Four Streams, One River

January 14, 2017 12:28 pm

Four Streams, One River The Songs We Sing at Christ Community Church “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God” Psalm 46:4 The Arkansas River flows very swiftly through the Colorado Rocky Mountains, as I discovered the hard way on a whitewater rafting trip last summer. Those kamikaze rapids are not for the faint of heart! Not that spending some time floating rather than boating down the river was a bother; after all, I love whitewater rafting, including the bumps and spills. Together with the Arkansas, the Ocoee, the Yellowstone, and the Colorado are all favorites.... Read this post

Smokin Worship

January 11, 2017 11:49 am

Smokin’ Worship The aesthetics of worship is always a source of both inspiration and conflict. From sound, light, color, and clothing to bread, wine, oil, and water the elements that constitute the look and feel of worship are massively important, in some ways even defining what a church is all about. Think about it. If a Pastor stands on a large platform behind a plexiglass pulpit wearing a Hawaiian print shirt and skinny jeans and is surrounded by guitar stands, his image broadcast on large screens in a room without windows and illuminated by theater lights, you know that’s a... Read this post

Something in the Water: Sermon Notes for January 8, 2017

January 8, 2017 1:34 am

  Christian Baptism Deuteronomy 7:7-9; Acts 2:38-39; Romans 6:3-7 First Sunday in Epiphany January 8, 2017 We begin today a mini-series on Sacraments. Together with the Scriptures and Prayer, we refer to the sacraments as ‘means of grace’, those gifts from God that through the Holy Spirit convey to us God’s love and mercy when we receive them by faith. The Sacraments don’t have power in themselves but are made powerful through the Spirit’s work. First and foremost they are signs of God’s covenant love for us and only then of our commitment to him. The two sacraments instituted by Jesus... Read this post

Sermon Notes for January 1, 2017

January 1, 2017 2:38 pm

The Shape of Salvation Titus 2:11-14 Second Sunday in Christmas January 1, 2017 Janus: god of two faces, one looking back and the other looking forward. Facing both directions is deeply Biblical and essential. Both are associated with a packed word which Paul uses twice in this passage: epiphany – appearing. Grace has appeared and glory shall appear. Three words Justification Sanctification Glorification Grace saves us, instructs us, and envisions us, transforming our past, present, and future. The Gospel and the Past: Titus 2:11 Gospel Justification in Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection Gospel Salvation: deliverance to discipleship Just as... Read this post

Favorite Gifts I Received this Christmas

December 26, 2016 12:21 pm

Time with Family * Living in the same town with my brother, sister, and their families is wonderful * Smoking pipes with my son around the firepit is one of life’s great, simple pleasures Christmas Morning Worship at CCC * Beautiful congregation with deep dedication and gracious hearts * The kids were so much fun during the children’s message * People in church in PJs!!!! BEAUTIFUL!! * Geoff Smith on piano Fitbit * Tracking my sleep is going to be interesting. Sleep? Wireless Noise Elimination Headphones * Won’t eliminate the voices in my head but it’s a good start with... Read this post

The Sheer Grace of Christmas. St Augustine’s Nativity Sermon

December 24, 2016 12:51 pm

Truth has arisen from the earth and justice has looked down from heaven Awake, mankind! For your sake God has become man. Awake, you who sleep, rise up from the dead, and Christ will enlighten you. I tell you again: for your sake, God became man. You would have suffered eternal death, had he not been born in time. Never would you have been freed from sinful flesh, had he not taken on himself the likeness of sinful flesh. You would have suffered everlasting unhappiness, had it not been for this mercy. You would never have returned to life, had... Read this post

Come Thou Unexpected Jesus

December 23, 2016 8:27 pm

Come Thou Unexpected Jesus Joshua Bell is a world-renowned virtuoso violinist and those attending his performances would regularly spend hundreds of dollars to hear him. In what Washington Post reporter Gene Weingarten referred to as ”an experiment in context, perception and priorities – as well as unblinking assessment of public taste,” Bell took up his Stradivarius violin worth around 3.5 million dollars and began to play outside the L’ Enfant Metro Station in Washington DC. It was a Wednesday morning rush hour in 2007. Thousands of commuters passed by. With the violin case open before him, Bell managed to collect... Read this post

King of the Jews

December 19, 2016 12:12 pm

The phrase ‘King of the Jews’ occurs four times in Matthew’s Gospel, on each occasion being uttered by Gentiles. The first is spoken by seeking worshippers at the beginning of the Gospel and the final three by condemning mockers at the end of the Gospel. The Magi ask, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him” (Matt 2:2). Pilate asks, “Are you the king of the Jews?” (Matt 27:11). The Roman soldiers mock Christ saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” (Matt 27:37). Finally,... Read this post

Now Burn

December 18, 2016 1:27 pm

Now burn, new born to the world, Double-natured name, The heaven-flung, heart-fleshed, maiden-furled Miracle-in-Mary-of-flame, Mid-numbered He in three of the thunder-throne! Not a dooms-day dazzle in his coming Nor dark as he came; Kind, but royally reclaiming his own; A released shower, let flash to the shire, not a Lightning of fire hard-hurled. Gerard Manley Hopkins

The Wisdom of Worship: Sermon Notes for December 18, 2016

December 18, 2016 12:33 pm

Hearts on High The Wisdom of Gathered Worship Matthew 1-2; Revelation 7:9-17 December 18, 2016 Fourth Sunday in Advent In 2007, the Washington Post organized an experiment. During the morning rush hour, world famous violinist Joshua Bell stood incognito in the entrance to the L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station and played a brilliant classical repertoire for forty-five minutes. It was, as Post reporter Gene Weingarten explained, ”an experiment in context, perception, and priorities – as well as unblinking assessment of public taste.” Joshua Bell routinely fills up concert halls worldwide. Days before, an audience in Boston had paid around $100 apiece... Read this post