Follow Through // Weakness // Kate Murphy

At the moment God called Gideon a “mighty warrior” and chose him to lead the Israelites into battle against a vast and powerful army, Gideon was hiding—trying to thresh the family wheat in a wine press so that he wouldn’t be seen and attacked by the enemy.  Gideon was the youngest member of the weakest tribe in Israel.

Gideon—the young, fearful, wouldn’t-be warrior—wasn’t the type of leader we would expect. He was physically, mentally, and spiritually weak.  But God didn’t choose Gideon in spite of his weakness.  God chose him because of it.  Looking at Gideon’s story in Judges 7:1-12, we actually get the sense that God delights in our weakness.  But God does not use our weakness to then make us strong.  God uses our weakness to show God’s own strength.  Gideon’s story is also an example of the tragedies that can happen when God’s anointing on us makes us overly confident in our own abilities.

Listen in as we learn how we can prepare to trust God and delight in his faithfulness when we need it most.

Follow Through // Success // Kate Murphy

We’re always going to feel “too something” to follow Jesus—too busy, too scared, too sad, too whatever. There isn’t an ideal time to choose to follow—only now.  This Sunday, we tackle what might be the most difficult thing to follow Jesus through—our own “success,” at least as our culture defines it.  How can we choose to follow when we feel like we don’t need to follow to get what we want? And when we feel that way, how do we go abut trying to change the things we want?  Listen in to find out.

Follow Through // Fear // Kate Murphy

This week we talk about what it means to follow Jesus through our fear.  Jesus’s disciples said “yes” to trusting him even when experiencing circumstances outside their comfort zones, and part of us being disciples means learning to do the same.  We learn to be led in the “valley of the shadow of death,” where we are willingly guided past our ability to control.  If we are honest, we know that most things — and certainly most important things — are beyond our control.  It’s when we follow Jesus past that point where we truly experience the beauty and holiness of trust. 

Follow Through // Doubt // Kate Murphy

The weeks after Easter is where the magic happens. That’s when we do the life-changing work of responding to the resurrection. And so, we’re starting a new worship series called “Follow Through” where together we’ll be thinking about how we can walk into new life with Jesus Christ during all the different seasons of our lives. We’ll think about how we can follow Jesus through — not merely in spite of — our doubt, weakness, despair, fear, and, perhaps most challengingly, our own success.

Listen in and subscribe so you don’t miss out.  You’ll be glad you did.

Easter Sunday // Resurrection Is An Invitation // Kate Murphy

Matthew 28:1-20

When we gather to celebrate Easter, most of us think we are showing up to remember something miraculous that happened on the other side of the world two thousand years ago.  If we’re really optimistic, we imagine it has something to do with God’s promise for us after death.  But the truth is so much better.  We’re not merely celebrating something that has happened or will happen; we’re celebrating Christ’s resurrection—something that is still happening.  God is still in the business of redemption, and the power of the resurrection is what it does in us and in all of creation.  The evidence is not merely in a risen savior.  It’s in our lives.

Last Words // Part 6: Making an Entrance // Kate Murphy

This Sunday, we gather for what churches often call “Palm Sunday,” the day when we celebrate Jesus returning to Jerusalem to give up his life and fulfill the prophecies about him.  But in keeping with our “Last Words” theme, we are side-stepping the waving of palm branches (which only show up in one gospel account anyway) and focusing in on what Jesus was telling us by choosing to enter the city on a donkey.  Why do all four gospel accounts include that detail?  What can Jesus’s journey teach us about his kingdom that is hard for us to embrace?

Last Words // Part 5: Haters Gonna Hate // Kate Murphy

Jesus finishes his last words to the disciples with a sobering warning, ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” Jesus is telling us that if we love people like he did, we can expect to be belittled and disregarded by those who prefer the status quo.

But why should we, if we commit to loving others, expect to be hated? Won’t everybody just love us back?

Listen in to hear why we can provoke such opposition when we love people like Jesus did. And then consider the choices we have and what you’re going to do about it.

Last Words // Part 4: Love One Another…Really // Kate Murphy

As Jesus was speaking to his disciples on the very last night before his death, he took the very small and precious amount of time he had left — and repeated himself.  A lot.

Over and over Jesus told his disciples that there was one thing that he really wanted them to do.  One thing.  And he said it again and again, as though they would forget.  As though we would forget.

And so we return again in this series to Jesus’ one command.   This time for the people in the back.  Because that’s us.

Last Words // Part 3: Promising Peace, Presence, and Power // Kate Murphy

This Lent, we are leaning into the last words of Jesus in the Gospel of John. The night before his death, Jesus assembled his disciples and gave them words that would see them through the gathering storm. Among those words were startling promises: that in dying, God would give us his peace; that in departing, God would give us his presence; and that in demonstrating weakness, God would give us his power.

Peace, I leave with you. My peace I give you. I do not give you peace as the world gives peace. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

What kind of unearthly peace is this? What kind of presence can be given by a dying God? What kind of power can steady a powerless, terrified heart in this violent, brutal world? Listen in to hear for yourselves about what Jesus offers to us, for and in our darkest hours.

Last Words // Part 2: Love One Another // Kate Murphy

In his last words to his disciples on the night before he died, in just one sentence, Jesus offered the only rule that God has for us. One piercing command—and we don’t have to spend our days praying and sweating over what it means. We already understand it; we already know how to live it out. In just one sentence, it’s unavoidably clear.

Listen in as we rededicate ourselves to living out this one thing God asks of us.