Tuesday, February 18, 2014

North Suburban Vision Series - Christ-centered Community: Sunday, February 16 - A Community Challenging One Another to Faithful Living

We are in a series focusing on North Suburban's Vision Statement which exclaims:

"As a living body of Jesus Christ, our vision at North Suburban Mennonite Church is to be a Christ-centered community, embodying Christ-like compassion, living with Christ-led courage"


Our focus on Christ-centered community is expanded in the following statement:


Being Community
To be a Christ-centered community, we will be a committed, nurturing Anabaptist community, which celebrates our unity in Christ in the midst of the diversity of God's family. We will support each other in our spiritual, human and material needs. We will challenge each other to faithful living. We will maintain open communication with each other in a spirit of love and respect. We will commit to spiritual discipline to further our relationship with God.

The message of this Sunday focuses on how we encourage one another to live faithfully.  There are numerous definitions we can use to describe being faithful, but the one I point us to is "being true to the original."  In that when God acts life happens, we being God's people, faithful to God, being true to the original, life happens when we get together as well.  Life happens, rather than the alternative, when we live out who we are in Christ Jesus.

Scripture passage being explored:  Hebrews 10: 19-25

Link to message:  A Community Challenging One Another to Faithful Living

North Suburban Vision Series - Christ-centered Community: Sunday, February 2, 2014 - United in Jesus Christ in Midst of Our Diversity

We are in a series focusing on North Suburban's Vision Statement which exclaims:

"As a living body of Jesus Christ, our vision at North Suburban Mennonite Church is to be a Christ-centered community, embodying Christ-like compassion, living with Christ-led courage"


Our focus on Christ-centered community is expanded in the following statement:


Being Community
To be a Christ-centered community, we will be a committed, nurturing Anabaptist community, which celebrates our unity in Christ in the midst of the diversity of God's family. We will support each other in our spiritual, human and material needs. We will challenge each other to faithful living. We will maintain open communication with each other in a spirit of love and respect. We will commit to spiritual discipline to further our relationship with God.

The message of this Sunday focuses on how we understand unity or what unites us.  Often unity is described as our being like everyone else.  But that is not the biblical understanding.  What unites us is not our interpreting Scripture the same, nor believing the same, but rather that we are all rooted in Christ Jesus.  He is the one who holds us together amidst our diversity and we are united because we are in him.  

The texts we explore are: Philippians 2: 1-18; Galatians 3: 26-29; Romans 15:5

Link to Message: United in Jesus Christ in Midst of Our Diversity

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

North Suburban Vision Series - Christ-centered Community: Sunday, January 19, 2014 - A committed, nurturing community

We are in a series focusing on North Suburban's Vision Statement which exclaims:

"As a living body of Jesus Christ, our vision at North Suburban Mennonite Church is to be a Christ-centered community, embodying Christ-like compassion, living with Christ-led courage"


Our focus on Christ-centered community is expanded in the following statement:

Being Community
To be a Christ-centered community, we will be a committed, nurturing Anabaptist community, which celebrates our unity in Christ in the midst of the diversity of God's family. We will support each other in our spiritual, human and material needs. We will challenge each other to faithful living. We will maintain open communication with each other in a spirit of love and respect. We will commit to spiritual discipline to further our relationship with God.

The message of this Sunday focuses on a promise that we make to one another, namely that we are "a committed, nurturing community."  In exploring Acts 2: 42-47 and Acts 4: 32-35 as a basis for understanding our promise to each other, we discover that such commitment to be nurturing does not derive out of our own desire, but grows out of our worship of God, our extending hospitality, our being generous, and living lives of witness.  

Link to Message: Being a committed, nurturing community

North Suburban Vision Series - Christ-Centered Community: January 12, 2014 - A community centered in Jesus Christ

We begin a new series in 2014 focusing on North Suburban's Vision Statement which exclaims:

"As a living body of Jesus Christ, our vision at North Suburban Mennonite Church is to be a Christ-centered community, embodying Christ-like compassion, living with Christ-led courage"


Our focus on Christ-centered community is expanded in the following statement:

Being Community
To be a Christ-centered community, we will be a committed, nurturing Anabaptist community, which celebrates our unity in Christ in the midst of the diversity of God's family. We will support each other in our spiritual, human and material needs. We will challenge each other to faithful living. We will maintain open communication with each other in a spirit of love and respect. We will commit to spiritual discipline to further our relationship with God.

The message from this Sunday focuses on exploring that we are not merely centered in the ways of Jesus, but in fact are in relationship with Christ Jesus, and centered in the One who is the Living Lord.  And in being centered in him we are a life-giving community in the world identifying with Jesus in such a way that we are human in the world the way he was human.

Link to Message: Being Community: Being a community centered in Jesus Christ

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Advent 2: Sunday, December 8, 2014 Overflowing in Hope! O, the mystery of God's dwelling in our relationships

On the second Sunday of Advent we continue focusing upon God's coming to dwell amongst us.

In God’s mysterious ways, death blossoms into new and abundant life, the dissonance of violence resolves into the harmony of God’s created order, and the presence of enemies becomes an opportunity to restore relationship rather than to take up arms. So let us seek harmony that we may abide in the house of the Lord—there is peace!

In God's presence we are filled to capacity, no filled to overflowing with hope.  May we express the hope of Christ Jesus in all our relationships.

Message link:  Overflowing in Hope! O, the mystery of God's dwelling in our relationships

Advent 1: Sunday, December 1, 2013 Open House! O, the mystery of God's dwelling in our present

During this Advent season our focus is God's coming to be with us.


In God’s mysterious ways, the weapons that diminish us are turned into the tools that sustain us, the assurance of God’s continuing presence is both sudden and expected, and ordinary living resounds with extraordinary implications. Let us wake to the establishment of the house of the Lord—there is hope!

What we discover on this first Sunday of Advent is that God's House is an Open House - open to all whom God invites.  And since God has invited all who are invited, may we welcome those whom God is calling.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 24, 2013 “I myself will gather my people”: “Christ is before all things and in him all things hold together”

This is our last Sunday in the series of Hearing from the Prophets.  And on this last Sunday the warning is directed at the "shepherds of God's people."

Often as pastors, we think ministry hinges on our leadership, our competency - and because we do believe this, this warning is appropriate for us.

Actually, the One who leads is the Lord for God is the One who gathers God's people.  And we are gathered together as the body of Christ - being held together by Christ.

Christ being before us and being held together by him is how we are called to live in this world - to be led by the Spirit, rather than being led by we who are pastors who think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

Link to message:  "I myself will gather my people"