Below, you will find the text of Pastor Brad’s sermons (and occasionally the sermons of guest speakers.) If you would like to see all the sermons pertaining to a particular topic or series or book of the Bible, or even if you would like to view sermons by the date they were preached, please click on the appropriate box to the right.
July 29, 2018 Sermon Stories of Hope: Jonah First Scripture Reading: Jonah 1:1-4 1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” 3 But Jonah set out to […]
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.
You – we – do want to know God desires to work through us. But, that’s gonna requires something from US. We’ve got to listen for what God wants to do through us, we’ve got to listen for God’s hopeful voice, God’s hopeful vision.
Y’all, our hope should have NOTHING to do with our circumstance. Rather, our hope should have EVERYTHING to do with our trust in God and God’s assurance that God is at work through us, that God will continue to be at work through us, that God will fill these seats again if we trust and listen for what God calls us to do individually and collectively.
I believe God discovered that people’s hearts were so stuck that they were going to make the wrong choice. And, God being God, God figured out a way to work with THAT. God figured out a way to work with the most horrible, awful choice people could make. God figured out a way to work with Jesus’ crucifixion. God figured out a way to turn worldly sin into Godly victory. That’s what I believe. And…God can STILL do that….regardless of what we choose.
Y’all, there is ALWAYS a truth. As followers of Jesus, followers of God, our job is to always, always, ALWAYS do our best to be a part of the truth, to always do everything we can to discern and reveal the truth, even to be honest about when we’re not 100% sure what the truth is. Our job is to be a part of the truth, to reveal the truth, instead of MANIPULATING the truth, creating and spreading a FALSE TRUTH, to get what we want.
Y’all, this scene John describes, this scene of two interrogations, it’s one of the best known scenes in the gospels. It’s the scene that DIRECTLY led to Jesus’ crucifixion. And it’s the scene that describes THE FAILURE of humanity that led to Jesus’ crucifixion. Which gets me wondering every time I read it: why do we keep allowing the scene to repeat itself over and over and over again? Haven’t we learned?
And y’all, these things Jesus offered so long ago when the bad stuff happened, they are STILL what Jesus offers you and I today.
As we will discover this Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, the darkness is all around us. Time is getting short. The cross is near. The hour is getting late. Fortunately, Jesus came to BE light in this world of darkness. And he has given us the ability to see, reflect, and share his light. Now, the task is ours.
The reason to follow Jesus is because he is the life-giving water to life as God intended for it to be lived. The reason to seek God’s will with every action of your life is not to avoid punishment but to ENJOY life here on earth as it is in God’s eternal home. The reason to follow Jesus is because he offers life as the author of life intended for it to be lived…which HAS to be better than anything a mere created being can offer you.