December 2 2018: Advent: Suspend the Expected In Order to Expect The Unexpected
Jesus didn’t come to change God’s mind about us. Jesus came to change our minds about God, about one another, and what it meant to be truly human. Which is divine. Which calls for sacrifice. A beautiful, fragrant offering for others. How are you living a fragrant offering for others?
We’re not talking about buildings and old tired ways. We’re talking about a church not made of hands - co-created out of the rubble of this world by ordinary women and men. Folks like Peter, who had no business running anything at all. Let’s talk about why we can’t quit “church.”
Ordinary saints are all around us... And coming up behind us. How are we investing in the future? How are we helping all of us persevere?
Jesus included everyone at the communion table. So, what does that have to do with every other table in our ordinary lives? St. Stephen has some ideas. Listen this week as Adam talks us through this topic.
Henri Nouwen says it’s about holding, lifting and drinking all of life’s way... and that it has something to do with our own inner journey and our outward action for community. 🍷 🍞
Looking at the passage in Acts about Ananias and Sapphira Rev. Adam talks about what it’s like and what it means to become ghosts to each other and how we can find ways to stay present.
What does it look like to live life together abundantly? The earliest Jesus followers didn’t just talk about community and the common good, they lived it.
Looking around the broader church, it often feels like people want to go backwards to a glorious past. When it comes to Jesus folks, however, we aren’t trying to get back to some perfect past in the 1950s or 50 AD. What we’re doing is faithfully walking with the Christ into the unfolding hope and promise of the future. It’s a two steps forward one step back journey down the spiral way.
Which means as we stand on the shoulders of those saints that have gone before us - in our own lives and in the global community - we carry forward the best parts of our shared tradition, while also packing lightly for the journey ahead.
Brit Barron, pastor at New Abbey in Los Angeles and Spiritual Director of The Christian Closet, spent the weekend in Portland with her wife Sami. Sharing time with them was an incredible gift to our community and Brit’s message encourages us about our role in the healing and repair of our world - right here and now.
Jesus sent his friends out two by two to turn the world upside down in order to invite it to get rightside-up. Sure, it was all about big ideas like love, healing and inclusion, but it was worked out in the small ordinariness of life together. That’s the thing about this whole Christ story, it’s about community and action going hand in hand. Join us this Sunday at 11am as we kick off our new series, “Ubuntu: I am because we are.”
Thoughts from Rev. Adam after being arrested along with 20 other clergy during an interfaith protest this week.
Editors Note: Before Adam spoke we watched the following YouTube video - where the audio starts Adam is talking about being detained as a result of his arrest during the protest.
Amidst the movement, the disruption, the highs and lows how do we simply be and know? We’re gonna get into that this Sunday at 11am.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know.
“The gospel, then, is not a message about the salvation of individuals from the world, but news about a world transfigured, right down to its basic structures.” - Walter Wink
Jesus saw a fierce urgency in the now. Radical presence. Radical being. Radical breath. Radical action. He talked about the division in our kingdoms and houses. So they all said he must be possessed by the Devil or beside himself. Nah. He was just binding and loosing.
Everyone hears voices of shame, temptation and misdirection. It even happened to Jesus when he danced with the Adversary in the desert while on prayer and retreat. What do we do when we hear these voices inside our head and at the depths of our being?
One day King David held a census in the land. The Bible says God inspired him to do it. In a different part of the Bible, it says Satan made him do it. Which is right? Listen to find out.
*note that the quality is not as good as we normally have. Sorry about that.
“Have you considered my servant Job?” He was God’s guy and he had it all. Until God sent an Adversary into his life and he lost and lost and lost. How do we respond when we or a loved one suffers? This one’s about living the good life amidst the darkness.
In her book "A Circle of Quiet," Madeleine L'Engle writes "Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by."
I think real deal evil is all around us. When it comes to babies being snatched from their loved one's arms and put into detention centers or when it's addiction dragging our loved ones down in a sea of despair, we see a tragic denial of human flourishing.
The Jesus story goes like this: there is an immense amount of darkness in the world, but there is a light that shines brighter, and a love that is bigger than anything in its way.
To put it differently: when it comes to following Jesus, it's not a fair fight for evil - because love wins, the stone has been rolled away and resurrection life has the final word!
So what do we do with Satan and the idea of the devil in our Scriptures? Faithful people for millennia have had a lot of different ways to approach this odd adversarial character - and we're going to dive right in and talk about it so that we might talk about how we as a people might deal with the real deal devils in our midst.