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March 29th, 5th Sunday of Lent - Robbie Carnes preaching, “Living the Resurrection, Pressed to Give”; 2 Corinthians 4:1-12, Incarnational and sacrificial living are difficult and uncomfortable, yet they are the clearest way that we can live like Jesus and reveal the Gospel to the world. Just like olives that are the good fruit of the grafted branches and are pressed and crushed to make good oil, we should be looking for ways that Jesus is calling us to be pressed and crushed so that the Gospel is proclaimed in our living are a stark contrast to the faithfulness of Christ.
March 22th, 4th Sunday of Lent - Robbie Carnes Preaching, “Living the Resurrection: Given Peace, Being Peace (Makers)”; John 14:27; Matthew 5:9, Whatever warfare that we have engaged with God in is over at the cross. There is no more need for raving or conniving, Jesus offers us peace and reconciling. If we are to accept these things from our Savior and deny them to our neighbors and enemies, we may find that we have not yet truly accepted them for Jesus. The accepting and granting of peace go hand in hand.
January 26th, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, 10:00am Combined Service & Congregational Meeting Robbie Carnes preaching, “Proverbs, Don't be that Guy: Chicken Little”; Proverbs 3:21-26, 2 Corinthians 4:7-12. If we were to base our understanding of our world on what newspapers, TV and radio tell us we would despair easily. But that is not who we are as followers of Jesus. Even though the earth shakes and the mountains fall into the sea we will not fear, because God has it all in his hands. Avoiding despair can be a great effort and we need truth of God’s Word and the love of God’s community to establish hope in our hearts.
Proverbs 17:1,4,9,14-15,19; 18:2,8,13,17; Matthew 5:9. All throughout the 17th and 18th chapter of Proverbs there is a running theme of the foolishness and blindness of those who use their words wisely and those who foster discontent. We need to recognize the power of our words and learn how we might relieve discontent and negativity rather than maintain it. This is at the core of what Jesus speaks about when he says, blessed are the Peacemakers.
Look! God is doing a new thing. So many times God surprises us with what God is doing in the world and in the lives of others. So many times we are amazed at who God is. What would you say if I told you that God might surprise you with what God is doing in your life? Could God be doing a new thing in you? Are you being changed by the Spirit?
Joseph was a man who made plans. Faceing the personal tragedy of a pregnant fiancé he planned to ‘put her away quietly’. But this was not God’s plan. God’s plan didn’t protect Joseph or Mary’s honor or adhere to their plans. God’s plan was for the redemption of all creation. How do we learn to give up our plans for God’s marvelous mission in the world?