Sun, Oct 13, 2019
Duration: 14 mins 16 secs
The Big Idea: When we feel at our lowest about life, we, too, can feel alone and see life as a wasteland–or little broken pieces–with little to offer. In our Jeremiah journey this week, God looks at the state of affairs and despairs… and yet… God does not “end it.” Instead, God still calls them “MY people” and, like a parent despite being at their wits end, does not abandon.
Sun, Sep 29, 2019
The Big Idea: Probably the most well-known scripture from the Book of Jeremiah is one of hope for do-overs. This is the image of God as the potter who recognizes that the direction of the clay as it is being shaped is not going to bring out its best qualities and so begins to rework it on the wheel. As long as the clay is continually worked by the potter, it can still be changed and made into the most beautiful version of itself. God is frustrated with the people’s actions, but God also knows that the true nature of God’s people remains. And so God keeps faithfully working with what is available. Are we willing to be molded by the love of God, calling us to be the best version of ourselves possible?
Sun, Sep 22, 2019
Duration: 15 mins 31 secs
The Big Idea: Water is life, as they say. Since the Neolithic age, humans have utilized cisterns to hold water from rainfall and runoff. Capturing the water and holding it for later use offered a guarantee and security that the people would survive times of drought. Jeremiah’s prophecy this week uses this analogy to speak of the dangers of not paying attention to the things that can sustain life for the long-haul in favor of things that are of less worth. What can we name for our time that is truly important but in danger of being neglected?
Sun, Sep 15, 2019
Duration: 15 mins 31 secs
The Big Idea: “Jeremiah was a prophet…” that’s how the first line of that Three Dog Night song started, but the rest of the band didn’t like it. So Jeremiah became a bullfrog in the nonsensical song that became a hit in the 1970’s. However, that first line wasn’t so random. Bullfrog groups are called “choruses” because of their loud croaking. And prophets are called to be a mouthpiece, speaking up and speaking out in order to bring awareness to life lived without careful consideration of the consequences of our actions. How are we called to be prophets in the places where our messages are not heard or appreciated?
Sun, Jun 16, 2019
Duration: 24 mins 15 secs
The Big Idea: Paul's description of the maturing Christian -- from Romans 5 "suffering to endurance to character to hope to Love" -- is the movement of the Love within God's own self. This Trinity Sunday we celebrate a Triune God who moves us to ever more maturity in relationships of continuous transformation.
Sun, Jun 09, 2019
Duration: 11 mins 24 secs
The Big Idea: A common thread of all transformation movements throughout history is a person who makes a transformation from fear and hiding to speaking the truth, no matter what the consequences. At the Day of Pentecost, the Disciple Peter became the Apostle Peter because he apprehended the truth: Jesus was alive and therefore no one need fear death. Peter's speech to those people of Jerusalem ignited the crowd.
Sun, May 26, 2019
Duration: 15 mins 47 secs
The Big Idea: The ancient Christian stories tell about many times that Jesus appeared to many people, in curious and surprising ways after his resurrection. But there came a time when those appearances stopped, just as suddenly as they started. The story about Jesus' ascension is a story about the pivot to the next chapter in God's story with humans. The next chapter in the story about God's action through Church of the Covenant will be a sudden shift in perspective.
Sun, May 19, 2019
Duration: 17 mins 12 secs
The Big Idea: After doing all they knew how to do, Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples had gone back to fishing. They fished all night, but were unsuccessful. Jesus told them to try again. Try something of what you know -- fishing -- but this time in a new way. The fish were right in front (below?) them all along. What is Jesus inviting us to do, perhaps in a new/old way, that will change everything about the outcome?
Sun, May 12, 2019
The Big Idea: How does a person keep hope alive in the midst of disappointment after disappointment? Crushing disappointment is a deadly experience. It can sap the life out of any person, any movement, any sense of "progress." When these two disciples of Jesus experienced the crushing disappointment of his execution, the only way they could experience hope again was to see Jesus himself. Jesus himself was able to help them see what God is doing in the world by retelling the Biblical story in reference to his own resurrected self. What resurrection awaits Church of the Covenant in seeing Jesus?
