The Comfort and Commission of Advent

The Rev. Patrick Schlabs | Isaiah 40:1-11

Chapter 40 of the prophet Isaiah begins with the cry of “Comfort, comfort!”, a call directed towards a devastated, exiled people. Yet along with the call of comfort, we also find a commission to return to their calling to reveal God’s glory to the whole world. The season of Advent speaks a similar word in our hopeless world as God’s people are called to declare and display the hope of Christ’s coming kingdom. Join Patrick Schlabs as he peers into Isaiah’s message of hope, and finds within it a commissioning of God’s people to become, in the words of missiologist Michael Goheen, “people whose very lives point to the culmination of history.”

Beginning with the End

Mr. Jacob Graudin | Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37

The first Sunday of Advent brings with it the start of the new liturgical year, yet our readings for this Sunday speak of judgement and endings. However, as the poet T.S. Eliot reminds us, “the end is where we start from.” Join Jacob Graudin as he explores the prophet Isaiah and the Gospel of Mark, and finds the imperative that the Christian must begin with the end in mind.

Power and the King

The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson | Ezekiel 34:11-20

During Christ the King Sunday, we approach the dangerous question of power. Is it inherently corruptive? Is it a neutral force? Both the prophet Ezekiel and Jesus speak forcefully about power in today’s readings, both our broken use and God’s just use of it. Join Peet Dickinson as he examines Scripture, finds us convicted, and witnesses the power of the true King.

Our Primary Hope

The Rev. Danny Clark | Matthew 25:1-13

Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins waiting for the bridegroom is loaded with a sense of immediate expectation, an expectation the Christian story finds met in the future return of Christ Jesus. Why is so much strong expectation loaded onto this future return? How are followers of Jesus to live in light of this? How does this parable call us to prepare? Join RUF director Danny Clark as he peers into this future expectation and finds within the deepest hope of the Christian.

Heroic Love

The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson | Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s letter to the Ephesians opens with thanksgiving for the city’s Christians and a prayer on their behalf, that God would continue to reveal to them the “immeasurable greatness of his power.” How does God do this, and what shape does this power take in the lives of Christians? Join Peet Dickinson as he explores these questions through the lens of the Sermon on the Mount, and finds what it means to possess power in the Gospel, and even what it means to be a saint.

Listen & Speak 2017: Session 3

Andy Crouch | Being Known

One of our greatest needs as human beings is to be in community. We were designed to be “looking for someone who is looking for us.” This facet of the imago dei is a key element of the church’s mission in the empire of technology. Andy Crouch argues that the church can be a place that people can be known and loved. This is especially important for those on the fringe of society. We are called to be a community of welcome for a lonely world.

Listen & Speak 2017: Session 2

Andy Crouch | Work and Rest

As part of being created in the image of God, human beings are called to reflect God’s creative capacity. Namely, we are to engage in work that involves giving order to creation and filling it with abundance. When our work engages our hearts, souls, minds, and strength then we can also embrace true rest in enjoyment of our work.

Listen & Speak 2017: Session 1

Andy Crouch | Heart-Soul-Mind-Strength

What is a human person? Andy Crouch argues that God has designed us to love him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. This must inform our understanding of work, rest, technology, and vocation.

Flourishing

Mr. Jacob Graudin | Matthew 22:21-27

When Jesus is asked to name the greatest commandment in the Jewish Law, he does not rank one commandment above the rest, but cuts to the very heart of the Law: love. Why is love so important, and how is it actually manifested in our lives? Join Jacob Graudin as he unpacks the great commandment and plumbs the very depths of human purpose.

 

Identity and Idolatry

The Rev. Patrick Schlabs | 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Our human desire for belonging and security often leaves us susceptible to competing identities. These identities promise much, but always end up failing to deliver. Christians are offered a stable foundation upon which to build their identity. What is this foundation and how can we abide in it? Join Patrick Schlabs as he explores the solution to our need for identity.

RSVP

The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson | Matthew 22:1-14

Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast is instantly familiar to all of us who have ever received an invitation and forgotten to RSVP; in this parable, however, an RSVP is of ultimate importance. Why do those first invited ignore or outright reject the king’s invitation to the feast? Why the king treat the guest without a wedding garment so harshly? Join Peet Dickinson as he works through this message of God’s invitation to all.

Cultivated

The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson | Isaiah 5:1-7

The fifth chapter of Isaiah provides a striking and disturbing picture of a vineyard gone rotten and its resulting destruction. The most unsettling twist of this story, however, is the identification of this vineyard with the entire people of Israel. Join our Dean, Peet Dickinson, as he unpacks this judgement-laden passage, and finds the light of the Gospel held within.

The Cruciform Life

The Rev. Patrick Schlabs | Philippians 1:21-27

In the second chapter of Philippians, Paul delivers the challenge to live a life worthy of the Gospel, modeled after the example of Christ. Despite this, the hard reality of our societal and personal dystopias seems to cut this challenge off from the hope of fulfillment. Join Rev. Patrick as he unpacks how Christ’s example of humility is the empowering source of our new life.

Standing Firm in Unsteady Times

The Very Rev. Peet Dickinson | Philippians 1:21-27

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he writes that for him, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” Given the uncertainty of our world, with natural disasters and political instability constantly throwing out the ground under our feet, what does it look like to stand firm in the Gospel, life or death? Join our dean, Peet, as he explores Paul’s bold claim.

Romans: Saved for Mission

The Rev. Rob Sturdy | Romans 14:5-12 |

In the final installment of our summer preaching series, we find Paul exhorting a church fallen prey to the sin of judgement and subsequent division. There is no room for judgement for ourselves or others in a church defined by the grace of God. Join guest preacher Rev. Rob Sturdy as he diagnoses the human heart, laden with judgement, and prescribes the Gospel cure.