Sun, Oct 10, 2021
Duration: 44 mins 59 secs
Although he uncovers an assassination plot against King Xerxes, Mordecai retains his lowly position at the gate. Meanwhile, Haman rises to power and flaunts it. When Mordecai refuses to bow to him, it spells not only the death of Mordecai but of all the Jewish people. Haman consults his magical cube (i.e., pur) and convinces the king to legislate the extermination on the Jews. This message deals with evil in some of its grossest forms. It reminds us that every evil face will someday face God.
Sun, Oct 03, 2021
Duration: 45 mins 45 secs
Exile dramatically shaped Jewish history. It was their low point, rock bottom. In exile, they began to reinterpret the past, pour out their laments, and grasp for hope. Some Jews in exile grew rigid. Others became fragile. Those that comprised the faithful remnant remained flexible: seeking the peace of the foreign city while staying faithful to God's commands. Esther 2:5-20 provides an historical glimpse into this period of exile and how two Jews--Mordecai and Esther--sought to live faithfully, albeit imperfectly, in the age of exile.
Sun, Sep 26, 2021
Duration: 49 mins 36 secs
King Xerxes ruled over a powerful empire. Persia stretched from Turkey to India to Ethiopia. They had not conquered Athens. Thus, Xerxes remained greedy for more. This is common in an age of excess. There is never enough: power, praise, or material wealth. This opening message in the Esther series will set the historical context, the Age of Excess, in which the story unfolds. The parallels between Esther's world and our excessive age are numerous.
Sun, Sep 19, 2021
Duration: 47 mins 47 secs
After looking at the "harassed and helpless" crowd and calling for prayer, Jesus summons his disciples by name to go, show, and tell about the inbreaking kingdom of God. They become short-term missionaries with a simple strategy. Unfortunately, certain opposition will come, both within the family and from the government. However, Jesus reassures the Twelve that God has their back and His Spirit will provide the words when they give witness. This Missionary Discourse has relevant application today for followers of Jesus. We too should go public and not panic, knowing God's got our backs.
Sun, Sep 12, 2021
Duration: 44 mins 21 secs
Jesus's compassion explodes on the scene with four successive miracles. He heals a bleeding woman, resurrects a dead child, gives sight to two blind men, and casts the demon out of a mute person. The crowds marvel. The Pharisees grumble. Acts of compassion are not always celebrate. In fact, Jesus's increasing fame comes with rising opposition. Followers of Jesus should be aware when they do good in his name, their acts of compassion will not always be welcomed.
Sun, Aug 15, 2021
Sloth is not always what we think. It manifests in curious ways: inordinate busyness, restless activity, and, of course, mindless entertainment. At its root, sloth lacks love for God and the opportunities he has given; it fails to see good outcomes from our efforts. Instead, it settles into the path of least resistance, opting for leisure over hard work, willing to leach off others. Paul address this thinking in 1-2 Thessalonians. Jesus models for us a healthy call to rest, the counter-virtue, which is relational, restorative, and rhythmic.
Sun, Aug 08, 2021
Duration: 45 mins 24 secs
We all get frustrated. Irritable. Agitated. But would you call yourself an angry person? We're probably quicker to act on our anger than claim this hateful vice as a common part of our life. Fortunately, Jesus shows us not all anger is created equally. There is righteous anger, driven by a love for justice. Unfortunately, we're prone to the kind of anger that bubbles up, blurs our vision, boils our blood, and battles back. This morning we will consider anger and its counter-virtue: patience.
Sun, Aug 01, 2021
Duration: 46 mins 33 secs
Want to know why sorrow is the least know "deadly sin"? It was struck from the original list. However, when sorrow takes control of our minds, it has a deadly effect: pulling us from the present and stealing our joy. This message will consider variations of sorrow, the reality of depression, and importance of wisdom--sorrow's counter-virtue--in managing our emotions, eliminating our excuses, and expanding our life narrative.
Sun, Jul 18, 2021
Duration: 47 mins 29 secs
We like stuff. We like money. We like to keep and store (and keep score) and call things "mine." There's a word for this: Greed. It's the basis of a consumer culture and one of the deadly sins. It also plagued the early church, as evident in Ephesus (see 1 Timothy). This sermon will illustrate what greed wants, says, and thinks. Then it will make a case for generosity as the way of Jesus. Get those grabby hands ready.
Sun, Jul 11, 2021
Duration: 49 mins 28 secs
To say our culture has an unhealthy concept of sex is an understatement. Sex drives movies, marketing, and magazine sales. It has reshaped public education and self-perception to the point that even sixty-year olds are encouraged to retain their sex appeal with the right diets, outfits, and skin care products. Sex is central to the American experience. Like the Corinthians, we rarely blush, unless, of course, we're talking about the "old-fashioned, outdated, repressive institute of marriage." Today we are. More broadly, we're talking about the deadly effects lust and humanizing virtue of purity.