January 19, 2018
Seen to Unseen Mid-Week Bible Study by Dr. Dave Smith.
January 17, 2018
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Isaiah 42:16-20. Blindness is a powerful metaphor of our spiritual condition. It is impenetrable darkness. It is ignorance. It is hardness of heart. And it cannot be cured by oneself or by one’s teachers. It can only be cured by a miraculous touch from Jesus: “The man they call Jesus… put mud on my eyes, then I washed, (and) now I see,” (John 9:11, 15 NRSV). This sermon will introduce the fourth level of the Seeing Pyramid – seeing what others don’t – and show how the assumptions of our present culture keep us blind to the reality of things unseen. We’ll discover what it means to see the unseen and how this miracle affects every area of our lives.
January 10, 2018
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Psalm 121:1-8; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Every day we are immersed in things that are urgent, daily and temporary. The unintended consequence is to be near-sighted, to neglect the important and the eternal. Yet it has always been those who thought the most of the next world that did the most in this one. What Christians believe and what we hope for is not an escape, or a mirage, but a real and present kingdom. This sermon will introduce the Seeing Pyramid and focus on the level 3 – “those who haven’t seen and believe anyway” (John 20:29, NLT) – affirming the hope that everything we’ve believed, yet still haven’t seen, is real and it’s closer than we think.
December 31, 2017
Rev. Alex Mandura - Luke 2:22-33. We are a hurried and restless people. We are always ready for the next, running from one thing to another. Even on this first Sunday of Christmas we are rushing from the ending of one year, and pining for the next. Many of us have already plotted out how this next year is going to be different. We are ready for the shiny new year, ready to see the old gone, ready for new declarations, new beginnings, ready for our time to be different than before. A problem with this impatient rushing to the next is that we might end up forgetting the promises of God. We might even miss “new life” that God has been giving us along the way. Our story/text today shows us what it is to wait, to remember, to recognize and to take hold of present promises as we step eagerly into the unknown.
December 24, 2017
Rev. Steve DeNeff- Luke 2:8-20. Who would have thought that the savior would be “born of a woman, born under law,” (Gal. 4:4). Most people, Americans especially, expect something larger, more visible and pronounced. They do not expect small, quiet and unseen routines to change anything. But what if the way to change things is to subvert them? What if God became small because this is how things get done? This sermon will stress the importance of humility because it’s in the ordinary, common routines that we subvert the order of things.
December 17, 2017
Rev. Matt Beck - Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:46-55. When the star appeared, Herod the Great gathered the Jewish leaders and intercepted the Magi in Jerusalem, grasping for information on a rumored newborn "King of the Jews”, promising to go and worship him, too. By a dream, the Magi would see through the murderous king's deception, refusing a partnership with power. After paying homage to Jesus in Bethlehem, they returned home by “another route”. In doing so, the Magi lead us not only to the manger but towards a different kind of power. A power in weakness. Even now we are tempted to fall for the way of Herod, the promise of power. But in the manger, God calls us to the way of Jesus, the power of promise. This sermon will stress the importance of vulnerability, for God has “lifted up the lowly…just as he promised.”
December 10, 2017
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Ephesians 1:9-10; Luke 2:1-7. Two thousand years is a long time to wait for things to change; yet that’s how long it’s been since Jesus said a change was coming. Perhaps we should look for something else. Maybe change comes like an infant born and growing up. Maybe it doesn’t come from the top, but from the bottom. Maybe it doesn’t happen in one, quick and decisive act but in thousands of smaller ones. Maybe it takes years. Maybe it comes late. Maybe it isn’t easy, but hard. This sermon will stress the importance of patience in waiting for the kingdom to come because in quietness and in trust in our strength.
December 10, 2017
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Isaiah 42:1-4; John 1:1-5, 10-13. Every Christmas we sing, “Come thou long expected Jesus,” but has anyone wondered what kind of Jesus we expect? Has anyone wondered if we miss him today, perhaps for the same reason they missed him then: he came in a way unexpected. If what is lying in a manger is truly a savior, a Christ and a Lord, then we need to re-think what salvation means and how, exactly, it occurs. The manger is not what we hope for, nor how things get done in our world, yet Jesus is still the savior of the world and he is able be this from a minority position. Perhaps he always enters through a manger because there is never room for him in the inn. This sermon will stress the importance of simplicity and call us to be different, because in the foolishness of Christmas is the wisdom of God.
November 19, 2017
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Corinthians 5:16-20. At the center of our church is a bold gospel: God makes all things new! This is an optimistic view of God’s grace and it calls each of us to participate in this gospel. This sermon will include stories of old lives made new, showing how God has been active in our congregation through the years, and encourage us to be faithful to the mission of our church in the next generation.
November 12, 2017
Steve DeNeff - Luke 24:36; 44-49; Acts 1:4b-8. The Church is the hope of its community. CWC is uniquely positioned to influence both the community and the Church. As a century-old institution, with community leaders involved, we are positioned to bring the gospel into every domain of our city. As a home church for over six hundred next-gen leaders, we are positioned to send them with deep convictions into churches all over the world. Like the first disciples, God calls us to “gather (and) stay until we’ve been clothed with power from on high,” (Lk 24:49) and then “to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Our mission is to gather and to send. We gather people from the city and the Church, and help to clothe them with power from on high, then we send them back to the city and the Church to be witnesses all over the earth.