From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." Jesus ends his manifesto of life in the kingdom of the heavens, not with a pep talk or feel-good story, but with a warning about what happens when we don’t put his teachings into practice. In the “information age” and a cultural moment where hearing something and then doing nothing about it is the new normal, this is a warning we need to hear and heed.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." The modern world is a terribly confusing place to call home. We need luminaries to speak on behalf of reality and point the way to the good life. First century Jews called these luminaries "prophets." We might call them philosophers or psychologists or podcasters or pastors. But Jesus issued a stern warning: beware of false prophets. A warning we need to hear and heed in the modern church.
Every day we hear two clashing narratives: 1. The world is coming apart at the seams. Or: 2. Welcome to utopia. Both have data to back up their point. But both fall short of reality. In Romans 8, Paul tells a third story about one world that is dying off, and another that is coming to birth. His metaphor for the felt-experience of life this side of our resurrection is that of birth pangs.
From the series, "Forgiving As We Have Been Forgiven" as part of Practicing the Way. In our final teaching, we flip it around from forgiving people who have hurt us, to reconciling with people we have hurt. In a cultural moment of victimization, it's all to easy to blame shift and make excuses, but the invitation of Jesus is to journey down the long, slow road of reconciliation.
From the series, "Forgiving As We Have Been Forgiven" as part of Practicing the Way. One of, if not the greatest, gifts we receive as apprentices of Jesus is forgiveness. But to Jesus, this is a gift we are to pass on to others. His end goal is for his apprentices to grow and mature into the kind of people who are forgiving by nature. But this is hard to do! In this teaching, we move from the idea of teaching to the practice of it. Using a five stage process called R.E.A.C.H., we aim to replace the emotions attached to our wounds.
From the series, "Forgiving As We Have Been Forgiven" as part of Practicing the Way. Many of us get stuck in unforgiveness over the many ways we’ve been wounded. The key to healing and freedom isn’t just to release somebody from the debt owed; but to find a way to transform out pain into something beautiful.
From the series "Forgiving As We Have Been Forgiven" as part of Practicing The Way. Forgiveness is integral in our discipleship with Jesus. We live in a world polluted by sin and shame, and relationships in this broken world are often marked by disappointment, loss, and pain. God is calling us to forgive because Jesus himself chose to forgive.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." If we're going to practice the way of Jesus, we must recognize that the way of our city and the way of Jesus are not the same. In a culture where the mantra is, "Do whatever feels good", Jesus invites his followers through the narrow gate and on the hard way because it alone leads to life.
From the series, "Gospel of Matthew." As we near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus summarizes his set of teachings with a now famous one-line aphorism – the Golden Rule. In this teaching we explore the power of treating people the way you would want to be treated. So simple, yet so very hard to live by.