“What is the Bible?”

“It’s an odd phrase about pigs and dogs, and it’s easy to read it and think, HUH? Which takes us back to progression.

When you’re reading the Bible and come to a huh? part, assume that part flows out of the previous part. Assume the writer is making a case for something. Trust that this is going somewhere and that the twists and turns are intentional.

(Like when the apostle Paul in Romans connects suffering with hope. He’s doing something very insightful there when he shows how uope is something that is created within you – it’s not a fleeting thought or idea, it’s a state of being – that is only shaped when you allow the suffering you’ve been through to work on you and transform you in particular ways.)”

+Rob Bell in “What is the Bible?” p.76

What Are You Looking For?

John 1:35-51

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Who are you? What Good News do you have to share?

New Year’s Eve Sermon: John 1:19-34: Who are you? What Good News do you have to share?

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Christmas Eve: Come to the Manger

Tonight is a night we celebrate. It’s a night of great expectations of gift-giving and receiving; of time with family or apart from family. It’s a night that highlights our great joy. It is a night that exposes our deep despair.

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Come Back to the Beginning

December 24, 2017     Advent 4 – Come Back to the Beginning

John 1:1-18

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Come to the Water

Isaiah 55:1-13

The written sermon follows below. But seriously, the preached word is meant to be heard. Give it a listen. (Plus, what was written and what gets preached are often 2 entirely different things!)

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Come Back to Life

Come Back to Life   Ezekiel 37:1-14                       December 10, 2017

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Come Out of the Fire

Daniel 3 – Come Out of the Fire

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Go Settle

Jeremiah 29:1-14
1 These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. 8 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, says the Lord. 10 For thus says the Lord: Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. 12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 13 When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will let you find me, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.


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Wild West part 2

I wrote about the Wild West right here, if you’re so inclined to read it.

This sort of stuff just rides with me every day, like it or not. I think about relationships with the community and how we are connected or not connected to the reality of our own community. I don’t think we live into our true calling of being church without thinking about how we are connected (or not connected) to our community.

Last Sunday we celebrated the work God has been doing through us this past year at our annual Riverpalooza. It was a great Sunday of worship and hearing just how God has been working through our community. Our community is growing, our giving is growing, our “going out” is growing, our discipleship groups are growing.
What IS God up to? A lot.
The bells continue to toll that the church is dying. And just in case you missed it, at the heart of our faith is death and resurrection. Our identity as Christians is dependent upon the fact that Jesus Christ died and rose again, promising to us that we too die and are raised to new life. Again and again.  So while many are lamenting the “death of the church” I think there is good news in this tolling bell. There is new life.
New life! Will you show up at Laundry Love for a few hours once a month and risk meeting strangers and just, you know, being there?
New life! Will you learn about the new HOMES (Housing Options in McLeod for Emergency Shelter) and support it?
New life! Will you participate in the life of River of Hope in a discipleship group or a Bible study?
New life! Will you engage in daily scripture reading and prayer to stay connected with the story of God’s love for you and the world?
New life! Will you dare to find God up to all kinds of stuff in your daily life and in the community of Hutchinson?
This is being Church. Showing up to give and receive love.  Sure, maybe the church is dying, but the new life that is emerging is a whole different thing. It’s not resuscitation, it’s resurrection!