Palm Sunday is also known as the Sunday of the Passion, from the Latin passio, to suffer. We remember Christ’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and his suffering, trial, torture and execution less than a week later. How did this happen? And, what does it mean for our own spiritual lives? This sermon, based on Matthew 27:11-54, will prepare you for the observance of Holy Week and Easter.
In this beloved story from John 11:1-45, Jesus dramatically raises his friend Lazarus from the dead. But don’t we all have a little bit of Lazarus in us? Parts of us that are at best lost and hurting, if not outright dead? Listen to hear how Jesus summons all of us to new life, even though this means risks, and how he calls us to be a community where we who once were dead are “unbound.”
We continue hearing the rich stories from the Gospel of John where Jesus interacts with ordinary people and creates a stir with his words and deeds. Pastor Paige puts the congregation into the story of John 9:1-41. She explores why the characters in this story were so upset and confused by Jesus healing a man who was born blind. Shouldn’t that miracle be something to rejoice over? Jesus takes the most humble of elements, dirt and spit, and uses them to create a miracle. How might Jesus be using the ordinary materials of our lives to transform us and others today?
In John 4:5-42, Jesus offers those who believe in him "living water." But what most often keeps us from finding true refreshment for our souls is that we want to keep God squeezed into our ideas, leaving us with only enough space in our hearts for little "sips" of God.
Nicodemus, a religious leader, comes to Jesus at night. They get into a deep discussion of how God creates faith, and how we become children of God (John 3:1-17). Nicodemus doesn’t fully comprehend the free gift of God’s love and grace, but as he talks with Jesus, he moves in the direction of greater insight. Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to the wind, and invites Nicodemus to consider how God’s Spirit is on the move. Jesus points Nicodemus to the fullness of God’s love, for everyone, everywhere, in one of the most famous verses in the Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life” (John 3:16).