Praying for a Pardon

Confession affects the heart with sin, and engages the heart against it. Every confession of the evil we do—is a new obligation not to do it any more. Confession of sin shows us more clearly our need of mercy—and endears God’s mercy more to us. How good and sweet is mercy—to a soul that has tasted how evil and bitter a thing it is to sin against the Lord.
— Joseph Caryl, 1645, “Confession of Sin”

Guest Sermon: 1 Peter 5:6-11

I have ascended to the highest in me, and look, the Word is towering above that. I have descended to explore my lowest depths, and I found Him deeper still.
— Bernard of Clairvaux
When we begin to glimpse the reality of God, the natural reaction is to worship him. Not to have that reaction is a fairly sure sign that we haven’t yet really understood who he is or what he’s done.
— N.T. Wright

Note: The recording of this sermon is currently unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience!

The Authenticity of Prayer

Prayer is a natural and authentic substratum of language. But there is irony here: prayer, language at its most honest, is also the easiest form of language to fake. We discover early on that we can pretend to pray, use words of prayer, practice the forms of prayer, assume postures of prayer, acquire a reputation for prayer, and never pray. Our ‘prayers,’ so called, become a camouflage to cover up a life of nonprayer.
— Eugene Peterson
These practices of prayer do not just shape our prayer lives or worship styles, they shape us.
— Tish Harrison Warren

Leaven

Big bubbles in the crumb are a sign of all the other qualities: You can’t get an open texture if you overwork the dough, if the starter’s too sour, if you haven’t cut the loaves properly, if you don’t steam the oven. When I see a loaf with big holes, I can already tell it was made well without tasting it.
— Chad Robertson

Marveling

The resurrection of Jesus creates and makes available the reality in which we are formed as new creatures in Christ by the Holy Spirit. This is a foreign concept in our ego-centric, do-it-yourself, control freakish society. However, the Christian life is a Jesus-resurrection life, a life in us that is accomplished by the power of the resurrection, the Holy Spirit.
— Eugene Peterson

"Before the Rooster Crows"

“Listen, listen,” he said, “the cock won’t crow till you’ve betrayed me three times,” and that’s the way it was, of course — Peter sitting out there in the high priest’s courtyard keeping warm by the fire while, inside, the ghastly interrogation was in process, and then the girl coming up to ask him three times if he wasn’t one of them and his replying each time that he didn’t know what in God’s name she was talking about. And then the old cock’s wattles trembling scarlet as up over the horizon it squawked the rising sun, and the tears running down Peter’s face like rain down a rock.
— Frederick Buechner

(The recording of this sermon might be a bit quiet, depending on what device you're using to listen to it.)

"Put Away Your Sword"

‘I am,’ he says, and throws the wicked to the ground. What will he do when he comes as judge, who did this when giving himself up to be judged? What will his power be like when he comes to reign, who had this kind of power when he came to die? And now even at the present time Christ is still saying through the Gospel, ‘I am.’
— Augustine

"One of You Will Betray Me"

If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is able to destroy a piece of is own heart?
— Alexander Solzhenitsyn

"You Have No Share"

To the humanism of antiquity, the crucified Christ was an embarrassment. Crucifixion… was regarded as the most degrading kind of punishment. Thus Roman humanism always felt ‘the religion of the cross’ to be unaesthetic, unrespectable, perverse… It was regarded as an offense against good manners to speak of this hideous death for slaves in the presence of respectable people.
— Jurgen Moltmann

The Rocks Would Cry

Stones might well cry out, but we will not let them: we will hush their noise with ours; we will break forth into sacred song, and bless the majesty of the Most High, all our days glorifying him who is called by Jacob the Shepherd and Stone of Israel.
— Charles Spurgeon

Due to a technical glitch, the first minute (or so) of this sermon is not included on this recording. Thank you for your patience as we work through these issues.

"What We Have Seen and Heard"

Christ dwelling in us by his Spirit is a guarantee that we can and will change. We are adopted into God’s family, and not in name only. The Spirit in us now guides and forms us more and more into the family likeness… Do you realize what resources you carry around with you?
— Rankin Wilbourne

Due to technical difficulties, the recording of this sermon is a bit echo-y. Our apologies!