5.19.24 Message – Dare to Dance Again: Spirit Poured Out

We read in Ezekiel about a valley full of bones receiving life, breath, sinew and flesh after encountering the word of God. When they arise, they receive Spirit and they dance! As Easter people, we celebrate the Spirit that continues to give life and breath to our dry bones.

It is in God we find the hope we need to dare to dance in the face of fear, in the face of cynicism, in the face of despair. We dare to dance as long as we live for we, like the early Christians, are the recipients of the Spirit of God which intercedes even when we think we can’t make it to the dance floor.

5.12.24 Message – Dare to Dance Again: Clap Your Hands

Jesus was only with the Disciples a short time after his resurrection. As he prepared to leave the disciples, he opened their minds and blessed them. Their response after he ascended is their return to Jerusalem with great joy and a desire to continue to enthusiastically worship God.

What happens when our eyes and hearts are opened by God? We know the hope to which we have been called. As we wait for the Spirit with hope, we celebrate with abandon because we know One who reigns with love and justice.

 

5.5.24 Message – Who Can Withhold: Break Forth!

Psalm 98 & Acts 10:44-48

Everything in creation can and does offer joyful noise to God. Our joy is complete because the joy of Christ resides within us. We cannot help but break forth. This joy is available to all. The Holy Spirit finds its way even and especially in what feels like unlikely people and places.

Where do you see the Spirit at work? And who can withhold the living water and our living praise? No one!

 

4.28.24 Message – From You Comes My Praise: Guide My Steps

We hear this week about an Ethiopian man who asks the question, “How can I understand, unless someone guides me?” Our faith is guided by the people around us. And we know change is possible because we see it in the lives of others.

How has the faith story of the people in your life guided your steps into dances of praise at the good news that you are loved and blessed? What transformation is possible in your life, as your faith in God changes and grows?

4.21.24 Message – Dare to Dance: The Dance of Love

How do we know that the rhythm and dance of our lives is faithful? Drummer of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, wrote: “To fall in love is to fall in rhythm.” It is love for each other by which we know we are followers of Jesus. In the face of societal rules and attitudes that strive to foster “everyone for themselves,” they will know we are Christians by our love.

How can we listen to the music that draws us together, “falling in rhythm” with neighbor in order to build up the whole?

4.14.24 Message – While in Their Joy: Dancing Sure

Luke 24:36b-48

Sometimes we are unsure about our steps in this world. Even the disciples, joyful as they were at seeing Jesus post-resurrection, they still had disbelief and wonder at his return.

However, we are also reminded in scripture, that even though we may not know our next steps, we can be sure in them because we are beloved children of God, and we will be like the one in whose steps we can surely follow — the resurrected Jesus.

 

3.24.24 Message – Good Enough: Palm Sunday

We stand at the precipice of Lent and Holy Week. This day moves from shouting and praising to a time of crying and lament. The drama of the story of Jesus’ last week reads like the book of our lives. Feeling hopeful one moment, we plummet the next as we deal with disappointment, danger, and grief. God’s incarnation on earth was not immune from this roller-coaster we call life.

One thing we know, when the going gets rough, the last thing on our minds is climbing the ladder of self-improvement. We just want to survive, to be comforted, to have our pain known and embraced. And so we turn from the isolation of perfection and turn toward deep love. It is never too late to nurture the garden of relationships, for we are all a group project.

 

3.17.24 Message – Good Enough: We Are Fragile

Good Enough: We Are Fragile (John 12:1-8)

Life is fragile. And we won’t be around forever. Although we’d much rather pretend that we will. We don’t want to think of how fragile and brief everything really can be. It makes us uncomfortable; remembering our fragility lays bare the precious nature of the present moment. Jesue knew this, and that his own death would be soon. He asked his disciples to start to think about what life would be like without him…and to the surprise of no one, they didn’t want to. Much like we don’t want to think of the death of our loved ones.

But what if instead of denying the inevitable we embraced our limited time, savored it, and admitted our vulnerability to one another? How might this impact how we live in the present moment?

3.10.24 Message – Good Enough: We Often Believe We Are the Problem

We can be pretty hard on ourselves when things don’t go as planned. Guilt, shame, and fear of being seen as a failure can make us our own harshest critic. It’s this fear that can keep us from being creative or trying something new. We will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Mistakes can help us learn, and none of us will ever be perfect at anything. Our ideas of a perfectible life keep us disappointed in ourselves. Truth is, life is a big risk every single day and facing whatever each day holds is not only good enough, but worthy of love and grace.

2.25.24 Message from Shawnee Community

Good Enough: So Much is Out of Our Control (Luke 13:31-35)

Have you ever tried herding chickens? It’s impossible. Even if we don’t know anything about chickens that much is clear. Trying to control others behavior–trying to make them do what we want when we want is next to impossible too. It can be frustrating when folks don’t do what we’d like–even Jesus had his moments of frustration when folks didn’t do what he wanted.

But what if we let go of needing all things and all people to be exactly what we want and instead learn to go with the flow of that which is not ours to control?