Steve Thomas. The call in Philippians 2 is to be like Jesus—to learn to live and love like him by honoring each other. In this message, we explore the simple command to do what Jesus did, loving each other, even when it costs us something.
Philippians 1:8-11, 20-24, 27
Brandon Cook. Paul writes from to the Philippians from prison, wrestling with big questions—he touches on the nature of eternal life and of heaven. In this message, we explore the theology of heaven and what it means to be a follower of Jesus here and now. We see, for example, that part of the work of the contemporary church is to deconstruct the Gospel Americana with its message that the goal is heaven rather than Jesus. This allows us to wrestle with our own big questions: How do we live well here while resting in the hope of eternal life? What does heaven here and now look like, and how would we lean into it?
Brandon Cook. The Book of Acts comes to an end with Paul in prison in Rome, facing an uncertain future. But it doesn’t before Paul levels a lament about the hardness of heart around him in those who refuse the good news of Jesus. Paul taps into the Jewish legacy of lament—of giving voice to the things that disturb and shake us. In this message, we explore how lament—which can feel like an assault on God Himself—is actually part of how we demonstrate trust and move forward in hope.
Brandon Cook. Paul’s journey continues with a shipwreck (!) and a snakebite (!!). His path is filled with ambiguity and powerlessness, yet he is filled with power. In this message, we explore how the only way to walk in the fullness of the Kingdom of God is by embracing the powerlessness we might detest, and finding there a fountain of God’s life and provision.
Acts 26:1-8, 9-18.
Jessica Lacy-Driscoll. In light of Paul's testimony before King Agrippa, we ask: How do we let Jesus be our hope in the midst of longing and waiting. Jesus often brings his goodness in ways we do not understand. We open ourselves to his presence of hope by grieving, confessing, receiving, encountering and being commissioned. We consider where Jesus is inviting us to put our hope in him.
Acts 25:1-12, 23-26:1
Steve Thomas. How do we remain faithful to God's Kingdom and message in the midst of uncertainty? We catch a glimpse of Paul in a time of uncertainty facing fear, anxiety and loneliness. We are reminded that God is with us in our uncertainty. What if we leaned into God's presence to be transformed in the in-between times?
Brandon Cook. We do not understand life in God until we understand what it means to be God’s partner, his fellow laborer. But this is not how most of us have been trained to think about who we are. In this message, we explore how Paul the Apostle viewed discipleship—life following Jesus, and how at the heart of it, we are invited not only to see ourselves as children of God but as those who are at work with God in seeing all things made new.
Brandon Cook. Paul follows in the footsteps of Jesus. Literally. On trial before the Sanhedrin, we watch him shrewdly navigate the religious rigidity which soon boils over into bloodthirst. What is happening here? Why are the religiously rigid out for blood? In this message we explore one of the pitfalls of walking the Jesus path: the temptation of religious rigidity, and how we can avoid it by whole and holy obedience and commitment.
Matt Cullen. How do we learn to encounter Jesus as he really is? As Paul recounts his most pivotal encounter with Jesus, Matt recounts his own life reorientation which includes asking the questions: “who are you Lord?” and “what should I do?”. Matt offers prayers of confession and repentance for generational strongholds of busyness as we are invited to slow down, make space to hear the voice of Jesus, ask questions, and surrender together.
Acts 21: 26-40
Jaci Anderson and Ryan Longnecker. We return to our series in Acts as Paul helps the early church establish the Kingdom of God through community that has to face very real tensions and conflict. Engaging scripture through the contemplative practice of Imaginative Prayer, we consider that, Jesus calls us out of hiding in the crowd, or from the crowd, and into risk for Kingdom Community. Jaci and Ryan discuss and demonstrate experiences of both hiding and risking to create Kingdom Community.