It is an authentic and powerful act to simply give witness to the healing and life-transformation that we have experienced. And that’s the essence of what Jesus is inviting us to do. What story do you want to share?
This Sunday we celebrate Pentecost, the day that bursts through the boundaries of language, nationality, and race. When the Holy Spirit came like the rush of a mighty wind, people from every nation heard one another speaking their own language. We could use a day like this in the face of ongoing violence against Palestinians, people of color, and immigrants —against anyone the principalities and powers deem "other." In the words of theologian, Dr. Keri Day, In our social and political moment, we need Pentecost. Division, hatred, and pain mark our nation...And people feel a sense of helplessness...We need a miracle. The joy of Pentecost is that it gives us a vision and hope for a community made possible through the work of the Spirit. This miracle involves being open to the shocking and surprising ways of the Spirit, which empowers us to reach across differences in order to experience radical and insurgent communions. The Holy Spirit is a healing balm and a catalyst inspiring us to transform the world around us. Will you move forward in fear, or in faith?
The disciples observed the power in Jesus' prayer life, and asked him to teach them to pray. What he offered was a prayer that was centrally concerned with forgiveness. Its focus was both on receiving the forgiveness of God, as well as forgiving others who have harmed us. In this sermon, we explored what forgiveness is and what it is not. We looked at the power of letting go, and the continued importance of maintaining boundaries of dignity and respect.
In this sermon by Community of the Word preacher Nora Asedillo Cunningham, we honor Earth Day, where we remember and honor our sacred relationship to Creation. Our present environmental crisis isn't only material. It is also deeply spiritual. And although the Christian tradition and the Biblical text contains several teachings on the importance of being in sacred relation with Creation, modern capitalist culture has encouraged exploitation, disregard, and neglect. We have become alienated from the land. And this has bred alienation from our very selves. In this sermon, we invite you to return. We invite you to remember, and to restore this relationship with the wisdom and fundamental sacredness of the Earth.
In this week's Scripture, Jesus instructs us not to "store up treasures on earth," but to "store up treasures in heaven" because "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Why does your heart follow your treasure? It seems it would be the other way around, that you would follow your heart in seeking your treasure. Why is treasure in heaven supposedly better than the material treasure we need and that many people desire? And what is treasure in heaven, anyway? Is Jesus referring to good deeds, justice, truth? These are very abstract compared to a comfortable sofa in a warm apartment. In this passage, Jesus teaches us that that it is in fact where our treasure is that our heart will also be. What does he mean? And where is your treasure?
It's hard to believe what love can do. The ministry and life of Jesus ended in failure—but Mary, Mary, and Salome don't give up. Their love opens a bridge to a triumph that's hard to imagine. How do we respond to the possibility that Easter offers? What is this work of Love?
Life is tough, and sometimes overwhelming. We come across people and situations that are really problematic. It's hard not to get cynical. At the same time, life is also good and deeply meaningful. We are connected with an awesome God who has created a magnificent world in which we are living. This week we're going to explore the power of praise, even in a difficult times. What is your experience of praising our Creator? How does praise impact your relationship with God, with yourself, and with the world around us?
Do you ever feel the passion draining out of your soul? I’m not just talking about feeling tired, I’m talking about losing the thrill of living. In this sermon, Pastor Doug Cunningham talks about reclaiming passion. To begin our journey, we'll meditate on our love for God. Throughout the centuries, Christians have rekindled their passion for God during the 40 days of Lent in preparation for the great festival of Easter which this year will be on April 1. We launched 40 Days of Passion at a special Ash Wednesday gathering on February 14, 2018. This sermon begins the process by laying out the possibilities.
This sermon concludes our series on the book of Revelation with a prophetic vision of a New Heaven and a New Earth. John describes the holy city as coming down out of heaven like "a beautiful bride prepared for her husband." What John doesn't know is that the holy city—paradise, which is God's promise to us—is actually not adorned for her husband. Women's voices, often erased and obscured in the biblical canon, are needed for proper understanding of God's truth. In this sermon, Pastor Lisa reflects on God's promise of paradise in the midst of persecution and violence. It is simultaneously a heavenly and earthly paradise, and after Christianity was co-opted by Emperor Contantine, we haven't heard much about it. But the promise of paradise is central to our faith. And we are called to create it and live more deeply into it, every time we gather.
This Sunday, we continue our series on the book of Revelation with the call to "come out of Babylon" in Revelations 18. Pastor Alexis Francisco reflects on the disconnection caused by the violence of empire, and the call to a subversive faith that re-members the wisdom of our ancestors as we live our lives as seeds of the futures we long for.
Do you tend to underestimate both the evil we face, as well as the possibilities before us? In the Scripture lesson from Revelations this week, John names the Beast and talks about its characteristics. This opens the way to a vision of the Lamb and the 144,000 who are rising to transform our lives and the world. Why 144,000? What does it mean to let go of the mark of the Beast and take on instead the way of the Lamb? The ways of the world can get us down. But do we get that the possibilities far outweigh the obstacles? Who are we called to be? What can we do together if we believe?
In the words of Pastor Doug, "It may be cold outside but it's going to be sizzling at New Day this Sunday morning!" God is not having "lukewarm." In fact, our Scripture passage for this Sunday warns: "I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelation urges us to "buy gold refined by fire... [and] anoint our eyes so we can see."
We all have moments of fear in our lives: fear of loss, change, or pain. While we probably can't eliminate fear completely, we can choose to meet it with faith, which in turn can inspire courage. In the sermon, Fear, Faith and Fatherhood, Rodney Lopez reflects on balancing fear and faith through the lens of his experience as a father, while commenting on parental fear in the story of a young Jesus in Luke 2:41-52.