Sermons

Advent is about preparing for the coming of the Christ. If that is so, the truth is it takes a little work preparing for that preparation. That’s exactly what has been underway at JCBC for the past week. At Christmas, one of the simple gifts we enjoy at JCBC is the beauty of our campus. It is simply stunning. Within the span of one week, the campus is transformed. Trees, garland, lights, and wreaths signal the season of Christ’s birth is at hand. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t get that way on its own. As I walked the halls of our campus last week, I was struck by...

There are some mysteries too profound for words. Some encounters defy simple explanations… and require more. That’s why we sing. We sing because when we do, our highest hope and our deepest longing take flight… so we can see them, hear them, feel them… And marvel. Nowhere is that more true than in the carols we sing at Christmas. Deeply imbedded in the lyrics of the carols we sing each year are profound and provocative declarations of hope, peace, joy and love. Sometimes haunting, sometimes exuberant. And most, a sojourn in-between. The carols of Christmas call believers to enter once more into the mystery of our Lord’s birth, and marvel...

Every 500 years, the church throws a rummage sale. That’s how Episcopal Bishop Mark Dyer puts it. Since the birth of the church, there have been at least three significant turning points in which the church, faced with an identity crisis, made significant shifts in its way of existing in the world. These shifts resulted in deliberately relinquishing old and familiar ways of doing and being the church in order to engage the church’s mission in ever-changing contexts. Rummage sale. Brilliant. Out with the old. In with the new. The first of these rummage sales occurred around 500 A.D., as the church became the official religion of...

Sylvan Hills Baptist Church Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation Ph.D. 1984, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity 1978, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, B.S. 1974, University of Montevallo, Alabama Dr. Allen holds the Sylvan Hills Chair of Baptist Heritage and is Professor of Church History and Spiritual Formation at McAfee. He received his B.S (1974) with a double-major in psychology and sociology from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. His training for Christian ministry took place at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, which awarded him the M.Div. (1978) and Ph.D. (1984) degrees. During his years as a...

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...