Ethan Linder - John 20:24-29. When we come to church, we often hear people saying (like the disciples did), “I have seen the Lord!” while others, like Thomas, find ourselves farther from belief than we wish. This can produce isolation, shame, and unworthiness that propels us from the community of faith. This sermon will work to unravel some of that shame and doubt while exploring what happens when Jesus shows up and invites “those who have not seen” to “yet still believe.”
Rev. Steve DeNeff - Luke 22:24-34; 1 Peter 1:3-5. Most of us have too high, too ambitious an opinion of ourselves – “even if all the others fall away . . . I never will” (Matt. 26:33) – which makes failure doubly hard for us. But the living Christ has a very different view of us, both before and after we fail, so he is never surprised and he is never finished. In fact, he still prays for us. For all who have blown it, at one time or another, the resurrection offers a “new birth into a living hope” that we can begin again.
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.”
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.
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.