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Sunday Notes Archive

  • 12.16.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  In Advent we wait. We wait for the healing of our bodies; we wait for relationships to be restored; we wait for wrongs to be righted; we wait to be delivered from our sins. But we do not wait alone. The cosmos, too, is waiting with...
  • 12.09.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  The wrapping paper and the gifts, the garland and the tinsel, the trees and the lights, and all the carols of merrymaking and cheer can almost convince us that the world is at peace. Almost. But underneath the wistful nostalgia of the Christmas season, the real...
  • 12.02.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Waiting has got to be one of the most difficult things to do, especially when we are suffering and it seems that God does not see. Come, this first Sunday of Advent to hear what God promises as we wait for Christ to return and restore...
  • 11.25.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Do you ever feel like your passion for Christ and his mission has gone a bit lukewarm? Come hear what Jesus has to say about the causes of and cure for lukewarm love as we conclude our series on the letters to the churches Revelation.  ...
  • 11.18.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  We are all given names that we did not choose. There are our legal names of course, but we are named in other, more subtle ways as well. Often, these are names that exaggerate our flaws. Flakey. Lazy. Class Clown. We sometimes spend our lives trying...
  • 11.11.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  No one likes a fake. We value authenticity in the people we spend our time with and the products we consume. Yet we rarely discuss our own fraudulent behavior. Like knock-off watches or plagiarized speeches, we can manage our reputations with well-placed comments and little white...
  • 11.04.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Secrets are seductive. They draw us in, make us feel special, and create a bond with the secret-teller. If knowledge is power, then secret knowledge is an especially potent possession, creating an advantage for the “insiders” over the “outsiders.” The Bible tells us that God is...
  • 10.28.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  As Christians, we confess that “in God, we trust!” But what happens when our faith in the Savior becomes mingled with a faith in the little “saviors” of our culture? Do our lives suggest that we trust in God alone, or in “God plus fill-in-the-blank”? Come...
  • 10.21.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Our most solemn vows include the line, “‘Til death do us part.” Yet, if you’ve ever loved anyone or anything, chances are you know betrayal. You know what it’s like to be cheated, to be disappointed, to be left behind. And you likely know what it’s...
  • 10.14.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Romances tend to burn hot in the beginning and cool down with time. Some have lost so much heat we wonder if there is even a spark left. At this point many leave in hopes of finding a new lover and start the process all over...
  • 10.07.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  We like stories that resolve. We can close the book, put it on the shelf, and walk away.  But the story of Jesus doesn’t give us a lot of resolution. It doesn’t end with a cross but an empty grave and a risen Jesus. It doesn’t...
  • 09.30.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  The symbol of the cross is ubiquitous in our culture. We see it perched on top of steeples, tattooed onto forearms, and hung on gold chains around necks. It’s easy to forget that the Romans designed crucifixion to torture and humiliate their enemies. No one in...
  • 09.23.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  We like goals, don’t we? Goals help us labor with purpose; they give us something to aspire to and craft our lives around. But what happens when someone or something gets in the way of your goals? How do you respond? Join us this week as...
  • 09.16.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  The report cards we hang on our fridges tend to be the good ones. We leave the ones with flunking grades crumpled in the bottom of our backpacks or shuffled into the junk mail so no one will notice. As adults, we learn to downplay our...
  • 09.09.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Most of us have an ambiguous relationship with community. On the one hand, who doesn’t love the idea of a place where everyone knows your name? On the other, most of us find the reality of cultivating and maintaining groups of friends difficult, if not elusive....
  • 09.02.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  “Again the high priest asked [Jesus], “Are you the Christ, the son of the Blessed?” When it comes to Jesus, the big question is: who is this man? What kind of authority does he claim and what should we make of it? Come this Sunday as...
  • 08.26.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  If someone were making up a religion, you would think that the founding stories would be about their successes. You would think that they would tell stories of how brave and bold they were. But Mark’s gospel defies these expectations.  This week’s passage presents us with...
  • 08.19.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  When someone invites you to a meal, they invite you into a relationship. Whether it be leftovers shared in the break room or a tasting menu at a great restaurant, the food is rarely the ultimate objective–we eat together for the company. In fact, in some...
  • 08.12.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  We want things to work. We want things that work. But what if something’s value isn’t in what it can do, but in what it is? Are we willing to accept it then? Can we embrace the beautiful and not just the practical? Come this Sunday...
  • 08.05.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Turn on the news and you are likely to hear of wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, heat waves, famines, and crises all over the world. Is it the end? Are we living in the end times? What should we do? Build a bunker and store...
  • 07.29.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY:  Hypocrisy is an easy target; no one likes a hypocrite. We don’t trust people who preach one thing and practice another. But even good works are easier to pull off than true virtue, especially when someone else is watching. What does Jesus have to say about...
