Ever wonder how hope can transform the way we live? This message takes us on a journey with Simeon, a righteous and devout man, who encountered the baby Jesus at the temple. Talk about a life-changing moment! Picture this: the anticipation, the joy, and the profound hope that filled Simeon’s heart as he held the promise of salvation in his arms. It’s a reminder that hope isn’t just a wish; it’s a reality we can hold onto with certainty.
Have you ever been to the valley of dry bones? Some of you have. You’ve been in the midst of a bad marriage. One day you woke up, and all around you were dead bones where a loving relationship had been. Some of you are surrounded by dry bones at work. Or maybe you can see the dry bones when you ponder the relationship with your children. For some of us, it happens as we age. The prophet Ezekiel asks, “Mortal, can these bones live?” It doesn’t seem possible. The bones are so dry. But Ezekiel has a message for us that we will explore on Sunday.
Hope can make all the difference in our lives. Hope is the energy that powers us forward and helps us accomplish something that others think is impossible. On the other hand, some of us might be experiencing hopelessness. We might feel let down and drained of all energy. We know we have lost hope. In the message this week, Pastor Fred will help us find the lifeline of hope that God extends to us.
Some of us have faced burnout. We just don’t feel like doing it anymore. Some are tired or exhausted. Sometimes burnout and depression are so severe that we might say, “God just take my life!” We may feel like the prophet Elijah. Yet God ministered to Elijah’s burnout through the sound of sheer silence.
As Easter people we are called to dance our dances of freedom for all the world to see – even and perhaps especially in times of great difficulty. Dances of hope. Dances of justice. Dances of love. During this post-resurrection season let us recapture the joy of living in the beloved community and extending that fellowship through our witness to the world as we dare to dance again.
Today’s sermon comes to us from John 11:28-44, centered around the story of Lazarus which contains the shortest verse of the bible. Follow along with Dr. Worley today as we examine ourselves through the tears of Jesus.
The world is filled with disappointments, challenges, joys, and tremendous sorrows. It is also filled with the worries of COVID-19. But in the middle of this Jesus speaks a fresh word for us. He speaks a word of hope. He speaks a word of grace. What fresh word do you need to hear?
In the Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene is the one who discovers that Jesus’ tomb is empty. Her immediate assumption is that somebody has taken his body. Soon she will learn that more has happened than she could imagine. When Jesus spoke her name her world changed and so did ours.
Politics stir up emotions. Often we can’t talk about politics at home, at church or with friends because of the division it causes. During election cycles fear may be stirred up in us as candidates point out various things that we should be afraid of. So where do we find hope and peace?
In today’s world there is so much to fear: terrorism, global warming, economic insecurity, mass shootings, conflict with Iran and fears regarding our family and health. President Franklin Roosevelt once said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” The Bible’s response to this is to say over and over, “Do not be afraid.” In this sermon series we will discover ways to build our faith so that our fear might be diminished.