Last Words // Part 1: Actions That Speak // Kate Murphy

In these next several weeks before Easter, we will celebrate the holy season of Lent by looking deeply into our own habits and behaviors so we can evaluate them in light of who we believe Jesus is and how he has called us to live. Together we will walk through the last words Jesus spoke to his disciples before being crucified and contemplate how they speak to us today exactly where we are.

This week in part 1 of the series, we learn that everything Jesus said at the very end followed something very powerful that he did, with actions that spoke loudly and challenged everyone’s preconceptions — including ours — about his kingdom.

Shalom: God’s Design for Peace, Part 5: Restored to Worship // Lindsay Rich

Over the weeks, we’ve learned about how shalom was the original state of all creation, all people, and all living things. We learned about how nature itself was bound in an interdependent web of mutual flourishing, and how, ever since the fall, God has been relentlessly restoring all of creation to this state of shalom. We’ve learned that we are called by God to join in the holy work of repairing and restoring shalom. But can ordinary, flawed beginners like us really help in the holy work of restoring shalom? Well, yes!

This Sunday, Lindsay Rich shares a message about Gideon—one of the most unlikely leaders in all of Scripture. Tucked away in the book of Judges, Gideon’s story shows us that God can us two essential truths: God delights in calling people just like us, and the first thing we have to do is the very last thing we’re expecting.

Shalom: God’s Design for Peace, Part 4: Pursuing the Prototype // Kate Murphy

God is steadfastly restoring all of creation to the holy state of shalom—repairing all that was broken and distorted in the Garden of Eden. And when we put our faith in Jesus, God invites us to join him in that work.   When Jesus called his first disciples to follow him, they had to leave their previous work as fishermen behind. But why? Why couldn’t Simon, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee “fish for people” and fish for actual fish? Are we, too, sometimes called to choose between earning a pay check and participating in God’s work of bringing shalom? Listen as we encounter the gospel of Mark and ponder how to work for shalom while we work for a living.

Shalom: God’s Design for Peace, Part 3: Peace Subverting Power // Kate Murphy

What if you could live in a place where you were safe and had everything you needed to be well? What ifin that place, it wasn’t just you but everyone who had what they needed to thrive? What if it wasn’t just people, but every living creature and all of nature living together without danger, threat, or lack of any kind? That state of balance and bliss we’re imagining? It has an ancient name: Shalom. And we may be just beginning to imagine shalom, but it is the birthright of all creation. Moreover, because Almighty God is determined to restore shalom to his creation, shalom is inevitable. We who know the Lord are invited, even now, to live in shalom and to join God in creating and restoring it.

This Sunday, we’ll read an ancient letter from a teacher named Paul to a man, Philemon, who was caught in the evil anti-shalom system of slavery. Listen in to hear how Paul invited Philemon (who was not a slave, but a slave owner) to take the whole institution down, all by himself.

Shalom: God’s Design for Peace, Part 2: Peace Without Preference // Kate Murphy

This Sunday, we’re digging into the book of Amos to see how God’s commitment to Shalom is fierce and unwavering. He is not satisfied with a broken and brutal world—he is resolute that his people will live in a society where covenant is not only worshiped, but lived.

Shalom: God’s Design for Peace, Part 1: A Song That Has Been Sung Since the Beginning // Kate Murphy

“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lay down with the goat…they will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” —Isaiah 11:6-9
For us, that’s not just a line of beautiful poetry. It’s not a metaphor either. It’s a vision of Shalom—which is so much more than our shallow concept of peace. The world as it is—glorious and beautiful and transcendent as it sometimes may be—is only a broken shadow of what God created reality to be. As Christians, sometimes our vision for who God is and how God calls us to live is too small. We pray and labor for what seems possible. But God’s plan is so much more than our most daring hopes.

Resolve: Worth Fighting For, Part 4: Fight for Change // Kate Murphy

This month we’ve been examining our mission at The Grove and facing the sobering reality that simply believing in or agreeing with our mission won’t make it a reality. A mission can only be accomplished when people fight for it. So we’ve been breaking down The Grove’s mission statement piece by piece and considering what it will cost us to make those words reality in our community.  If you’ve missed any of the past three weeks, you may want to go back and check them out!

This week we’re looking at the transfiguration of Jesus to deepen our understanding of the final part of our mission—coming alive in Christ. And, unlike the inviting and serving parts of our mission, this part isn’t something we can do for God. Rather, it’s something we desperately need God to do in us.

Resolve: Worth Fighting For, Part 3: Fight for Air Time // Kate Murphy

Remember that one time Jesus told a story about how we all need to be more like the manager who embezzled from his company and then got praised by the CEO? Yeah—we pretty much bury this one. But Jesus said he needs more people like that guy on his team. What in the world?

This Sunday as the country honors the great American Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King (a man whose zeal for the coming Kingdom literally remade the culture), we dive into the third message of our Resolve: Worth Fighting For series. Let’s get inspired to work with more zeal, creativity, and holy urgency as if the future were at stake. Because it is.

Resolve: Worth Fighting For, Part 2: Fight for Each Other // Kate Murphy

Last week, we rallied around The Grove’s mission and resolved to fight against those standing in the way of our faithfulness to it. Turns out—that’s us! Our half-hearted and indifferent commitment to change, and our unwillingness to fight for the new life God is calling us to is our greatest opposition. Just like Rocky told Adonis.

So this week, we dig in and start to train. Inviting All—do we really mean it? Is EVERYONE welcome here, truly? If so—we better get ready to fight. Literally, because there will be conflict. The good news is—Jesus teaches us how to leverage conflict for the sake of goodness. In the Kingdom of God, even a fight between believers can be worked together for good.

Resolve: Worth Fighting For, Part 1: Fight the Good Fight // Kate Murphy

Inviting All to Serve and Come Alive in Christ. 

That’s our mission at The Grove—a mission centered around changing lives and ushering in the Kingdom. It’s a good mission, looks great on the masthead of our Sunday bulletins. But here’s the thing—our mission is just a sentence with a bunch of words unless we are actually living it out and fighting for it. This Sunday we start the new year with a four-part series about our commitment to our mission.. Listen and learn what we’re fighting for, what’s at stake, and what it will cost us.

We start with a great relevant clip from Creed and end with an introduction to our monthly communion celebration. We promise it’s all relevant.