Discipleship Series - The Great Commandment and the Great Commission

10/1/17

Passages: Matthew 22:34-40; Matthew 28:16-20

Hi friends,

This next sermon looks at the apparent tension between following Jesus' Great Commandment (to love God and love one another) and his Great Commission (to make disciples of all nations).  How can you love someone for who they are (aka in such a way that relationship with them is your end goal, and not some agenda) while at the same time participating in Jesus' call to "make disciples"?  

This question has always been a challenge for me.  I invite you to explore it with me.

Blessings,

Allen

Discipleship Series - Disruptive Community

9/17/2017

Passage: Philippians 3:4b-14

Hi friends,

This is the next sermon in our series on discipleship.  In this one, we look at some of the patterns of Jesus' approach to discipleship found in the Gospels and compare them with some of our common approaches.  Where we can sometimes pursue discipleship as a spiritual (and often individual) skill set to master, Jesus invites us into what might more accurately be described as a disruptive community.  What do I mean by this?  Click the play button to find out. 

I hope this is helpful.  Also, the mic situation for this sermon is not the same quality as usual, but it's still fine.

Blessings,

Allen

Discipleship Series - God's Words

9/10/17

Passage: Psalm 19

Hi friends,

This is the next sermon in our series on discipleship.  In this one, we take a look at the importance and even essential nature of coming together regularly to engage God's words in community.  In a world where words are constantly misused and even abused, God has poured his words into our lives through creation, through the writings, letters, and stories of his people, and through Jesus, his message made flesh.  How much do we value these words?

I hope this is helpful.

Blessings,

Allen

Discipleship Series - New Normal

8/27/17

Passage: Romans 12:1-2

Hi friends,

This is the next sermon in our series on discipleship.  While it does not use the word "discipleship" very often, the subject matter of the sermon engages Paul's powerful and challenging call for the church to "not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds."  This is at the very heart of what it means to follow Jesus.

Wherever you're coming from, I hope you find this helpful.  And if you do, feel free to pass it along to anyone else you think might benefit.

Blessings,

 

Allen

Discipleship Series - Institution vs Community of Discipleship

8/13/2017

Hi friends,

Here is the next sermon in our series on discipleship.  It looks at the tension between the institution of the church and the community of belonging and discipleship that Jesus nurtures.  I hope it is helpful.

Blessings, friends - and may we all keep in prayer the evil that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend, the families that were most directly impacted by it, and the ongoing cancer of white supremacy that perseveres in our nation.

Allen

Discipleship Series - True vs Real

7/23/2017

Hi friends,

Here is the next sermon in our series on discipleship. In this one, we take a look at the distinction between the true and the real. These words, though they seem to mean essentially the same thing, do not - and the difference between them has immediate applications for how we approach Jesus' call to discipleship.

I hope this is helpful.


Blessings,

Allen

LTKIB - Truth and Power

2/5/17

Hi friends,

Here is the next sermon in our series on living the Kingdom in Babylon. 

How much are our daily lives oriented around holding on to our own power? How much are they characterized by submitting to truth and reorienting ourselves around it? 

In this sermon, we look at John 9's account of the Pharisees' investigation of the healing of the man born blind and engage both of these questions.

I hope this is helpful.

Blessings to you all,


Allen

LTKIB - Right Side Up and Upside Down

1/15/17

Hi friends,

Here is our next sermon in the series on living the Kingdom in Babylon (LTKIB). This one has to do with peace. Where do we find our peace in the midst of the whirlwind of non-peaceful things that surround us - both in our local lives and in the broader world?
Despite being focused on where we find peace, I have named this sermon "right side up and upside down." You'll have to listen to find out why. :)

Blessings, friends.


Allen

Living the Kingdom of God in Babylon Intro

1/1/2017

Hi all,

Here is the sermon from New Year's Day 2017.  This is an introduction to a new sermon series called "Living the Kingdom of God in Babylon."  Its focus will be on what it means to live in resonance with the Kingdom of God in the midst of societal realities that are dissonant.  

I'm sorry for the quality of this recording - we were trying out a new mic and I think in the future we need to place it farther away from my mouth. I'm used to projecting. It's still plenty clear - just a bit buzzy at times. 

Blessings,

Allen

Advent 2016 Sermon 2

12/11/2017

Hi friends,

Attached is the next in this year's sermon series on advent.

In this one, we look at how for all of us - at any given time - two stories are set before us. 

One story is the one we can see with our eyes - a story that goes up and down with our own life experiences, our own feelings, and with the ebbs and flows of the news cycle. This story is filled with many things that are dark and even downright evil, and it holds within itself no promises and no certain future.

The other story is the story of the Gospel. This is a story rooted in ancient promises made by God culminating in the life, death, and resurrection of his Son which in the end point to a powerful and glorious future not only for us as individuals, but for our world as a whole.

Abraham (the father of the Christian faith) was faced with many factors in his own life that appeared to argue against the truth of God's promises. Yet at the same time he was presented with a far more hopeful story from the mouth of God. And so he had to choose which story he would trust in and live according to. Today, Abraham's many descendants are faced with the same choice.

In many ways, our choice to believe the Gospel story in the face of the many dark stories we see in our world is most fundamentally a practice of hope. Hope is actually something that exists only when the things around us remain unresolved. This is because no one hopes for what has already has - he simply rejoices that is has become his reality. 

Hope, therefore, is inherently a practice of waiting. It requires patience. And in the end, this is what Advent is all about. Advent is about standing, living, persevering, and even being joyful in an unresolved world that remains full of evil because we are hoping that the story we are living in is not what it often appears to be. It is, really and truly, the story of the Gospel - a story rooted in God's promises and made irreversible through the resurrection of Christ and the giving of his Spirit. And so we continue to walk forward, love, and serve in God's Kingdom movement - trusting that our labor is not in vain.

I hope this is helpful to you - and that this season of Advent is filled with hope in God's amazingly good news for us and for our world.


Blessings,


Allen