Spiritual Practices

How do we prepare for the work God calls us to? Spiritual practices create space for the Holy Spirit to work in us. They are not self-care, but joining with God for healing and restoration!

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A Political Church

One of the biggest complaints about churches today is that we’re too political. What we mean though, is that churches are too partisan. Because God calls us to love our neighbors the same way we love ourselves and our families – and that’s a political act. So how can we be political without becoming partisan? Isaiah’s vision of God’s throne room is good news for anyone who’s sick and tired of politics as usual.

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What is Our Calling?

Most of us struggle to hear God’s call. Isn’t that something reserved for preachers and prophets? But God calls each of us. And God calls ALL of us. Our calling is something for good – not just our own good, but the good of our community, and of the world around us. So what is God’s call for us?

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The Importance of Being Together

It’s pretty hard these days to muster the energy to worship. Whether it’s an ongoing weariness with virtual, guilt over feeling defeated and exhausted or a more general malaise, just showing up feels like a miracle. Would it surprise you to know that experience is common? And that it’s a sign that the best place for us to be is… in worship together?

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Naming Our Trauma

We don’t like to admit we’re hurting. We want to present ourselves as strong, competent, able to shoulder the burdens of life. But a strong facade actually keeps us from healing. Naming our pain, our trauma, is essential to healing. Our pain matters to God. Our trauma matters to God. Naming it is how we learn to hope.

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God in Solidarity

As the pandemic wears on, more and more of us experience a deep sense of loneliness. At the beginning of this new year, how can we find God present with us in a way that doesn’t ask us to ignore that pain? How does God’s solidarity with us actually speak to this deep sense of isolation so many of us carry right now?

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Tiny Christmas

JR. Forasteros - December 19, 2021

Tiny Christmas

O Christmas Tree

We might be forgiven for thinking Christmas is all about the big, elaborate celebrations. But the prophet Micha reminds us that Christmas affirms God is at work in the small, overlooked and out of the way. How can we find God with us this tiny Christmas?

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TIME magazine just announced its annual Person of the Year to be Elon Musk, which sparked outrage. Musk, as head of Tesla, is one of the billionaires in the last year who, in large part because they don’t pay taxes, has invested in sending himself into space. The discourse around his award as Person of the Year is, “Should we really be celebrating such narcissism?”

But TIME has long held that their award isn’t necessarily a positive thing. Person of the Year is more about who is shaping history – good or bad. It’s a concrete embodiment of the Great Man of History theory.

You’ve heard of the ‘Great Man of History’ theory even if you don’t think you have. It’s the idea that history is made by a few exceptional, powerful people who rise up and seize the reins of the human story. So we learn about Alexander the Great and Napoleon and Lincoln and Dr. King, and we’re taught they’re great. They’re exceptional. The reason they were able to accomplish what they did is because there was something special about them.

The Great Man of History theory sounds good. It even feels good because it feels like hope. That’s why every election year, we look for a candidate to embody all our hopes and dreams. We feel powerless. We don’t feel great by any measure. So we look for someone great to come along and fix things for us.

There’s something of the Great Man theory in the Christmas story, too. After all, what is Jesus if not the Greatest Man? 

But as we’ll see today, Jesus doesn’t really qualify as a Great Man. He definitely wouldn’t have made the cover of TIME magazine when he was alive. And that matters. Because the revolution of the Christmas story is not that Jesus was a Great Man… but that God doesn’t need Great Men. God works through the small, the overlooked, the powerless and the ignored. 

God brings peace to the world through you and me.

Join us Sunday as we find God’s transforming power in the most unlikely places.

The Bright Sadness

It can be hard for us to know how to navigate the complex experiences of the holidays. For some, it’s a time of great joy; for others, struggle and sadness. Advent offers us a unique avenue into these spaces by inviting us to confront pain and disillusionment with hope. How can we wait in the bright sadness for God’s arrival?

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Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are one of our most beautiful symbols of the season. But as the prophet Micah points out, light reveals and purifies. In our preparation for Christmas, God wants to purify us, get us ready for Jesus’ coming. Will we respond? Or will we hide?

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The Christmas Branch

At the beginning of the Advent season, we ask what hope looks like. In a world that craves peace on earth and goodwill for all people, a world that is far from those dreams, how do we hope? Jeremiah invites us into his model faithful presence in a hurting world – one that invites us to look for God right where we’re hurting. That’s hope.

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