  • 07.22.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY:  History tells us that when forced to choose between liberty and order, humans choose order. When faced with danger, we want a Strongman to crush our enemies and make us feel safe. Was the Christ simply a Strongman? Did he come to rescue the nation of Israel...
  • 07.15.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY:  We live in an age of multi-tasking. Thanks to our smart phones, we can catch up with friends, read the news, and pay our bills, all while watching TV, looking after our kids, or even–gasp!–driving! If we’re honest with ourselves, we know that our attentions and affections...
  • 07.08.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: When the Soviet Union sent the first cosmonaut into space, he returned and famously said, “I looked and looked but I didn’t see God.” In our modern age of information we tend to doubt what we can’t understand. Yet any lover or admirer of beauty will tell...
  • 07.01.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: It’s no secret that our nation is deeply divided. Anyone who dares to speak publically to a political issue can expect applause from some people and ire from others. So how did Jesus respond when asked to take sides in a political argument, especially one involving taxes,...
  • 06.24.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: What is one thing that all people desire all of the time? Happiness. We all want to be happy, but according to some recent studies, only about a third of Americans are happy. Products and techniques that promise to deliver happiness abound, but happiness still seems illusive....
  • 06.17.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: The Scriptures tell us that God is a God of justice, but if we are honest we struggle with this truth because it seems that injustice prevails. How are we to reconcile what we see and experience with what God says of himself? How can God claim to...
  • 06.10.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: Many of us will suffer from depression; all of us will suffer from sorrow. Our world is broken and that means our hearts, minds, and bodies are likewise broken and prone to suffering. What are we to do with our sorrows? Should we stuff them away, meditate...
  • 06.03.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: We are taught from a young age that the world is a dangerous place and we need somewhere to run to for safety. A house of sticks or straw won’t do; we need a strong house to save us. Throughout the Psalms, God is called a refuge and...
  • 05.27.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: Some of us are rule-followers, some are rule-breakers, but most of us have a difficult relationship with authority. Examples of the abuse of authority are ubiquitous, whether in political leadership or in family life. Is there an authority we can trust? How would we relate to a...
  • 05.20.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: This Sunday we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. We will consider the extent of God’s mission and our participation in it. Come and hear what God says to his people from the book of Mark.     REFLECTION: We must be global Christians...
  • 05.13.2018 -   SERMON SUMMARY: It’s easy to serve our own needs, isn’t it? After all, they are immediate and instinctive. If we are hungry, we eat; thirsty, we drink; tired, we sleep. But to consider the needs of another takes work. It takes putting your own needs on hold until the...
  • 05.06.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Our culture says contribute; in the office we are encouraged to be team players, when submitting applications for college we list all our extracurricular activities, when we go to someone’s house for dinner we take a hostess gift or bottle of wine. This deeply ingrained idea...
  • 04.29.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: What is the role of children in this world and in God’s Kingdom? How are they to be valued? What do they have to contribute? What role do they play in the community of God’s people? Come this Sunday to see in the book of Mark...
  • 04.22.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in grocery shopping and house hunting, in sleepless nights and mornings before coffee, in spontaneity and boredom, in ecstacy and depression…whatever the language of your actual vows, one thing is clear–marriage is a...
  • 04.15.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce challenges our modern notions of independence, freedom, and our “right” to pursue happiness. Why does Jesus take marriage so seriously? Come and learn more as we continue our series in the book of Mark.     REFLECTIONS Marriage is hard....
  • 04.08.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Jesus’ disciples found it difficult to believe what the Scriptures said about his suffering, death, and resurrection. Why was it that these followers, who sat face to face with Jesus, simply missed what he was saying? Come this Sunday to discover what Jesus says to his...
  • 04.01.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: From dust you have come; to dust you will return. Death of career, death of ambition, death of relationship, death of youth–we experience a thousand smaller deaths before they put us in the ground. On Easter Sunday, however, we celebrate a different death–the death of Death...
  • 03.25.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: “This is it! If I acquire this degree, win this person’s love, get the desired promotion, or accepted into the right program, all will be well and my troubles will be over.” We are a people quick to worship what we think will save us. Come...
  • 03.18.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Our culture values fame, celebrity, and success–just look at how many TV viewing hours we’ve committed to the veneration of movie stars and elite athletes over the past month! But Jesus proposes a radically different dynamic for His kingdom: the way to greatness is the path...
  • 03.11.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: We live in a DIY culture that values independence, self-reliance, and resourcefulness. Whether it’s a kitchen table or a fortune, we like to say, “I made it myself.” Yet deep down we want someone we can trust to take care of us. We all need help,...
  • 03.04.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: A taste of glory, in this world we all want it in some way; a little fame, distinction, kudos, or acclaim. We want it in our vocations, among our friends, and with our family members, could it also be true that we want it in our...
