I’ve gotten behind on posting what I’ve been speaking in worship lately.
For Easter, I wanted to clearly present the good news of Jesus, that it is for everyone without boundaries. I also wanted to expand our understanding of the good news to include more than forgiveness, but also the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. I used Acts 10: 34-46. You can read that here, if you wish.
Back in January, I decided to continue the “Are we really going to talk about…?” series by dealing with the Atonement right after Easter. How we define what happens in restoring our relationship with God is fundamental to our belief system about God and the world, but we rarely unpack it carefully. Steve Sherwood is a part of our church, a long time Young Life worker, and a professor at George Fox University. He’s pursing a doctoral degree, and his emphasis of study is the Atonement; I knew I wanted him to share the message with me. We realized as we worked on it, that there was more than one message could address. So, on March 30, I gave the intro/overview: “What do the cross and resurrection do for us?” It was right in the middle of the worst of my illness, so I didn’t feel like I got it down as I would have liked. You might want to listen to the podcast instead; I changed the opening and several other things when I spoke; click on March 30.
When Steve and I shared the message on April 6, we did “Are we really going to talk about the Atonement?” Steve took the lion’s share of the day, and he did an amazing job. I told him that it was humbling and moving to watch someone do part of what they were created to do. He did a masterful job with the bible texts (using Hosea and the Prodigal Son to explicate the cross), and his theology and use of the Old Testament was articulate and solid. But what stands out is that he really wants people to live and breathe in a relationship with God through Jesus. I don’t have any printed material from the day, but you can listen here; click April 6. You can also see the basic gist of what he said here…Steve won a contest looking for new expressions of the Atonement.
This past Sunday, the theme was “Are we really going to talk about poverty?” I have a passion and desire to keep Christian churches from narrowing the gospel to only salvation, so this was close to the core for me.