’s unconditional love for us in the cross of Jesus Christ. When you feel empty, broken, or lost, Jesus tells you not to be afraid; he is with you.