Sermons on Spiritual Growth

Sermons on Spiritual Growth

Containing the Uncontainable

In our passage today John uses the symbols of larger stone water jars to invite us to reflect on the structures, rituals, and practices we use to help us find reliable connections to God. Even though we can never contain God, how would you express what you hope to contain when it some to the Spirit? What do you do in your life to give you regular access it?

Invitational Faith in a Religiously Plural World

John is clearly calling us to an invitational faith. To follow Jesus means to invite others to follow Jesus. Yet, we can struggle with this calling when we believe other faith traditions are equally valid to our own. We also know as individuals we are not any better than anyone else. So what can John teach us about sharing our faith today? Come and see.

Speaking Hope on Behalf of the Next Generation

God invited Ezekiel to participate in raising the dead in the valley of dry bones. The bones did not have to do anything to be worthy of resurrection. But Ezekiel was called, as we are, to speak love, truth, and hope on their behalf. This is also what we do when we baptize a baby.

For All the Ways We Live in Exile: A Hard and Hopeful Message

Jeremiah’s message to the Israelites in exile in Babylon is complicated, hopeful, and hard. He calls for acceptance and resistance. He calls us to the hard work of externalizing home in unhappy places. In response to the forces that keep pulling us apart, he calls on us to keep reaching back to each other and remaking home.

Holy Rumbling: Courage, Conflict, and Vulnerability

In our story this week, God calls Samuel and asks him to deliver harsh words of rebuke to his mentor Eli the priest. Watch Pastor Billy will reflect on how we can learn from Samuel’s example and have honest conversations ourselves that are grounded in courage and vulnerability.

Does God Look Away? Does God Forget Us?

Throughout the Bible, we hear of people experiencing God as absent. This is hard because we prefer to believe God is ever-present. How can we honor this scriptural testimony about God’s absence while seeking and finding God’s presence with us always?

Dealing with People Who Don’t Play by Your Rules

How do we deal with people who don’t play by the rules we thought everyone had agreed upon? Rebekah is a woman with a message from God in a patriarchal society. She has to resort to deception to realize God’s message. Can we ever meet Rebekah’s example and learn how to nurture God’s blessings?

Did God Really Want Abraham to Sacrifice Isaac?

Does God really ask Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac? Or is there a deeper challenge in the story of Genesis 12:1-14? Pastor Billy will preach on what we can all learn from Abraham and Isaac’s encounter with God (spoiler alert: killing your children is not what God wants).

What Should We Be Grateful For?

We all know we should be grateful and probably more grateful than we are. But, are some things in our ethically complicated world less fruitful as objects of our gratitude? And are something things very fruitful?