Sun, Apr 28, 2019
Duration: 18 mins 22 secs
The Big Idea: The appearance of Jesus in always a shock and surprise. But Jesus wants to give us that we need. We have the testimony of thousands upon thousands of people who have gone before us to show us the way, but if we need "proof" we'll get through the eyes of faith.
Sun, Apr 21, 2019
The Big Idea: The real 4th century pilgrim known as Egeria experienced this proclamation of Easter: He is Risen! When she participated in the vents of Easter in Jerusalem she, too, was proclaiming an event so momentous that it changed the course of history. The plain meaning of Jesus' resurrection is Death has been defeated! There is nothing, nothing, anywhere, that can change that outcome. Now our task is to live out that very hope. It's not the end of the story, but just the beginning of a totally new way of life.
Sun, Apr 14, 2019
Duration: 16 mins 49 secs
The Big Idea: This moment on this road for Jesus feels both like the end and the beginning. Such are so many moments of our lives. A pilgrimage may reach its destination but the hope, the wisdom, the lessons learned along the way have offered a new starting point for us. What have we learned on the way and what transformation is God calling us to?
Sun, Mar 31, 2019
Duration: 19 mins 47 secs
The Big Idea: No matter what we call “home” in this physical world, we yearn for a spiritual home that offers serenity, acceptance, belonging. The extravagant acceptance of the father for the son in Jesus’ parable of the wandering son is difficult for us to believe, that no matter what we have done, who we are, how far we are from what we want to become, we are welcomed home by the Loving Parent.
Sun, Mar 24, 2019
Duration: 14 mins 56 secs
Big Idea: In the Way of life that God has opened to us, there are many choices, but they are not all good ones. In making choices about ways to go through life, God is continually calling us to the highest and best ways. Paradoxically, the highest and best ways are open to all. All are invited to the table of God's grace.
Sun, Mar 17, 2019
Duration: 17 mins 34 secs
Big Idea: We are not always understood. Jesus found this out, just like so many others whose closest family, friends, and neighbors create a persona for us. Jesus was not willing to let that persona limit the possibilities God had called him to. If we are acting through our true selves, we will go ahead and let God lead us, claiming who we know ourselves to be, with God's help. We can take the other way around, no matter what other ways others think we should take.
Sun, Mar 10, 2019
Big Idea: After Jesus' baptism he went on a pilgrimage into the wilderness, a common practice among spiritual leaders of his day, and ours. This is a time to dig deep into the soul. Along the way the pilgrim has time and space to consider one's true identity, not the false self that tempts us to ignore our real selves. But God is gracious. All who wander are not lost. Jesus surrenders himself to his true calling, in submission to God, to a true way.
Sun, Mar 03, 2019
Duration: 14 mins 13 secs
Big Idea: Those who encounter God are transfigured, enlightened, emblazoned. Early Christians were called "Illuminati" at their baptism because they now were to live with the light of Christ emanating from their lives. Jesus is remembered as the human whose interior garden was so vibrant that it shone out visibly. The story of the Transfiguration of Christ reminds us that, for sake of life, we are to let our lights shine because we have encountered and live in the reign of the loving and just God. What will you do with your own Enneagram type?
Sun, Feb 24, 2019
Big Idea: As individual gardeners, were all can’t accomplish much. The lures of the false selves we maintain are strong. All we can do is let the old life die so that God can grow in us a new life. Spirit work is like that. Enneagram types 5, 6 & 7.
Sun, Feb 17, 2019
Duration: 10 mins 37 secs
Big Idea: The purpose of the Christian life is to know God and know ourselves. The knowledge of God and the knowledge of oneself are for the purpose of a flourishing life—for the sake of ourselves and others. Overview of enneagram types 2, 3 & 4.
Sun, Feb 10, 2019
Duration: 16 mins 59 secs
Big Idea: Paul had the audacity to claim his own interior soul work would benefit the churches with which he was in relationship. Pastor Beth will show how the tool of the Enneagram has helped her to work on her own interior garden, for the benefit of this church. Pastor Beth’s Enneagram type is 5.