  • 02.25.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: We spend our lives in the illusive pursuit of glory. Jesus offers us glory that lasts forever, but there’s a catch—it costs us everything we have. Come learn more as we continue to study the gospel of Mark.     REFLECTIONS Whoever is desirous of saving...
  • 02.18.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: What sort of salvation are you looking for? We often misinterpret Jesus’ saving mission when we don’t understand what we need saving from. Come learn more as we continue to study the gospel of Mark.     REFLECTIONS It costs God nothing, so far as we...
  • 02.11.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: We are all affected by our possessions, whether they are expensive or not, new or old, abundant or scarce. We tend to find ourselves looking to them as our source of happiness. Come this Sunday to see what Matthew 19 has to say about where we...
  • 02.04.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: If we understand that God is in control of all things, how are we to make sense of being responsible for our lives and making plans for the future? Come this Sunday to hear what God’s word says from the book of James.     SCRIPTURE:...
  • 01.28.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: We are made to remember; we make scrapbooks, take photos, keep genealogies, and retell stories, and yet we easily forget. Not only do we forget what others have done for us, we forget God and all he has accomplished. Come this Sunday as we take time...
  • 01.21.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: In a culture dominated with soundbites, instant cocoa, and same day delivery, we can find it difficult to wait. We are impatient with the longer, slower, but complete results of writing, training for a marathon, or cooking from scratch. How does this desire for instant gratification...
  • 01.14.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Christians often pray to God as “Father”, but do we really trust in his fatherly love for us? What would it look like to truly live as a “child” of God? Come and learn more as Pastor Joshua Burdette teaches from Romans 8.   REFLECTIONS: The...
  • 01.07.2018 -     SERMON SUMMARY: R.E.M. put to song what we all know by way of personal experience: “Everybody hurts.” Sometimes the pain is so real and so deep that we have a hard time focusing or seeing a path out. Confusion sets in, then hopelessness. Where in this hurting world...
  • 12.31.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: If we are honest, there are short, and sometimes long periods of time in our life when our circumstances cause us to doubt whether or not God is in control of this world. Come this Sunday as we look again at the Christmas story in order...
  • 12.24.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Waiting can be challenging but it can also heighten our joy when our hopes are realized. Our world groans under the weight of disorder and brokenness, but this week we celebrate that God is faithful and has given us a gift beyond our expectations. What exactly...
  • 12.17.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: In a culture dominated with soundbites, instant cocoa, and same day delivery, we can find it difficult to wait. We are impatient with the longer, slower, but complete results of writing, training for a marathon, or cooking from scratch. How does this desire for instant gratification...
  • 12.10.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: Holidays are times for feasting, we go to great lengths to plan menus, set attractive tables, and select the guests we want to invite. God too has gone to great lengths to prepare an eternal feast, but who is invited? Come this Sunday to find the...
  • 12.03.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: You can find messages of “hope” on everything from greeting cards to billboards this time of year. But do you feel like you have hope? Where do you put your hope? Is your hope directly proportional to your performance in life? Come and hear how the...
  • 11.26.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: We live in a culture that doesn’t talk much about friendship. Many relationships today have become digitized. We value virtual reality instead of physical reality. The more we hide behind our devices the more out of touch we become not only with others but ourselves. The...
  • 11.19.2017 -     SERMON SUMMARY: The blessing of singleness. Really? How could that be in a culture that continually tells us that we not worth much unless we are loved by a “significant other.” Come this Sunday to discover what God says about singleness.   REFLECTIONS:  Single Christians living in purity and...
  • 11.12.2017 -   SERMON SUMMARY: The Protestant Reformation is often viewed as one of the most divisive events in church history. Countless denominations have arisen as a result of it. What if anything does Justification by Faith have to contribute to church unity? Come and hear what the Apostle Paul teaches in...
  • 11.05.2017 -   What do you have that you did not receive? —The Apostle Paul   The lives which have no use, no meaning, no purpose, will fade out. You will have to justify your existence or perish. —George Bernard Shaw     Pride is essentially competitive. —C.S. Lewis   Blessed are...
  • 10.29.2017 -   [S]alvation by self-effort is a principle that the fallen human mind takes for granted. —J.I. Packer   The doctrine of Justification reminds us that God’s grace is the fundamental and all-determining dimension of human life. —Eberhard Jüngel SERMON SUMMARY: 500 years ago Europe was set ablaze with a single...
  • 10.22.2017 -   We do not presume to come to this thy Table (O merciful Lord) trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies. We be not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs under thy Table. But thou art the same Lord, whose property is...
