Following Jesus as he sends us on mission can add serious complications to our lives — especially when it comes to relationships with our friends, families, and colleagues. What does it look like to have the snake-like wisdom and dove-like innocence Jesus calls us to in our wolf-eat-sheep world?
More and more, our culture is characterised by tribalism - identity politics, victim status, minority identity. Where do we get the spiritual resources to own the different experiences that constitute us as people, and at the same time to overcome boundaries? This sermon explores how the gospel transcends tribalism.
How do you fill up the lack in your life — the spaces left when your life isn’t what you want it to be? Consumer culture says: buy this product! But can we really create a story for ourselves through what we buy? Is that the way to blessing? The Christian gospel suggests another way to blessing: embracing the lack. In our consumer culture, a bit more lack might be just what we need in order to see what good things God holds out to us in Jesus.
One of the key values of our culture is individualism — the idea that I’m my own master; that I get to write my own story. What matters is my choices, and no one else can decide for me. How does the gospel speak to this aspect of our culture? In particular, how is it possible to live out Paul’s instruction in Colossians 3 to “admonish one another” — to tell one another how to live! — in the light of the individualism we hold so dear?
Ancient people knew as well as us scientifically-minded moderns that dead people don’t get un-dead. And yet, that’s what Christians believe happened to Jesus of Nazareth, and that’s what Luke reports for us, loud and clear, in his gospel. But Easter isn’t about your head — it’s about your heart. In Luke 24, we meet two travellers on the road, and through their experience of meeting the risen Lord Jesus, we learn how Jesus’ resurrection — if it really, truly happened — will change your heart.