Forging idolatrous figures from precious metals is generally not a sin that we discuss frequently in church. The things we put our trust in are more inconspicuous. While stuck in the desert with their leader up on some mountain, the Israelites did a pretty normal thing. They tried to make themselves feel more secure by going back to what they knew. They found comfort in the unjust systems from which they had just been freed. And yet, God still invited Moses to a conversation--a conversation where God listened to Moses and God ended up changing God's mind. God invites us to join in this slow and messy process of letting go of the oppressive systems that bind us and collaborating for a more just and equitable world.
The 13th chapter in the book of Romans and the 13th chapter in the book of Revelation live in tension with one another. Both passages in our New Testament speak to the role of the faithful under the hands of government. While one is an unreserved endorsement of the appointed order that works for the good, the other speaks to an authority that is opposed to the ways of God and is an assault upon it. This Sunday, we will seek to listen to both texts as a means to offer direction and wisdom to our common responsibility as both good citizens and faithful followers of Christ.
It seems the whole world is awash in conflict and confusion. Even those calling themselves Christians find themselves engaged in division and discord. This Sunday, we will renew our focus and commitment to the work and teachings of Jesus. We confess him as our Savior, the means of our salvation. But it he is also our Lord, our example on using our lives for others and being concerned about issues of social justice. Both points of emphasis are essential and necessary. Join with us at 11:00 as we lift up the life of our Lord as the hope for salvation, for ourselves and for our world.
Does God love everyone equally? This persistent question has fueled much theological debate and division, but its truth is fairly simple. This week in worship, we affirm the universal love of God for all humanity. It is a love that transcends nation, tribe, family and personal ideologies. While we are comfortable calling this an "unconditional" love in principle, we seem to get confused when actually applying the "unconditional" part in practice. Join us in worship as we wrestle with why the unconditional love of God is so difficult to grasp.
This Sunday we will contemplate how we tell the story of faith through the care and nurture of our children. We will also hear stories from our children's Atrium Sunday School classes. In the Atrium, we nurture children’s own spiritual abilities as they reflect upon the mysteries of the Christian faith through scripture, prayer, art, silence, and practical life work. Children also celebrate seasonal liturgical events as a means of learning the story of Jesus. As we consider our responsibility to nurture children in the faith, we may also find encouragement for our own spiritual journeys.
This Sunday we look forward to celebrating and participating in the ordination of Justin Levens to the Deacon Body this Sunday. Baptists understand the blessing of ordination as the receiving of prayers from the whole people of God and all are welcome to participate. We will also spend some time thinking about our common calling as Christians to care for one another and to care for our world. Like ordination, we understand this responsibility to be managed not by an elite group who stand in authority over others, but in the context of developing and nurturing loving and caring relationships. Join us as we reflect more deeply about our common calling as modern-day believers who endeavor to live out our faith in community with one another.