Jesus created his Church to be a force of love, grace, and freedom that no power of bondage or death could resist. Why isn’t that what we see? What holds the Church back from being all that Jesus calls us to be? In this message from Matthew 16:21-28, Pastor Eric challenges us to walk the way of the Cross to find life that is real for ourselves, for our church, and ultimately, for our world.
We face lots of decisions, big and small, each and every day. How do we know whether or not we are following God’s will? In this sermon in our “Just Ask” series, Pastor Paige shared the story of Jesus at age 12, when he spent time in the temple learning about his heavenly Father. For us, spending time with God, diving into God’s Word, and paying attention to the Holy Spirit’s action are all ways of discerning God’s will for the decisions we face in our lives. The sermon focuses on the story of Jesus in the temple from Luke 2:40-52. It also draws from Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians, Ephesians 3:14-21.
People inside the church often wonder “what does it mean in the creed when we say ‘catholic’ Church?” People outside the church may wonder, “if Christians can’t get along and agree, why should we trust them when they talk about love and truth?” The readings are from Ephesians 4:1-6, 14-16 and John 17:1-4, 11-23.
In this part of our “Just Ask” series, Pastor Eric responds to the question, “If Jesus forgives all, why is there hell?” The answer is not fire and brimstone. Hell is not a punishment an angry God inflicts; hell is a problem a loving God solves. The sermon is based on 1Peter 3:18-22 and Luke 15:11b-32.
Asking questions and wondering about God are important ways that we grow in faith throughout our lives. To kick off our August sermon series called, “Just Ask,” Pastor Paige lifts up two stories from the Bible, Genesis 32:22-32 and Mark 9:14-29. Both stories show people wrestling with God and coming out of that experience with a profound blessing. While we might want our faith to always be strong and certain, it’s natural to have questions as we face challenges in life. God wants us to turn to him as we turn to a loving father with our questions and doubts. No matter what our questions are, when we trust in God we will come away with God’s love and peace holding us up in the midst of our struggles.