Sermon: Come and See

Children love to play the game “hide and seek.” Although they enjoy hiding, the true joy is being found by their loved one.

As adults, we become better at hiding from others — even hiding in places where we are supposedly sharing ourselves. On social media, we create an image of our lives that we want others to see. But we typically hide who we truly are.

It can be difficult for us to even understand who we are. We put out different images of us in various places — work, family, friends, church, social media, etc. — that we may ask, “Who is the real me?” The “real you” is the person you are in your encounter with Jesus. There’s no hiding from God, because God knows who you truly are.

To find out who we are — in all our depths and complexity — is something we find out most fully in our encounter with Jesus Christ.

“Come and See” by The Rev. Joe Gunby

“Come and See”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
John 1: 43-51
Jan. 13, 2019

Sermon: Witness to the Light

We know that standard Christian trope that through Christ we are saved. But what does that really mean? And does that mean that everyone else — even those who never encountered Christ in their life — are damned? Are we just the lucky ones, because we happened to grow up in a Christian family and/or live in a Christian society?

John tells us that Jesus is the true and final light who came into the world for EVERYONE. And salvation does not belong to us. It belongs to God. And the light of Christ shines to all people beyond our knowing, whether they are Christian, agnostic, atheist, etc.

In the Bible, Jesus is constantly healing and feeding people regardless of whether they believe in him. It’s not our job to coerce others to see the light, but rather following the light of salvation that guides our path. Others will see God’s light on our path, and if the light directs us, we can show others that light.

“Witness to the Light” by The Rev. Joe Gunby

“Witness to the Light”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
John 1: 6-14
Jan. 6, 2019 • Epiphany

Sermon: God With Us

As the Advent season begins, it’s a good time to reflect on how we see God. Early Gnostics struggled to see God with human qualities? Humans are so messy, limited and full of fault.

As a human, Jesus transformed the image of God, but it was still difficult for many to grasp — and still is to this day. How can Christ be both human and divine? It leads many people to “Christian-splain” things — creating images of God and how God would act in certain situations.

But it’s really not that complicated. When we look into the faces of other people, we look into the face God. I can only imagine that when Mary kissed the face of Jesus when he was born, she was in awe and curious as to how he will change the world. We should feel that awe in each encounter we have with others.

“God With Us” by Dr. Jodie Lyon

“God With Us”
Sermon by Dr. Jodie Lyon
John 1:1-14
Dec. 2, 2018 • First Sunday of Advent

Listen to the Choir Anthem: “Come, Emmanuel!

Homily: Abiding in the Word

PruningJesus tells us in John 15:4 that “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

Spiritual life is like a vine. And just as vines need pruning to stay in good health and bear more fruit, our spiritual lives need seasonal pruning. But we are not asked to do this task alone. God is the master gardener, and we can trust that God will help prune us so good things will come from us.

Lent offers an opportunity for spiritual pruning. Listen to God, and recognize what God is trying to do in our lives.

“Abiding in the Word”
Homily by The Rev. Joe Gunby
John 15:4-11
March 4, 2018

Sermon: Jesus is risen! But do we know him?

He is risen!

But what does Jesus’ resurrection truly mean to us? Are we really ready to accept the risen Jesus? Or are we too comfortable with our earthly life that we prefer to live our lives as if Jesus is dead?

If we are truly ready to accept the risen Jesus, and the eternal life offered to us, that we need to relinquish our need for certainty and comfort. Our desire of safety must disappear. Because that default setting that tells us to follow our bliss, maximize our profits and seek earthly pleasure  is not the life Jesus demands of us.

If we really accept Jesus, we must fly away from those habits that signal to us that Jesus is dead. He is risen! It’s up to us to change our ways and accept the risen Jesus.

Sermon

“The Jesus I Never Knew”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
John 20: 1, 11-18
April 16, 2017 • Easter Sunday

 

Sermon: “In the end, light will win”

jesus-light-1-jpgc200Does it look like light is overcoming darkness? It seems like darkness is winning every time you turn on the news. But John tells us that light wins.  The light that comes into the world is not a momentary light. It is a powerful light that brings life into the world, generating goodness, kindness and genuine love.

God asks you to be people of the world this holiday season. And despite what we see on the news, we can be happy today. We must trust that God’s light, God’s peace will reign. Christmas is a time when we can be cheerful, because we know that in the end, light will win.

Sermon

“In the End, the Light Will Win”
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
John 1:1-5
Dec. 24, 2016 • Christmas Eve