When most of us use the word religion, we’re talking about doing good and earning some kind of perks in the after life (Karma, pearly gates… you get the idea). Or perhaps we imagine large temples and cathedrals built as houses for God. We might even conjure up images of priestly figures that offer to stand as intermediaries between us and God… Frankly though nothing could be further from the case when it comes to Jesus Christ. When Jesus came to this earth he did so not to start another religion, he came to free us from the rules-based religion we had been creating for ourselves. He came to us, offered to live with us so that we would not have to earn our way to Him. He came to bring us life. Now that’s radical. But don’t take our word for it! Over the next few months every Sunday as our preaching series we’re going to be following the story of Jesus as it’s recorded in the Book of John.
Manuscripts and scrap papyrus of this book date back almost 2,000 years leading scholars to think that it was written somewhere between 85 – 95 AD only a few years after Jesus died. So what better place to go if we want to read more about the life and work of Jesus than the book of John? John is also a book that was written for normal everyday people who weren’t totally familiar with the religious culture of the Jews in which Christ grew up. So not only will it be very relevant to us as we seek fullness of life beyond a merit badge religion, it will also be in a language we can understand.
So don’t miss out! We’ll be following along this story for a number of weeks and together learning about this Jesus who came to bring life and to end rules-based religion. You can catch the weekly installment of this series at our Sunday morning Celebration and Worship Gatherings which take place at 11:00 a.m, follow it up with a cell group, or if you are not in town, you can catch up right here on mondays with our weekly podcast.
The Beginning of the End!
Peter brings a word from John 1:1-18 debunking some of the foolish rules we’ve brought upon ourselves. The sermon ends with an amazing testimony from our friend Greg who was brought through some pretty wild stuff over the last few years. Listen in!
Testify to the End!
John the Baptist was kind of an odd fellow, but as Alison follows his story through John 1:19-34 we learn something of his testimony to Jesus, the one who comes to end all our religions and attempts at doing it on our own. Awesome sermon, don’t miss out.
Picking up the story with John 1:35-50 Peter challenges us to share as the earliest disciples shared, whether that be with family, friends or even the guy we see every week on the bus. Have a listen and be stirred.
Water into Wine
Turning water into wine in John 2:1-11 wasn’t just a party trick for Jesus. No it goes much deeper than that. It speaks of His underlying subversion towards organized religion and tells of His desire to celebrate life with us. Listen in.
When you think of worship, what first comes to mind? Singing, praying, what about serving the poor? Well for Jesus in John 2:12-24 it seems that when worship stops being about regular people sacrificing their best for the poor, Jesus stops being so meek and mild and starts throwing tables around? This is a huge one (in Jesus content, not in length), don’t miss it!
God loves you. But unlike some of the love we experience here on earth (think valentines day fiascos), His love comes with no strings attached, in fact He loves us even when we’re still screwing things up. (Hard to find a date like that) So Alison takes a look at John 3:1-20 to uncover the deepest and richest kind of love. What better way to celebrate the week following Valentines Day than with a sermon on true love.
A Scandalous Jesus
It wasn’t the rich elite, nor the mayor, but the town tramp that Jesus spends time alone with. His love and grace for all people regardless of culture or background is just plain scandalous. And as we check out John 4 it seems pretty clear that Jesus is less “family-friendly” than Christian Television might suggest. Unless of course by “family-friendly” you mean living in community with people of all walks of live including prostituted persons…
Quit hogging the boat
Jesus seemed to always be doing odd things, like for example in John 6:16-24, walking on water. To anyone watching that would have been pretty scary. But it’s amazing to read that when Jesus’ disciples let down their guard and let Jesus into the boat, their fear of the storm slips away and they immediately arrive at their destination. Maybe we need to do the same? Nearing the end of this podcast Alison leaves it open for testimonies, but we couldn’t record them all, so feel free when you get to that part to write something down that you’ve experienced and send it in.
Life Sucks… unless!
Think about how most of us live our lives. Work, work, work, rest, work. I mean seriously if that’s all there was to it, that’d suck big time. But in John 6 we hear that its not just about physical bread and daily living, but about some thing much sweeter. Have a listen and see if you can catch it.
Blinded by the light…
Blindness can come in many forms – Physical, emotional, relational, and of course spiritual. Hitting John 9 this morning we heard a monologue from the perspective of the blind man. Perhaps it was the fact that we were all blindfolded as we heard it, but there is no doubt that God spoke vividly through Alison’s words reminding us of the blindness we sometimes inflict on ourselves. Don’t miss this one, and if it helps grab a blindfold or close you eyes.
It’s coming, and it’s a big one…
This morning’s podcast was geared to help us get our minds around what Jesus’ death was all about. It focuses on the religious folks who were plotting to kill Jesus and reminds us that Jesus doesn’t just advocate for spiritual renewal, but whole body to the point that governments should be turning heads seeing what this Kingdom of Heaven is up to.
Revolution is looming…
Jesus marches into the city like a victorious military general with thousands shouting to make him king. And within the week despite it coming in a shocking way, his kingdom was established on earth. A kingdom that that is above all earthly powers and beats out any earthly government. Take a listen to this, you won’t regret it.