March 18, 2018
Rev. Eric Crisp - John 13:1-17. Just before the Passover, Jesus gathered his disciples for their last meal together. In this solemn act, found only in John’s gospel, he “got up from the table, took off his robe and wrapped a towel around his waist,” (NLT). Then, after washing their feet he said, “Do you understand what I have done for you . . . I have set you an example.” This example has to do, in part, with the right use of power, position or privilege. In our world today, many are achieving power and position earlier in their careers and this can make them more entitled, less self aware and less sensitive to others. This sermon will discuss the temptation to use power or privilege wrongly, and speak of ways that we can sanctify it, “doing for each other what he has done for us.”
March 11, 2018
Rev. Emily Vermilya - John 12:34-36. When the crowd protested Jesus’ promise that the Messiah would die (“be lifted up”), he encouraged them to follow and he warned them to remember that they would not always have the choice: “Walk in the light before darkness overtakes you.” After this, he hid himself. To many, this was an exchange between Jesus and his inquisitors. But what if it is more? What if “the light” is coming and going all of the time, in windows of opportunity, in which we can choose to follow or choose to ignore? What if the most dreaded outcome for ignoring the light is darkness, in which no options are open to us, and no choice can be made? This sermon will encourage the devout to look for places where God is convicting us (the “light”) and show them how being open to these convictions brings more options, better choices and more light.
March 4, 2018
Rev Steve DeNeff - John 12:27-33. As the Greeks appear, Jesus sees forward into his impending death and it is as though two roads appear, one called “Save me from this hour” and another called “Glorify your Name.” Jesus himself appears standing at the fork, where the roads diverge, and from here he says, “Now my heart is troubled and what shall I say?” There is, in every person’s life, at least one crisis that puts us at this fork in the road. Before us lies divergent paths – save me from this hour, and glorify thy Name – and we must choose which road to take. After we make our decision, our decision will make us and it will powerfully shape the rest of our lives. This sermon will help people find themselves, at the fork in the road, and encourage them to choose to glorify His Name.
February 27, 2018
Steve DeNeff - John 12:20-26. After some Greeks came to see Jesus, he knew that “the hour was at hand” and spoke a proverb that is as true for our lives as it was for his. Indeed, it seems written into the very code of life: “Unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it remains a single seed, but if it dies it produces many seeds.” There are many today who speak of discipleship, of re-producing our lives in someone else, but according to Jesus, discipleship comes only after one has died to himself, only after he has lost himself in a message or a cause that is larger than himself. Yet there are many, as Fenelon said, “who want to die, yet attend their own funeral.” The call of Jesus is to recklessly abandon our own agendas and to “be with him wherever he is.” This sermon will call us to do our best work in secret, to “preach, die and be forgotten” as Zinzendorf put it.
February 18, 2018
Steve DeNeff - John 12:1-8. Today Jesus is in Bethany (which means “house of the poor”), in Mary and Martha’s home, at a dinner in his honor. During the meal, Mary pours a pint of alabaster, an expensive and potent perfume, onto the feet of Jesus and wipes them with her hair. This simple act of devotion creates controversy even outrage among Jesus’ disciples who have better plans for the money. But in this act, disciples of every generation are encouraged to pour their best, their possessions, their glory and the sum of their work onto the feet of Jesus. Sooner or later, all that we have and all that we’ve done will end at the feet of Jesus. So this sermon will call us to offer it now, intentionally and generously, while we can.
February 13, 2018
Dr. Bud Bence - Mid Week Bible Study
February 13, 2018
Dr. Judy Crossman - Midweek Bible Study
February 11, 2018
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Isaiah 29:13-14, 17-19; John 9:35-39. In the center of all things unseen is One who holds all things together, Jesus Christ. Thus, to see clearly is to see Him as he is, and not as we imagine him to be. It is to see the end of all things before they are upon us and to fall on our faces in worship of him whose face has changed (Luke 9:29), the First, the Last and the Living One (Rev. 1:17-18). For the one born blind, the culmination of all healing is an encounter with Jesus Christ: “Who is he, sir… tell me so that I may believe in him… Then the man said, ‘Lord, I believe!’ and he worshiped him,” (John 9:36, 38). We worship what we confess so that we might believe what we worship. This sermon will explore the link between our worship and our journey from seen to unseen.
February 4, 2018
Steve DeNeff - Isaiah 32:1-5, 8; Mark 8:22-26. The prophet Isaiah promised a day when “the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed… when the fool will no longer be called noble, nor the scoundrel highly respected,” (32:3, 5). This revolution has come in Jesus Christ but everyone looking can see it. Jesus invites us into this revolution, this reversal of things, and as we practice these new things our eyes are slowly opened to the new world order. But like the blind man in Bethsaida, this does not happen for us all at once (Mark 8:24-25). We must challenge old assumptions by experimenting with new ones. We must slowly learn to trust the Bible we were only familiar with up to now. Our trust is an experiment in faith. It is like seeing with the eyes of our heart enlightened.
January 28, 2018
Eric Crisp - Psalm 119:97-106; Luke 10:21-24. There is nothing in this world that bears witness to things unseen like the Word of God. Yet many who are familiar with their Bible are blind to things unseen. The trouble is not in what is written, but in how we read it. Those who see clearly read it differently and they consistently obey what they read. Indeed, obedience is the best exegesis of Scripture: “Go to Siloam and wash . . . so he went and washed and came home seeing,” (John 9:7). Like walking into a dark cave, each act of obedience takes us further in where we can see what we weren’t in position to see before. This sermon will explore the way in which Scripture lights a path for those who walk behind it, then provide a set of questions for each traveler to ask.