Bible Text: Matthew 20:1-16 | Preacher: Nathan Willard It is sometimes hard to accept people who come late to the project of bringing about change. Those who have been working for a long time can resent people who join late. At the same time, people who did not join early sometimes feel it is too late to make a difference. We even paint pictures of ourselves that make it different to admit change is necessary. Jesus tells us that the reward is the same for all people and that no one is beyond transformation. So as we look at the cycle of domestic abuse, know that admitting the transformational power of the holy spirit is difficult, and takes work, but makes all things possible. If you are just tuning in for the first time, stick with the sermon. It starts slowly.
Bible Text: Matthew 21:1-11 | Preacher: Nathan Willard Who are the disciples in the story of Palm Sunday? We know the crowds will turn by the end of the week, but those who remain are those who do the necessary and unglamorous work that needs to be done.
Bible Text: Matthew 4:1-11 | Preacher: Nathan Willard Jesus's temptation is to do everything himself and avoid the messy work of people. We have the same temptation, to go alone rather than building a team. We have the same temptation to have complete control and avoid the conversation, but we cannot be there alone.
Bible Text: Matthew 17:1-9 | Preacher: Nathan Willard Jesus's transformation leads the way for us, the hope that we, like Elijah, Moses and Jesus, may find new life. So how does that work with the transfiguration?
Bible Text: Matthew 5:38-48 | Preacher: Nathan Willard Remember, an eye for an eye is a restriction on escalation. It is to remind us that no matter how angry we are, there are limits to the punishments people deserve. Jesus takes this message a step further to remind that no one deserves violence.
Bible Text: Matthew 5:13-20 | Preacher: Nathan Willard What does it mean to show God's love in this time and place? What are the implications of the discoveries of science for our service to others? We're not sure, but let's ask some questions! Preached February 9, 2014 in Ankeny UCC
Bible Text: Matthew 4:12-23 | Preacher: Nathan Willard Jesus calls us all in our own languages, to make our lives into something even greater. James and John and Andrew were called to expand their fishing and fish for people. We, too, are called to use our gifts not just for our lives in the world, but to help other people be better. How are you called?
Bible Text: Matthew 3:13-17 | Preacher: Nathan Willard Jesus submits to John's baptism, despite being greater than John. What do we have to learn from others who may know more than we do? What was Jesus doing and thinking when he comes to John? Are there people who serve similar roles in our lives? Do we serve that role for others?
Bible Text: Isaiah 63:7-9 | Preacher: Nathan Willard The challenge for us as Christians is to feel the presence of God that we felt on Christmas Eve not only in the Christmas season, but throughout the year. How do we bring that miracle of communion with God with us even through our struggles in July and August? What does it mean to feel the Christmas Presence all the year round?