Sunday, 24 June 2018
Duration: 15 mins 25 secs
In our Gospel this Sunday, the disciples are in a boat, in the midst of a storm, and afraid they are about to die, they wake up Jesus and resentfully ask “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” It is interesting that they question not His power, but His character, not His ability, but His willingness to help. But when He stands up, speaks once, and the raging sea listens and obeys, Jesus then asks the disciples, “why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” They are overwhelmed by His power and the implications of that power, but it seems Jesus’ question is addressing theirs and could be paraphrased: “do you know me so little that you thought I would let you die?” How often do we fail to ask God for help because we doubt either His power or His character? How much of our life do we live as if we are out of the reach of God’s power and love?
Sunday, 17 June 2018
This week we are reminded that the Kingdom of God is like … something out of our control. God is the one who reigns in the kingdom of God. We act, but we don’t control outcomes; we may scatter or sow seed, but it is God who makes the plants grow, sometimes into things that are far beyond our expectation, or in places we don’t expect. As Christians, we surrender ourselves to God, and pursue God above all else, even above our own plans, dreams, reputation, and credibility. Come join us this Sunday to see what God is doing in our midst
Sunday, 03 June 2018
Sometimes, Sabbath as an ongoing spiritual discipline feels like one more obligation, one more constraint to add to overburdened, over-pressured lives. Especially in Silicon Valley where the concept of Sabbath is completely alien. In our Gospel this week, the disciples gather grains of wheat as they walk through a field, and the Pharisees object. Jesus holds out their misplaced priorities to them by making them choose whether it is right to heal on the Sabbath, and they are even more outraged. The rest of our readings gather around this notion of Sabbath, its history and purpose and its limitations. It is clear that God’s purpose in establishing Sabbath was to lift burdens, and free us from slavery, not impose more bondage. However, are we then free as Christians, to spend our time without constraint and without obligation? Come join us this Sunday as we look at how we are called to live eternal lives, neither slaves to time, nor unaccountable free agents.
Sunday, 27 May 2018
Duration: 15 mins 28 secs
Last week we celebrated Pentecost and the Holy Spirit empowering the disciples and initiating the Church. This week is Trinity Sunday -- our annual tackle of the mystery of our triune God. In particular, this year’s readings look at how we enter into the triune life of God.
Psalm 29 ascribes glory and praise to the power of the voice of the Lord as He sits on His throne.
Isaiah sees God gloriously seated on a throne and cries out “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” – Isaiah 6:5.
In Romans we are reminded to live according to the Spirit because
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God” – Romans 8:14-16
And in John 3, Jesus tells Nicodemus that “no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.” And that “whoever believes in him may have eternal life".
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” -- John 3:15-17
Sunday, 20 May 2018
Duration: 15 mins 26 secs
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, when after days of waiting and praying in Jerusalem, as instructed, the disciples experienced the mighty rushing outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, the Advocate. The clamor of voices praising God was so loud that it drew a crowd, and as Peter preached, all those gathered heard him speak in their own language, their own dialect. It is the beginning of a new era. I frequently refer to us as living in a post-resurrection world, but we are also living in a post-Pentecost world… and nothing will ever be the same.
Sunday, 13 May 2018
Duration: 14 mins 23 secs
we celebrate the Ascension of our Lord. After His birth, baptism, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection, Christ appeared to 500 of his disciples at various times, eating with them, opening scripture for them, and preparing them. But then a day comes when he has his final conversation, his final instructions, and is lifted up and out of their sight. On this day, we mark the moment when the disciples are left staring at the sky wondering what happens next. It is appropriate and necessary to mark this absence before we celebrate Pentecost and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the disciples.
God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
-Ephesians 1: 20 – 23
Sunday, 06 May 2018
Duration: 16 mins 57 secs
This Sunday we continue in the farewell discourse in the Gospel of John and continue the themes of abiding in God’s love and loving one another. But our readings also start to pick up themes of baptism, mission and bearing fruit.
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love…
I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.
-John 15:9, 15-16
Sunday, 22 April 2018
Duration: 17 mins 19 secs
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
So begins our Gospel reading for this Sunday. What does it mean to lay down our life in love? Fortunately we are not all called to follow Christ literally to the cross, but the willing sacrifice of our Lord does require a response. It is the most unmerited gift in all of history, but it is also a witness, a model, an example that we are to follow. A shift in how we live; day in, day out; in working and resting; in giving and receiving; in relationships and in solitude.
Sunday, 15 April 2018
Duration: 15 mins 30 secs
Happy Easter! This week we celebrate the third Sunday of Easter and hear Luke’s account of Jesus appearing to all the disciples after his conversation on the road to Emmaus. To the two disciples on the road, Jesus “interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures;” to the disciples gathered, “he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” The theology of the church is based in part on these conversations. The climax of God’s plan for redemption is anticipated, but not obvious in the Old Testament. So it is with minds opened, by truth taught by Jesus and the assistance of the Holy Spirit that we can see where the Old Testament points to the salvation that is accomplished by the Lamb of God.
Sunday, 08 April 2018
Duration: 18 mins 14 secs
This Sunday is the second Sunday of our Easter Season and in our Gospel we read about Jesus appearing to the disciples in the upper room with and without Thomas. Our other readings describe how the early church proclaimed the Gospel and lived out such unity that they became known by their love for each other.