  • 10.15.2017 -   A healthy outside starts from the inside. —Robert Urich I know my part, so don’t even start about my good heart. —David Ramirez It was because we rejected the doctrine of original sin that we on the Left were always being so disappointed; disappointed by the refusal of people to be...
  • 10.08.2017 -   For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’  —Isaiah 41:13 [Mark’s] account is honest, self-critical, transparent, and unadorned. The group with which Jesus works admits to disbelief and the inability to...
  • 10.01.2017 -   Sermon Summary: It’s easy to think we can be loved when we are at our best, but what about when we’re not, who will love us when we are at our worst? Come this Sunday as we look at John 4 which describes the kind of people Jesus loves....
  • 09.24.2017 -   “I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts.” Well preserved indeed, [Gandalf replied]. “Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that  has been scraped over too much bread....
  • 09.17.2017 -   The whole bible renders to us the story of God’s mission through God’s people in their engagement with God’s world for the sake of the whole of God’s creation. — Christopher Wright   The Church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning. —Emil Brunner   A person’s...
  • 09.10.2017 -   In human beings, the emptiness and monotony of the isolated self produces a need for society. This brings people together, but their many offensive qualities and intolerable faults drive them apart again. The optimum distance that they finally find that permits them to coexist is embodied in politeness and...
  • 09.03.2017 -   Crashing, hit a wall.  Right now I need a miracle.  Hurry up now, I need a miracle.  —The Chainsmokers   The waiting is the hardest part. –Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers   God’s sense of timing will confound ours, no matter what culture we’re from. His grace rarely operates...
  • 08.27.2017 -   There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel and excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, and hail a...
  • 08.20.2017 -   Conversion put me in a complicated and comprehensive chaos. —Rosaria Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert   The wind and the waves recognized Jesus’ voice. They had heard it before, of course, when he spoke them into being. —Sally Lloyd Jones, Jesus Storybook Bible   For whatever reason God...
  • 08.13.2017 -   Sermon Summary: Have you ever been to a good party that you didn’t want to end? Have you ever spent time with friends that was so sweet that it convinced you that if there really is a heaven, it must certainly be like this? What do these experiences have to...
  • 08.06.2017 -   Sermon Summary: God’s love for us brings beauty to life and also calls for a response from us. How do we respond to this love and pursue the beauty? Join us Sunday as we consider this together.   Passage to Consider: 1 John 4:7-16 7 Beloved, let us love one another,...
  • 07.30.2017 -   Sermon Summary: It is evident that our world is at the same time both beautiful and needing restoration. It is tempting to right wrongs in ways that reject God’s plan for the renewal of all things. Come join us this week as we look at what it means to...
  • 07.23.2017 -   Sermon Summary: How do you respond when pain, loneliness, and confusion persists? Where is God in these times? Join us this Sunday as we look at Genesis 16 and see how God meets us in our isolation and shame.   Passage to Consider: Genesis 16:1-10 1 Now Sarai, Abram’s...
  • 07.16.2017 -   Conversion put me in a complicated and comprehensive chaos. —Rosaria Butterfield, The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert The wind and the waves recognized Jesus’ voice. They had heard it before, of course, when he spoke them into being. —Sally Lloyd Jones, Jesus Storybook Bible For whatever reason God...
  • 07.09.2017 -   And here in dust and dirt, O here, The lilies of his love appear. —George Herbert, Overture: Lily Pads   Christianity is number 1 for a reason. That is a great story. And it is a reassuring story. —Ira Glass   Sermon Summary: Jesus is often depicted as a meek...
  • 07.02.2017 -   Whatever has happened in your family shapes you. Events that occurred long before your birth, never mentioned in your family during your lifetime, may influence you in powerful, though hidden, ways … Every fact of your family’s biography is part of the many-layered pattern that becomes your identity. —Monica...
  • 06.25.2017 -   [R]eligion poisons everything. —Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great. “Religion” is what we make it. It moves from the human being to God; the arrow points from earth to heaven. The key ingredient in religion is the spiritual capacity and development of the religious person. This is such a familiar...
  • 06.18.2017 -   Sermon Summary: We often approach life with either fear or a tendency to fight, having forgotten that Christ is actively at work. As we remember that Jesus is our reigning king, we can ask, how can we follow where he leads without fear? How can we love one another?  ...
  • 06.11.2017 -   I saw them eating and I knew who they were. —Ancient Near Eastern Proverb If you lie down with dogs, you will get up with fleas. —Anonymous The mafia and the church are the two places where you have to be bad to get in. —John Sartelle As holy...
  • 06.04.2017 -   Everybody needs a little forgiveness. —Patty Griffin I wished there existed someone to whom I could say that I was sorry. —Thomas Fowler in The Quiet American, by Graham Greene The historian…simply cannot portray the progress of humanity honestly, without giving a foremost place to a penniless teacher of Nazareth...