It is time to talk about Jesus.
That is true every Sunday in worship and it is true every day of our lives as we live into the “More Than Sunday” lifestyle of Christian discipleship. But it is about to be especially true of our congregation in the coming months.
We began 2019 with a 5-week sermon series entitled “5 Burning Questions of Faith” in which we have engaged the most commonly asked questions by both believers and skeptics concerning faith in Jesus Christ. “How could a good God allow so much suffering? Is it possible to believe in the validity of science and also believe in the super-natural God? Why is the church responsible for so much evil in the world? What is the role of Christianity in Politics? What about other religions?” We concluded the sermon series this past Sunday and if you missed any of the messages in the series, you can listen to them here.
We dealt with these questions as a sort of prologue to what we are about to do together as we now turn our attention squarely to Jesus Christ. Often it is the case that there are some broader topics that need to be addressed before someone is able to listen to what Jesus has to say about himself, about the world, and about Christ’s invitation to place our faith in him.
It is not my expectation that this sermon series has laid to rest all the questions we have about faith in Jesus. Questions, and the act of questioning, are an essential part of the faith journey, and believers carry with them both mystery and inquiry, just as the early church did. But now we turn a page in our life together as we move to listening directly to the message of Jesus Christ and considering his invitation to us to place our trust in him.
I am excited about the opportunity to hear afresh the teachings of Jesus and the message of the Word of God made flesh. I hope you will be too.
As we began the 5 Burning Questions series, I mentioned that even if these are not questions of faith that you currently have, there are people in your life who are asking them. I hope you have been praying for those neighbors, co-workers, family members and friends who have not yet come to know the hope, joy and love of relationship with Jesus Christ.
Today, I’d like to ask you to do something more than to pray for them; invite them to church. That neighbor whom you know is not a Christian but with whom you’ve had substantive discussions. That co-worker who grew up in church but hasn’t been in forever. That friend from the kids’ sports team who asked you about your faith or your church. Whomever it is that God has put in your life and isn’t a Jesus-follower, invite them to join you this winter at First Pres as we look closely at Jesus of Nazareth.