Last Christmas

Have you noticed Christmas decorations seem to be going up earlier and earlier? First it was Thanksgiving… now Halloween is in danger of getting swallowed up by Kris Kringle! But with a world so full of war, plague and division, is it any wonder we want to throw up Christmas Cheer like a shield? Can you blame us for wanting a garland-strewn respite? But is it possible that, by closing ourselves off from the pain in the world, we miss the truly liberating power of Christmas?

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

During the Christmas season, we celebrate God coming to earth. In a world marked by violence, division and bigotry, God’s arrival means a big shake up. Are we sure we’re ready for God’s arrival? If not, how can we prepare?

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Curiosity (2023)

Christians aren’t known for being curious. Why would we be, when we have a monopoly on truth? But that attitude is at odds with the God who created our universe and invited us to explore. It’s at odds with the God who calls us to welcome the stranger and go into the whole world. What does a church that cultivates curiosity look like? How does prioritizing curiosity shape our mission and engagement with the world around us?

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Change 2023

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What does it take to change? 

Like… think of a subject you’ve really changed your mind about. Maybe you’re not part of the same political party you were when you were younger. 

Or maybe you swore you’d never get married and now you have a ring on your finger. Maybe you’re vegetarian now. Or a health nut. 

Or maybe you’re religious when you swore all along you wouldn’t be.

I shared a few weeks ago some of the ways I’ve changed – politically, theologically, socially. 

I’m fascinated by how people change because it’s so different from what we think. 

We’ve convinced ourselves that we change when we’re presented with new information. 

But that’s not true. In fact, new facts can have almost the opposite effect – causing us to dig in our heels and cross our arms.

The classic example is texting and driving – by now everyone knows that texting while driving impairs us at least as much as driving while drunk. And yet that knowledge has not made a significant impact on the number of people who text and drive. 

Or take the people who deny the results of the 2020 election. It doesn’t matter that there’s exactly zero evidence – for them that’s further proof of a sweeping conspiracy! It doesn’t matter that the architects of the attempt to steal the election have admitted they lied in order to undermine the legitimate results. 

Beliefs are far more fact-proof than we’re comfortable admitting. 

So if that’s true, how do we change? What does it look like for us to change? Particularly when it comes to growing in faith, growing spiritually, if learning more Bible facts isn’t what does it, then how do we change? 

Change is grounded not in learning facts, but in repeatedly putting ourselves in spaces where God’s Holy Spirit can remake us, little by little, until one day we realize we’re brand new!

Join us Sunday as we explore how God brings real change in our lives!

Collective Liberation (2023)

Even though diversity has become a buzz word, it’s hard to find any organization that takes it seriously – especially churches. What does it look like to take diversity seriously? The radical truth is that none of us is free until all of us is free. So how can we chase that together as a church?

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Friendship 2023

We’re in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, and far too often, churches are part of the problem. How can that be, when Jesus insists that he made us his friends? What does it mean for a church to take friendship seriously, particularly in the midst of a culture dying to connect?

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The Road Ahead

There’s no way around it: change is traumatic. That the change is good doesn’t alter the reality that it’s really hard. Paul’s paradigm-shifting transformation on the road to Damascus illustrates the pain and joy of following God’s radical call to something new. How does faith enable us to follow God faithfully into the unknown?

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God Out of the Box

Sometimes, it’s God’s old thing that keeps us from participating in God’s new thing. What do we do when faithfulness gets in the way of being faithful? Jesus warned his followers that the days of God’s temple were numbered because God was up to something new. How can we hold the past lightly so we can lean into God’s new thing?

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All Hands on Deck

We live in a professionalized culture – we’re more likely to leave every job to the paid expert than we are to do them ourselves. But when it comes to building God’s new thing, this isn’t something we can leave to professionals. Nehemiah shows us that we all have a part to play in God’s work. How can we discern what our part is? Where do we weigh in?

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How should we respond when God calls us to something we’re not qualified to do? We’re tempted to throw in the towel and let God go find someone else. But Moses’ story reminds us that God chooses the right people for the right time – whether we realize it or not. How can we learn to respond with a faith-filled yes, even in the face of our own doubts?

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