Can love be commanded? Jesus thought so. In this message we consider how it is that loving God and loving our neighbors is possible.
The Bible is a complex book, but it has a plot...a meta-narrative that can be very helpful in understanding it. However, much of American Christianity has "lost the plot", and in ignorance has elevated sub-plots or even created their own meta-narratives that the early Church and Apostles would have found very strange indeed.
Jesus heals a blind person, but it takes two encounters for the person to begin seeing clearly. Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah but Jesus won't let him tell anybody else, then calls Peter Satan! These are both stories of mistaken identity. They have much to show us today.
The multi-layered Transfiguration event reveals at least three very important things: (1) how to read the Bible, (2) how to think about God and (3) the divinity and humanity of Christ. This is one of the most important texts in the New Testament.
The first time Jesus taught in public, a man called him the "holy one of God". Jesus rebuked him for it. This is what I call the "Rumpelstiltskin Effect".
Richard Rohr speaks of life in two halves; the first half is the building of a strong 'container' or 'identity', the second half is finding the contents the container is to hold. In this message we consider the choosing of Nathanael and Peter's denial and restoration with these two halves of life in mind.
Why did Jesus need to be baptized? John the Baptist was calling people to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sin, but Jesus was without sin. In this message we explore the cultural context of John's baptism and find some remarkable clues as to the epic battle that began with the baptism of Jesus.
In a highly patriarchal culture in which a man's place in society was determined by who his father was, what are the implications of a baby born without a human father? We propose that the implications are enormous, world changing, and that we're only beginning to consider them 2000 years later.
In this sermon we approach the parable of the sheep and the goats with 4 questions: who are they, what are they judged on, where does this judgment take place, and when does it take place? We propose that the parable is NOT speaking about a final judgment of all individuals after the second coming of Jesus, but of a continual judgment of nations throughout history.
When Jesus said, "on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it", he was standing in an outpost of the Roman Empire, near "the rock of god" in which was a cave named, "the gates of Hades". We believe that Jesus deliberately chose this location to make this important statement. The implications are many and very deep.