During his earthly ministry, Jesus announced a new covenant, unhitched from the Old Testament. He initiated that new covenant when he died and rose from the dead. Suddenly, commandments that had sounded extreme when he gave them to his followers weren’t extreme at all.
Thou shalt not fear. We all want to keep that commandment, but too often it feels impossible. There are legitimate reasons to fear some of the obstacles and setbacks in our lives. But if it were possible not to fear . . . that would change everything.
People stumble in their faith and drift away from God because they get hung up on the historical accuracy of what’s in Genesis, Exodus, or other parts of the Bible. People struggle with Scripture because the church has done a terrible job of communicating the foundation of the Christian faith. It’s not the Bible. But if it’s not the Bible, what is it?
The early Christian church was a “resurrection religion”—it was motivated less by a set of rules than by the event of Jesus’ death and resurrection. During his earthly ministry Jesus initiated a New Covenant based on love instead of rules. But that doesn’t mean he threw out the rules. In fact, he passed along an odd assortment of new commandments that sounded unreasonable . . . until he initiated and punctuated this New Covenant by dying on a cross and then rising from dead.
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, his followers couldn’t re-embrace a temple religion. They were left with Jesus’ odd assortment of commandments—impossible to imagine before the resurrection but made possible by the resurrection. These commandments would fuel a movement that changed the world.
Perhaps the most popular commandment among those who don’t follow Jesus is “judge not.” It’s the one Christians are most often accused of violating. It’s also one of the most misunderstood of Jesus’ commands.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a faith with no doubts? But most believers wrestle with doubt at some level. We face circumstances that don’t add up. We see suffering and injustice in the world. Doubt grabs our minds and emotions. We wonder if we’re just making excuses for a God who isn’t really there . . . or isn’t there in the way we assumed.
Jesus commanded: “Doubt not.” But when he said that, he didn’t mean for us to quit feeling doubtful. His command was more practical and life-changing.
Many of the things people resist about the church are things the church should have resisted.
Jesus initiated the church to resist the temple model, which was focused on sacred places, sacred men, and sacred texts . . . on superstition.
Jesus initiated a new covenant that is less complicated but far more demanding. It prompts us to ask, “What does love require of me?”
The arrival of Jesus signalled the end of the Temple Model and the beginning of something brand new—an approach to faith characterized by love of others.
The Temple Model is you-focused, but Jesus’ new covenant calls for a focus on the you beside you.
So, what is required if we want to follow Jesus’ example and radically love the people around us?
Isn’t it funny how two people can look at the same situation and come up with two completely different conclusions? Think about Easter. It will be here soon. For some people, the Easter story is about the incredible truth of the most inclusive, welcoming, amazing message the world has ever known. For others, the holiday is tainted by the belief that God is disappointed in them. People who believe God is disappointed in them, drift away from him.
We want answers for life’s mysteries. Is there an after life? Will I see my mom again? What does the Bible say about divorce? Does the Bible say we have to give ten percent of our money to the church? Religion tries to answer those questions. Religion is about answers, order, predictability. Unfortunately, life isn’t about any of those things. Life can be messy. Religion has a place in our lives, but Jesus taught us it’s not the first place. When religion takes first place, it begins flexing its muscles at the expense of mercy. But what if God isn’t disappointed? What if he’s a rescuer? What if he wants us to run toward him instead of away from him?
We’ve all been picked on for something we had no control over. It’s dehumanizing. In all likelihood, you’ve also picked on others. It’s such a strange thing. It’s such a human thing. The easiest way to feel superior is to find a person or group we feel is inferior and power up. And we’ve probably all been guilty of that outwardly or inwardly. One of the reasons Jesus came into the world was to change all that.
If there is a God, we all want to know what he’s like. We’re curious. Our tendency is to look in nature, outer space, or within ourselves to find clues about him. But that only provides us with an incomplete picture. Jesus made a radical claim. He said if you want to know about God, look no further than him. If you’ve seen the Son, you’ve seen the Father.
Join us Sunday, Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. for the message, Like Son, Like Father.
One of the unique things Christians believe is that God became one of us. For thirty years he lived under cover as a carpenter, surfaced as a miracle worker and rabbi for three years, and allowed himself to die in the most degrading way imaginable. He came as one of us but was treated as less than one of us. Why in the world would God do that?
Join us Sunday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. for the message, To Communicate and to Demonstrate, by Andy Stanley.
When our memories exceed our dreams - the end is near. When our dreams exceed our memories - we pioneer. We desire to be a pioneering church that unchurched people love to attend. What sacrifices does that require of us so we may reach our fullest potential?
On Feb. 11, lead pastor Tyson Kliem will present the message, What If . . .
Join us at 10 a.m.
What does it mean to be FOR something? If God sent Jesus to Earth to prove that he is FOR us, doesn't that mean that we should reflect that same effort in being FOR our neighbours and community? If there is one group that should lead the charge being FOR people, it should be us.
Join us Feb. 4 at 10 a.m. to hear lead pastor, Tyson Kliem present the message For Us; For Others.
On Jan. 28, after the service we will hold Group Link — your opportunity to move out of Sunday morning rows into circles. To get connected into a community of people who will help you grow. No matter where you're at —whether you're not sure if this church thing is for you, or whether you're a long time Christian—we have a group for you.
Join us on Jan. 28!
Join us on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. for the third and final part of our series on pride: Killin' It.
We all want to be friended, followed, linked, and mentioned. We all want to be recognized, admired, sought after, and envied. We hunger for approval. We want applause. We want to be known. But what do you do when there is no amount of “known” that will satisfy your appetite?
Our Inside Out (gr. 9 - 12) and Transit (gr. 6- 8) will be combining forces for an awesome Christmas event! Wear your Christmas jammies or sweaters for Christmas themed games, Christmas cartoons, prizes, hot chocolate and some yummy goodies.
If parents want to bring in baking, please contact Janelle Thiessen
The book of Judges records God’s chosen people doing what they want, when they want, with whom they want. The tragedy was that ancient Israel began with divine intervention and a divine mandate. They were to show the world who God was by being different than the nations around them. But for 300 years they lived in a cycle of disobedience, disaster, and deliverance. The entire time Israel was ping-ponging back and forth from obedience to disobedience, during an era when everyone did what was right in his or her own eyes, God was up to something else—he was decorating for Christmas.
Join us on Sunday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. for the message, Ruthie and Bo Save Christmas.
Children’s check in begins at 9:45 a.m.