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First Christian Church, Grand Junction – Praising God, Changing Lives!

Sermons on Mark

Worship at the Cabin: Creation Care

I said it before; I’ll say it again.  I’m not an environmentalist. You will not anytime soon be hearing me advocating any kind of mandatory restrictions on people’s enjoyment of God’s creation.  However, what you’ve heard today and what you will CONTINUE to here is a person of God imploring you to CHOOSE to perform one of the primary jobs God placed people here to perform: caring for God’s creation the way God would care for it, the way God showed us throughout scripture to care for it.  Choose to participate in God’s desires and efforts to care for creation in such a way that creation can continue to care for people for generations to come.


Y’all, there are thousands of lost and lonely people, hungry people like Marta, all around us in the Grand Valley. Once we’ve invited them to Jesus’ house, we need to do everything we can to help them encounter Jesus while they’re here. Even if it means spending some money on big arrow signs pointing to the entrance that WE don’t NEED for uUS instead of spending that same money on a new convenience WE will use. Even if it means focusing on THEIR children instead of ourselves. Even if it means there will be a few buletin airplanes flying around.

Love Your Neighbor

When I read Jesus’ greatest commandment, I hear Jesus saying we’re supposed to love God, we’re supposed to BE church, not exclusively or even mostly by gathering together for Sunday worship but MOSTLY but loving other people with actions that HELP them…the way Jesus spent his ministry loving people by helping them. So…First Christian Church, what can we do to love our neighbor?

But to Serve

Maybe I’m thinking too big. Maybe what Jesus wants is for us to stay in our houses of worship, talking to each other, and leaving everybody out there to fend for themselves. Maybe, but I don’t think so. Actually, I’m pretty sure those big dreams and visions I have about the way it could be – even just here, in Grand Junction – are more in line with what Jesus meant when he said:


Y’all, in the scripture, and particularly in these passages from Mark 10, Jesus tells us that the key to REAL life, the key to ETERNAL life, the key to life WORTH LIVING, the key to FUN is to get our priorities right – to prioritize the things God tells us are important, not the things society tells us are important. When you get your priorities right, you will live.

Why Parables?

Have you ever been reading along in the gospels, thinking that you’re starting to get a good sense of what Jesus was about, when all of a sudden you ran across a parable that just really perplexed you? I sure HOPE so. It means you’re right where you should be, doing your best to unlock the secrets of and fully enjoy the great blessings of the kingdom of God.


To me, it seems strange, standing in the midst of the modern mainline protestant Church and proclaiming that Jesus’ ministry was a ministry of controversy, a ministry about change, a ministry instituting innovation. Because that doesn’t quite sound like the Jesus we’re worshipping or sharing, does it?

A New Teaching

About two thousand years ago, a man who many now believe to be Emmanuel, God-with-us, stood in front of a crowd of people in a synagogue and taught some things that were pretty consistent with what God had been saying for thousands of years but that had also been overlooked or misunderstood or misinterpreted. Jesus said some things that should have sounded familiar to the people of God but that instead were received as “new” teachings. Jesus spread those “new” teachings through his words and his actions. But then, somewhere along the way, the people of God overlooked or misunderstood or misinterpreted those teachings again, so that now, two thousand years later, they sound new again. Church, I would submit it’s time for us to set aside our presuppositions and traditions about Jesus and instead seek to find the teachings of the Jesus we find in scripture. In the process, we will find something new, something wonderful, something life-giving and life-changing.

The Fulfillment of Salvation History

Folks, Christ is risen. That fact might have confused and perplexed the followers of Jesus who first visited the empty tomb, but it shouldn’t have. It just FITS with everything that had come before, and I don’t just mean Jesus’ often confusing words. Christ is risen because resurrection, new life, real, true life, the kind of life that is TOV, is what God has always wanted for all of us, for YOU.

Tempted to Forget

My friends, today is Palm Sunday. It is the day we have shouted Hosanna’s with the crowd. It is the beginning of the Holiest Week of the year for us. But it is also the day we remember that the crowd FORGOT. It is my hope and prayer for you that you will not give into that same temptation…so that the highs of your experiences with the ever-living Christ will not be confined to once a week or once a year or even a few times in your life but will rather become a constant in your life.