Sermons

It was the Greek philosopher Socrates who said, “To be is to do.” It was his student Plato who said, “To do is to be.” But it was the blue-eyed crooner Sinatra who said, “Do-be-do-be-do.” Bad “dad-joke” aside, there may be some wisdom there. Isn’t that the rhythm and the way of the Christ-life? It is BOTH, a call to do and to be. Rightly understood, however, everything we will ever do for Christ, emerges from who we are in Him. All of our works of service, compassion, mercy and love are motivated by and arise out of our growing understanding of our identity in Christ. Our doing is born...

How well do you know your neighbor? Yes, you know what they drive, where their kids go to school, and how long they leave their unread county paper in the driveway. But do you really know them? When asked what the greatest commandment of all was, Jesus responded with the “right answer.”   He quotes from the Shema: “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” But then, a surprise. An unexpected turn. A curveball. “And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In the mind of Jesus, you cannot love God without...

It’s Consecration Day at JCBC! This Sunday, August 6, 2017, we as one unified body of believers will move in one magnificent procession of worship, from the Sanctuary to the Family Life Center to re-dedicate that space as a place of sacred worship, to the glory of God. We will sing. We will pray. We will share in the mystery of the Lord’s Supper. And we will commit our hearts, minds, hands, and feet to the service of our Lord. It’s Consecration Day at JCBC…and we need YOU! We need your faith, your hope, and your love for our celebration to be complete. Not only will this Sunday...

Last Wednesday was our annual Blue Christmas Service. We offer this unique worship service each year for those who are sad during the holidays. For many who have suffered loss, or who have gone through significant life-transitions, the holidays can be difficult. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s Day, many of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of the season may serve only to heighten the awareness of our loss, and deepen our pain. That is why we offer this service. We devote sacred time and sacred space to creating a sanctuary for people who are hurting. Our worship during...

In the year 1223, St. Francis was visiting the town of Grecio to celebrate Christmas. Grecio was a small town built on a mountainside overlooking a beautiful valley. The people had cultivated the fertile area with vineyards. St. Francis realized that the chapel of the Franciscan hermitage would be too small to hold the congregation for Midnight Mass. So he got permission from Pope Honorious III to set up a manger with hay and two live animals—an ox and an ass. He then invited the villagers to come gaze upon the scene while he preached about the power of incarnation! It...

“Eucharisteo” is an interesting word, in Greek. In its simplest terms, it means, “give thanks.” But a close study of the word (as found in New Testament texts) reveals that it is made up of a combination of words. At the very root of eucharisteo is the word charis, meaning “grace,” and its close derivative chara, meaning “joy.” Think about the implication for a moment. At the heart of thanksgiving is grace and joy. True gratitude grows from a deep, interior awareness of God’s grace in our lives. That awareness humbles us, and provokes a joy that flows out of us in a lifestyle...

The church is intended to be the visible presence of the Risen Christ. The church. This church. Our church. The visible presence of the Christ. The Bible says we are his body. We are one body with many members. All of us. Each of us. A vital part, with a role to play! That means our lives must EMBODY his love. Our choices must demonstrate to the world that he IS alive. But, in US. If the church (this church…our church) is the body of Christ, Then we are called to live like him. Better yet, we are called to let HIM live in us and through us. His body. When we do, something changes...

We all fail. We do. We may not see it at first. We may never admit it; nor own up to it. But regardless of who we are, each of us (and all of us) will eventually blow it. (And, sometimes blow it big.) Then come the clouds. It is there, in the dark shadows of our despair, embarrassment, and shame that we are left tormented with haunting questions: Where did it go wrong? How did I get here? Is there any way out? Can things be repaired? What then? In scripture, we trace one consistent and reliable truth about life in God. No matter who we are; despite what we’ve done; regardless of...