Guest preacher Fred Harrell joins Grace Chicago from City Church San Francisco. His homily explored the difference between worshipping Jesus and following Jesus and how the latter is more difficult and is what the weary world needs most.
The Magi remind us that while we might expect to find glory, purpose, and honor in the palace, God is actually found in the ordinary, mundane, and routine. This year, may we seek to find God in the ordinary and expect Christ to show up in our routine lives.
Caleb closes with a reflection on New Year's Resolutions.
Mary must be terrified on her journey to Elizabeth's house. How will she explain her situation to her distant aunt? Who would believe her incredible story? Elizabeth, prompted by God's Spirit, sees Mary, acknowledges her, and asks for no explanations. Mary experiences the gracious hospitality and welcome of Elizabeth. We can all follow Elizabeth's witness and imitate the generosity that Elizabeth displays.
In this first Sunday of Advent, we think about Hope. The text from Luke this week is a terrifying description of the end of days. What does all the imagery of Jesus mean? What does it mean in 2018? Bob explores where hope is found, which is not in earthly circumstances. Hope is not bound to what we can see, but is found in what we may not see.
Following the trajectory of our text from Mark, we might ask, what should we not hold onto? What have we trusted in too much, which will inevitably crumble? Jesus challenges some of the disciples most dearly held convictions and urges them to trust in him. He often challenges us in the same way.
Who is my neighbor? In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus paints a bloody and vivid picture of what neighbor love looks like. He resists the categories that his audience would have expected and wanted. In this homily, Rev. Aaron Kuecker explores the popular parable and suggests that we should perhaps view "neighbor" as a verb rather than a category.
What does it mean to live a good and satisfying life? How does work relate to that life? Does work make it possible? Does work get in the way? If that life exists, how would you know that you were living it?
We all want to live meaningful and good lives. Through a combination of work & family, stress & relaxation, late nights & early mornings, we try to create that life. Rarely do we find the time to take stock of our lives and consider what the good life might actually look like.
Dr. Volf’s lecture provided plenty for us to consider.
The rich young man wants to know how to inherit eternal life. After an exchange with Jesus, he leaves grieved and full of sorrow. Are we to assume that means he has rejected Jesus?
Caleb explores the possibility that the sorrow and grief of the rich young man, after learning that inheriting eternal life will require selling his possessions, is not his rejection of Jesus but rather is his movement toward him. What if our sorrow and grief drew us toward Christ and not away from him?
The disciples have it backwards. They are arguing about who will be the greatest. While we may wag our finger at them, Bob points out that each of us tries to lord power over others. We are called approach power, greatness, and authority in a radically different way.
In James 2, James condemns favoritism. He lumps it in with murder and adultery. What is it about favoritism that is so dangerous? James challenges the church to reflect the kingdom of God and not the culture it is surrounded by. Pastor Caleb explores the challenging letter of James.