Sun, May 31, 2020
Duration: 13 mins 42 secs
The Big Idea: Throughout this season, we have proclaimed that love is what binds us (the root of “religion” is religio, to bind) to God, to Jesus, to each other. Love is what binds us together. On the day of Pentecost, the church received the power of the Holy Spirit to let that message flow out to all. We are all in this together, bound in love. The power of this message is more important than ever to spread in the world today. Let us be a community of messengers, letting love and compassion flow from our hearts to all people.
Sun, May 24, 2020
The Big Idea: The story of the last time the disciples saw Jesus is a story of blessing. Jesus says that his disciples will be witnesses to his presence and resurrection, and that they too will be filled with power to carry on his ministry. They will be his hands and feet in the world and will see the world with love. To see the world through the eyes of Jesus is to see through the eyes of love.
Sun, May 10, 2020
The Big Idea: Trouble cannot be avoided. Jesus himself cried out to God from the cross, using the Hebrew scriptures that were his holy texts: “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” He reminded his disciples, and he reminds us, to trust in God when our hearts are troubled. Steadfast love is what God shows and what can be relied upon when we experience trouble.
Sun, May 03, 2020
The Big Idea: Jesus used the ancient Jewish metaphor of the good shepherd throughout his ministry. In the passage from the Gospel of John, the sheep know the shepherd’s voice and they follow because this Shepherd offers abundant life. The sheep know it when they hear it. How does the loving Christian community at Church of the Covenant offer abundant life? Will people recognize it when they hear it?
Sun, Apr 26, 2020
The Big Idea: Jesus’ table ministry was the most important way he showed and shared the depth of his love for others. He ate and spent time with those considered unworthy of his attention. Even in his post-resurrection appearances, it was in the breaking of bread that he was “recognized.” As we gather this day, we remember that, at the heart of breaking bread together, is Jesus’ message of unconditional love.
Sun, Apr 19, 2020
Duration: 12 mins 40 secs
The Big Idea: To live “as Easter people” is to live knowing that death is not the final word. How can we show that we really believe we are loved beyond all endings? That there is nothing to fear? Even when we are practicing extreme social distancing and experiencing the anxiety of not knowing what the future holds, we know who holds the future. Jesus is at our “right hand,” counseling us throughout our days, saying “peace be with you.”
Sun, Apr 12, 2020
Duration: 15 mins 19 secs
The Big Idea: The meaning of the resurrection is the antidote to fear: God is worthy of our trust because God is both willing and able to be with us an for us. "Fearing rightly" is not escaping from fear, but facing fear with courage because we know that in Jesus, God is with us and for us.
Sun, Mar 29, 2020
Duration: 17 mins 16 secs
Sun, Mar 01, 2020
Duration: 13 mins 16 secs
Sun, Feb 23, 2020
Duration: 12 mins 39 secs
The Big Idea: How can we see God’s glory? The disciples glimpsed it in the face of Jesus Christ on the mountain of transfiguration. The early church leader Irenaeus said we can see it in “a human being fully alive.” To live into our calling as Jesus’ disciples is to shine with God’s glory.
Sun, Feb 16, 2020
Duration: 18 mins 20 secs
The Big Idea: What is the purpose of God’s law? The law can be a mirror: revealing our sin in contrast to God’s holiness. The law can be a fence: restraining us from evil and keeping order in society. For Christian disciples, the law is also a sign: guiding us in a life of faithfulness.
Sun, Feb 09, 2020
Duration: 14 mins 21 secs
The Big Idea: How do you recognize a disciple? Jesus says we are called to be like salt, seasoning the world with goodness, and like light, shining for all to see. This is how we fulfill the law and follow God’s way. This is how others can “taste and see that the Lord is good”
Sun, Feb 02, 2020
Duration: 18 mins 43 secs
The Big Idea: What does it mean to be blessed? The Beatitudes suggest that, like Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 12:1–3), we are blessed in order to be a blessing to others. This is a fitting vocation for Christian disciples — baptized into the life of Jesus, in whom God is “well pleased.”
Sun, Jan 19, 2020
Duration: 23 mins 33 secs
The Big Idea: What is the cost of discipleship? John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus’ coming; he was later beheaded for challenging Herod (Matt. 14). Andrew and Simon (Peter) were the first disciples called by Jesus (John 1); according to early church tradition, they were both crucified. In what way will our own lives require sacrifice if we are to follow Jesus?
Sun, Jan 12, 2020
Duration: 15 mins 26 secs
The Big Idea: Where does discipleship begin? In each of the Gospels, Jesus’ ministry begins at his baptism, where he is claimed as God’s beloved child and anointed with the gifts of the Spirit. The same is true for us. Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong journey of discipleship in Jesus’ name. Today we will remember our own baptism and renew those vows made at the beginning of discipleship.
Sun, Jan 05, 2020
Duration: 17 mins 25 secs
The Big Idea: The metaphor of "journey" has been used by Christians and other faith traditions for millenia. The wise person who follows Jesus has a journey that continues throughout a lifetime. Fortunately for us, this is not a journey we take as individuals, but as a community of people who are journeying together. The wise congregation looks forward to its journey together.
Sun, Dec 29, 2019
Duration: 14 mins 31 secs
The Big Idea: This is the last Sunday of our series about Joy. The Hebrew root for 'joy' used 54 times in the Hebrew scriptures is ranan, pronounced raw-non. It means 'to shout, to cry out' and 'to overcome.' When you think about it, shouting for joy trains the lungs and body and instills courage to shout aloud for the overcoming of injustice. Let's propose that 'shouting out' for joy will liberate our exuberance for righting the wrongs of the world, for the sake of God's love for the world. Compassionate Joy is our watchword.
Tue, Dec 24, 2019
The Big Idea: "Joy to the World, the Lord is come!" On this Christmas Eve we celebrate the world-altering narrative of the inbreaking, indwelling, incarnation of the Holy among us. This, tonight, is the meeting place of heaven and earth. The feeling you have had in moments, events or revelations that changed your life are what 'deep joy' is about, not simply happiness. Happiness is fleeting because it is centered in us. Joy is forever because it is centered in what God does. Tonight is about God's joy in uniting heaven and earth in the person of Jesus, who is the very imprint of God in us. Incarnate Joy is our watchword.
Sun, Dec 22, 2019
The Big Idea: The name Emmanuel means “God with us.” From both the Hebrew and Christian narratives, we hear the yearning for this “Emmanuel”–for God to become so present that God’s peace, truth, love, and justice reign among all the world and bring balance to what feels out of whack. Our Psalm in this series names the joyful expression of all creation as the response to the news that the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, is coming at long last. The symbol for today is the star.
Sun, Dec 08, 2019
Duration: 13 mins 35 secs
The Big Idea: Human beings can be transformed by music that resonates in our soul so powerfully that we can’t help but join in. This is the vision of “Joy to the World” as the reverberating phrase urges us to “repeat the sounding joy” of the good news of Love. The prophet Isaiah offers a vision of radical love–the wolf and the lamb living together and being led by an innocent child. Can we lift our voices to joyfully and confidently proclaim this chorus of well-being for the world? The symbol for today is the evergreen.