Today we examine a question most every Christian has been asked: What do you believe about Jesus? This sermon explores the vision of Revelation 4 and 5 in answering that question in a way that points to the essence of Jesus' identity - the Wounded Healer. If this is the core identity of our Savior, what should that mean for those of us who follow him? Listen and be encouraged!
What should we believe about hell as progressive Christians? For many, this question can be one of the most difficult to consider about the teachings found in the Bible. Some take a very literal interpretation, others turn to Universalism. Is there a way of understanding this topic that does service to both the justice and grace of God? Father John explores this difficult topic, suggesting a view that attempts to take both justice and grace seriously.
Why do we resist being transformed by God? Sometimes it's because we feel guilt, and at other times its because we have an agenda other than God's agenda. We are being asked to live sacrificial lives at Saint Andrew's right now, and in this sermon Jim Mannon (Junior Warden) explores how we allow Jesus to transform us - and how by being faithful we can discover that God has "saved the best for last" (John 2) regarding our parish life.
Today we start a five-part sermon series leading up to Advent where Father John will be tackling questions that progressive Christians often find challenging to answer. This morning's topic is the Christian concept of "the Devil," "Satan," and the demonic. This sermon is an exploration of interpretive options for understanding how evil works in the cosmos - not a definitive answer, so that you can be informed and make your own decisions about what seems most likely regarding this difficult theological notion.
Continuing where we left off last Sunday talking about our approach to money as followers of Jesus, Father John takes a look at two principles for living as good stewards of the wealth God has entrusted to us. This sermon was given prior to our Fall 2018 All Parish meeting.
Are you wealthy? When most of us are asked to consider that question, we automatically compare ourselves to others higher on the socioeconomic scale, and we rarely think of ourselves in that way. But is that really true when we consider our wealth compared to the rest of the world? Father John begins a three-part sermon series on what Jesus taught about money, starting with two challenging parables found in Luke 12 and Luke 16. How we see ourselves in relation to money is a central issue in our lives, and one that Jesus addressed frequently. Listen and be encouraged [...]
In this final sermon exploring the book of II Chronicles, Father John explores an incident in the war between the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah. At this time, the unfaithful southern King Ahaz suffered a terrible defeat, and Israel's armies carry off thousands of his people as slaves along with much loot. Before they get to Samaria, however, at an encampment in Ephraim, a prophet of Israel named Obed confronts the people with their great sin. Listen, and consider what one voice speaking the truth in love can do to turn around situations of great [...]
One of the most obscure kings of Judah, Jotham's example presents a very practical lesson for our lives. Most of us will live in obscurity in the wider sweep of history. How do we ensure that our lives have meaning? In this sermon, Father John points to Jotham's task of building and fighting as a template for living a meaningful life for God in this world. Listen and be encouraged to examine what you are building in your life right now, and what God is calling you to fight for in this world.
It is just as important to seek God during times of prosperity and abundance as it is in times of trouble. But success has a way of causing many to drift away from God - when things are going good, sometimes people lose their spiritual focus. In this sermon, Father John looks at the life of King Uzziah, whose many successes led to his proud assertion that he could offer sacrifices in the Temple without the priests - resulting in him being struck with leprosy, and living in isolation for the rest of his life.
What motivates us to follow Jesus? Continuing our exploration of the "inferior kings of Judah and Israel" in II Chronicles 25, this sermon examines the choices of a king who gets frustrated at God. So, turning to other gods, Amaziah ends up abandoning his devotion to the Lord of Israel, and in the process ends up decimating his armies and destroying Jerusalem and the Temple in war. What happens when we are asked to follow the will of God when we may not want to? How does a person stay faithful to God throughout their life, even during the difficult [...]