No One Like God

No One Like God

Psalm 86 paints a beautiful description of God as gracious, loving, forgiving, and attentive, but do we actually believe it? Is this really who we think God is, or does our treatment of God and others say otherwise? Perhaps Psalm 86 is easier said than done.
 
Peace, 
Chess

Scriptures: Gen 21:8-21; Ps 86:1-10, 16-17, Matt 10:24-39, Rom 6:1b-11

Questions for Reflection

What does the story of Sarah and Hagar (Gen. 21:8–21) say about God? What does the story suggest about how we might treat one another more justly?

Morning Prayer

O God, I praise you as I arise this morning. You are the giver of all life and you provide for what you have made. Be with my spirit this day and teach me to be thankful for all that you offer. Move me to be generous with others, sharing not only goods, but also time, patience, and kindness. You know what will happen today. Guide me so that I do what pleases you. Be near to me and help me to trust your love. I pray for all the world today, for what I do has effects far beyond what I can know or understand. By your Holy Spirit, let me speak peace, let me do peace, let me be peace, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Evening Prayer

Creator of heaven and earth, light and darkness, day and night, I thank you for the day just past that you have given me in your mercy. I pray for your forgiveness for those things I did that were displeasing to you and for those missed opportunities to show my love for you. Let me rest tonight, trusting in the grace of your Son, Jesus Christ. Restore my mind and body as I sleep so that when I awake I will have the strength to serve you and your children well. O beloved God, let me rise to a new day giving you thanks and praise, in the name of Jesus Christ the Savior. Amen.


Read more...

Thanksgiving even now

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

Thanksgiving is more than a holiday in November, and it is more than something we express when we get what we want, when things are going well, or while we count our blessings. There is still much to be thankful for, even now, especially now, and not in spite of our pain, suffering, and anxiety. There is room in our relationship with God for us to express both lament and thankfulness simultaneously, just as Psalm 116 demonstrates.
 
Peace, 
Chess

Read more...

Worship & Doubt

Worship and Doubt

Matthew 28:16-20

Doubt is so much bigger than unbelief. We cram a lot of emotions into the word doubt as well, such as hesitancy, indecision, and uncertainty, all of which the apostles brought with them as they met Jesus on the mountain in Matthew 28. And rather than dismissing and denying these doubts, Jesus addressed them and the apostles worshiped.

June 7, 2020 Order of Worship (includes links to songs)

Read more...

Pentacost for Everyone

 

Pentecost for Everyone

There is so much about the Pentecost story that intrigues, inspires, and incites conversation and action, but for me the impact of the story is encapsulated best by the word “everyone.” There is great hope and a challenging call in Peter’s quotation of the prophet Joel, especially the line, “Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved,” and that hope and challenge could not be any more timely.
 
Peace, 
Chess

Read more...

Lift up your heads

Ascension

Luke 24:44-53

Tucked away after the crucifixion and resurrection is the ascension of Jesus. This short and simple story is rich with depth, meaning, and hope if we know where to look. Through the lenses of Psalm 24 and history, the ascension story is a powerful proclamation of the divinity of Christ and the hope of eternal life lived with God.
 
Peace, Chess
 
Don’t forget to do your Servant Profile!

Read more...

Help, Comfort, and Counsel

Help, Comfort, Counsel

John 14:15-21

it is a rarely discussed topic, and when discussed it often remains rather mysterious and intangible. Jesus has much to say on the Holy Spirit, especially in the book of John, and we would be wise to listen. In just these six verses Jesus identifies the Holy Spirit as like himself, truthful, an advocate, a helper, a comforter, a guide and a counselor. Understanding these characteristics of the Holy Spirit are important for us all.

 
Peace,
Chess
 
Don’t forget to do your Servant Profile!

Read more...

Greater Works

Greater works

In what almost sounds like a direct challenge, Jesus spoke in John 14:1-14 about his works and the disciples doing even greater works than his. It can be overwhelming to think of having to do works like Jesus’, let alone even greater works. But if this isn’t a challenge to outperform Jesus, than what does he mean and what works are we called to?
 
Peace,
Chess
 
Don’t forget to do your Servant Profile!

Read more...

I am the Gate

 

Jesus the Gate

John 10:1-10 paints a confusing picture of Jesus as a gate to a sheep pen. We are used to thinking of Jesus as a shepherd, but what does it mean for him to be a gate? And what does it mean for us to come in and go out through the gate? It’s a strange figure of speech that confused the disciples, and it deserves some attention so that we can understand Jesus as gate.
 
Peace, 
Chess
 
Don’t forget to do your Servant Profile!

Read more...

Eyes to See

Eyes to See

Luke 24:13-35

It is easy as audience members, mere on-lookers, to read the story of the road to Emmaus and think it strange that the two disciples didn’t recognize Jesus. If we were honest though, I think we all likely miss opportunities to see Jesus in our lives. I wonder how much we could see and hear if only we retrained our eyes and ears. Certainly we see Jesus in our corporate worship activities like communion, but when we cannot gather for worship could we still find reminders of God in our quarantine?
Peace, 
Chess
 
 

Read more...

Faithful Thomas

Faithful Thomas

Thomas has lived in the shadow of his prescribed descriptor all these years: Doubting Thomas. We think of Thomas and his doubt as a weakness, a character trait to be avoided, but I believe there is so much more to Thomas’ moment of doubt than we give him credit for. Perhaps Thomas is better known as Faithful Thomas than Doubting Thomas, and perhaps there is something in how Thomas handles his doubt that is admirable and exemplary.
Peace,
Chess
 
 
 
 

Read more...

Because He Lives

Because He Lives!

He is risen! He is alive! These words are just as true today as they were all those years ago at the empty tomb. The Jesus who lived three days after his crucifixion is the same today and tomorrow, just as alive now as he was then. And it is because he lives that we have hope – hope that suffering does not last forever, hope that good triumphs over evil, and hope of life lived now and eternally.
Peace,
Chess
 
 
 

Read more...

Expecting the Unexpected

God seems to always be working in unexpected ways, and the triumphal entry of Jesus is no exception. Seems that in many of God’s biggest moments in the Bible, people are always left surprised and caught unaware. I wonder if that is because God is so unexpected, or if, perhaps, we have a habit of expecting the wrong things of God.
Peace,
Chess
 
 
 
 
 

Read more...

Jubilee in the Eye of the Storm

Leviticus 25 lays out the plans for a year of sabbath rest called the year of jubilee, and I keep finding elements of jubilee in surprising places, like when this guy drove through my yard and broke my water meter. Maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t there, but I think there are surprising aspects of sabbath and jubilee to be found in the eye of this COVID-19 storm. Perhaps we could find rest and healing in this time of uncertainty and illness.

Peace,  Chess
 
 
 

Read more...

Socially Distant Worship

As we continue with social distancing, Christians throughout the globe are discussing and re-imagining worship. We have grown accustomed to corporate worship on a Sunday morning, but what does worship look like in social distancing? 
 
 
 
Here are a couple of hymns you might want to listen to:  Deep calls to Deep, When Peace Like a River
 

Read more...

Being the community of Christ in the midst of COVID-19

 

As we practice social distancing to protect one another, I have recorded a video in lieu of a sermon. I will be sending these out on Sundays during our cancelation of services as a form of spiritual food. It is important for us to tend to our spiritual health as well as our physical health. It is my hope that the video brings you some comfort, encouragement, and direction in the days to come.
 
Peace, Chess

Read more...
English Spanish