A tension that exists in many churches is between being inward focused and outward focused. It seems rather challenging to be both/and when it comes to leaning into the mission of God and taking care of ourselves and each other. Often times we do one over the other. In this sermon, pastor Luke discusses the importance of being both inward focused and taking soul care seriously while caring for other followers of Jesus and being concerned with outreach and sharing Jesus with the world around us.
What exactly is our part in salvation? Do we contribute in some specific way or is it all provided for us through Jesus? How are we supposed to respond to God's work? In this sermon, pastor Luke explored the paradox that exists between God granting us salvation and our need to "work it out."
Following Jesus can lead to a lot of tensions, but it would seem this is largely due to the paradoxical nature of the kingdom! In this sermon, pastor Luke considered the paradoxical sayings of Jesus as encouragement toward embracing the things of the kingdom!
As we continue to ask, What is worship?, pastor Luke preached from John 4 and shared thoughts toward developing a posture of worship that is rooted in an understanding of who God is and what He has done for us. Along the way, we learn about why Jesus' interaction with the Samaritan woman was so controversial and why we should all be like that Samaritan woman!
Looking at Psalm 84, pastor Luke shared about how the posture of worship is grounded in recognizing and responding to both the "bigness" and "nearness" of God. What is worship? Surely it is feasting on the reality that while we draw near to God, he draws near to us; as we delight in him, he delights in us; and as we rejoice over him with songs, he rejoices of us with songs!
For the last Sunday of 2019, pastor Luke spent some time sharing about the importance of continuing to seek after God (Heb. 11:6) and then shared things to thank God for this past year as well as things to consider going into the future.
Looking to 1 Timothy 3:16, pastor Luke explored how the mystery of our faith centers on the life of Jesus. The Incarnation, God becoming human, is a significant and rich theological reality that we celebrate every Advent! And one of the great ways to celebrate Advent is to feast around both the Lord's Table but also our own dining room tables!