Sermons

Chapter 1

Mary and Joseph
Sun, Dec 08, 2019
Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. - Matthew 1:18-19 (ESV) What's your favorite Christmas movie? There are all kinds of unforgettable characters that surround Christmas - Frosty, Rudolph, Buddy, Kevin, and John McClane to name a few, but one I've been thinking about recently is Ebenezer Scrooge. The original Bah Humbug himself calls us to consider the path that we are on and how it potentially could lead us to happiness or destruction. That's the morality of Christmas. Be kind, nice, and generous especially at Christmas. We might think that the point of Christmas is not to end up on the 'naughty list'. If we aren't careful, we overlay these messages to our celebration of Advent. The Cast of Christmas just becomes another in the long line at Christmas that are telling us be be better and be nicer. While the true story of Christmas will change us, this change doesn't well up from within us. It actually originates from something beyond us, and the cast of Christmas wants to point us toward it. This Sunday we look at an unlikely lowly couple central to the story, Mary and Joseph. What do they have to tell us about Christmas, and how do they point us not to be better but to find the One who is better?

Chapter 2

Shepherds and Angels
Sun, Dec 22, 2019
The Cast of Christmas - Shepherds and Angels - Luke 2:8-20

Chapter 4

Chapter 6

Parables on Prayer - Part 1
Sun, Jul 23, 2017
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. -- Luke 18:1 (ESV) ‘How’s your prayer life?’ It’s a question that turns discipleship groups silent and makes community groups find a rabbit trail faster then a hungry coyote. I’ve never met anyone that answered that question with a positive answer. We always feel we should pray more. We should pray with more consistency. We should pray longer. We should pray with less distraction. This Sunday we are going to look at prayer from the parables. I’ve been praying this examination would not be a time to walk away with our heads down in regret, but motivate us to approach a generous, available father. Will you join us?

Chapter 10

The Good Samaritan
Sun, Jun 18, 2017
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. -- Luke 10:29-30 (ESV) Who is your team? Until I moved to the south I would have answered this question with a casual nod to a NFL or MLB team. But on moving here, I was forced into a decision. I had to pick a side. If I didn’t, I would be considered an outsider, forever. But once I picked, people rooted for or against me. And to be honest it’s been a lot of fun. However, the problem with picking a team is that we end up making ‘enemies’. We all have others who we consider ‘those people’. How we think about and what we do with our enemies says much about us. Jesus tells us a story about them in Luke 10. I want to encourage you to not only read through this story but also to think about its context. In it, we find a sharp confrontation. This Sunday we will also will be sharing together in communion.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
Sun, May 06, 2018
Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. - Luke 10:30 (ESV) One thing that amazes me about Jesus is his ability to see through all the smoke screens that people would put up especially religious people. Religious folk, like us, are great at using our faith as a shield to avoid love and action. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a great example of that kind of deflection. This week we have the privilege to have John Gerhardt with us. John is the director of Urban Impact ministry in NOLA. We have supported and ministered alongside John and the team there for many years. He will be opening up the word to this parable and he will be jumping in with the worship team. It should be a great morning!

Chapter 14

Banquet for the Beggars
Sun, Jul 16, 2017
"When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just." -- Luke 14:12-14 (ESV) Have you signed up yet for "Dinners for 8" or have gone to one? Have you a dinner planned with invited guests this summer or will you be an invitee to one? Well, this next parable about a planned dinner may give you some "food for thought" for your next dinner conversation. Jim Maynard will unfold this dinner parable found in Luke 14:12-24 this Sunday. So before you hear it, read and think about this passage, maybe even before you eat your next meal. Hope to see you at Hope this Sunday, and bring someone with you.

Chapter 15

God's Joy in Redeeming Sinners
Sun, Jul 02, 2017
". . . . , What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? . . . . , Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? . . . . , 'It was fitting to celebrate and be glad for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.' " -- Luke 15:1-32(ESV) Have you ever lost something really important to you and then found it again? Imagine those emotions when you realized you found it. This Sunday, Michael Bell will be sharing the parables of lost things from Luke 15 that should evoke similar emotions. We want to encourage you to take a look at this whole chapter in Luke before Sunday. Bring someone with you, maybe someone who has lost their way in life.

Chapter 16

Shrewdness is Scriptural
Sun, Jul 09, 2017
"The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings." -- Matthew 16:8-9(ESV) We have all admired those stories about less than pure characters using only their brains to turn an impossible situation back to their advantage. Movies like The Sting, Ocean 11, and The Italian Job are modern stories like that. Jesus in Luke 16 uses a parable similar to those stories in an unusual way that teaches us some godly truths centered around a surprising character. This week, Lynn Oakes will be unraveling this strange parable about a dishonest manager in the first 16 verses of Luke 16. We encourage you to take a look at this parable before Sunday. Hope to see you and your friends there.

Chapter 18

Parables on Prayer - Part 2
Sun, Jul 30, 2017
He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ -- Luke 18:2-3 (ESV) How high do your prayers go? Like day-old balloons they seem to float only as high as our energy and then sink again. When we feel this way repeatedly, we can be discouraged and wonder if it is even worth it to pray. It’s in these moments we need to learn from a needy woman and godless judge. Jesus tells us another confrontational and troubling tale about prayer in Luke 18. This week we will close our summer series on the Parables by taking a look at this last parable on prayer. It’s a story for those that are worn out and ready to quit, especially in prayer. We will also be pointed to the only Hope we have through a time of communion.
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