Service Recap; May 1

Sermon Reflection

Our palms get a bit sweaty when we hear about God’s judgment. At least mine do. We’ve heard too many street corner preachers belt out God’s judgment on their soap boxes. Perhaps you grew up in a church where God’s judgment was ladled out generously with a side of guilt. Each sermon was simply an exploration of a different way you weren’t good enough: not enough faith, not generous enough, not pure enough, not straight enough, not married enough, not happy enough.

It doesn’t matter that Bob started his sermon by suggesting that judgment is good news.  Lipstick on a pig, right? I can’t help but wince a bit. How could judgment possibly be a good thing?

Bob referenced something Pope Francis said about judgment: “Namely, that God, in judging us, loves us. Let us remember this: God judges us by loving us.”

God’s first word of judgment is love. If you look up images of judgment, you will see a gavel, an earth being blown up, or someone being dangled over a fire. But that isn’t what judgment looked like. It looked like God being willing to do anything for you, taking on flesh, enduring the cross for you. Through Jesus, God has said yes to us, even though we say no on the daily. We reject God’s judgment of us-again, His judgment that we are loved. We reject the idea that in Christ we are enough. We act out of fear and the belief that we need to be more. We act in ways that hinder the flourishing of our neighbors and ourselves.

This week, you are encouraged to meditate on the fact that God has judged you…and maybe there is good news in that reality. He has looked on you, delighted in you, and declared that you worth it. Are you able to hear God say that? Do you accept God’s judgment? Secondly, how does the fact that God says this about the people you interact with, change the way you see them?

Song of the Week:

Blind Willie Johnson: God Don’t Never Change


Prayer Requests

{here’s what we prayed for, and what you can pray for this week.}

  • We offer our anxious hearts and ask that our anxieties be replaced with peace.
  • We ask with the Psalmist, for you to be gracious towards us.
  • We grieve with those mourning the loss of loved ones.
  • We pray for unity, purity, and peace in our denomination.


  • Kite Festival this Saturday. All are invited to join us at 10:00 at the Kite Festival. Bring a picnic lunch!
  • A grief/loss group is beginning on May 10th. Its purpose is to provide safe space and community for open dialogue. It meets in the Mayfair neighborhood of Chicago. More info:
  • Scot Sherman is joining us May 8th. Scot has been on staff at City Church San Francisco and is a professor at Western Theological Seminary/Newbigin House of Studies.
  • Stephan Gombis will be back for the Sunday School hour (9:30-10:30) on May 15th and 22nd.