Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. People waved palm branches, laid down their coats, and shouted, “Hosanna!” Was this spontaneous outburst of praise and adulation for Jesus a deep desire? Probably not. A few days later it is quite possible that some of these same people were changing their mantra from Hosanna to Crucify him! How deep do your desires go? Is it possible that we might benefit from being with our desires without acting on them?
Not many people like to be interrupted. Yet Jesus was one who welcomed interruptions, like Mary anointing his feet with expensive oil. Is it possible that we need to expect interruptions as a means of grace? Instead of being inwardly or outwardly annoyed by interruptions, perhaps they can be seen as a way God is working in our lives.
This Sunday, we explore together one of Jesus’ parables: the Parable of the Prodigal Son. A parable is, in essence, a story, and Jesus is a skilled and nuanced storyteller. At least two stories compete for our hearts in our lives today: the story we have always told ourselves about who we are, who everyone else is, and what is right and wrong; and the story that presents itself over and over, unfolding one day at a time, about the changing reality of our world and God’s relationship among and within it. Which story will we choose to trust?
Pastor Dave continues with the second in our four-part series dealing with Change. Last week was the Big View. This week the focus is on the Present View. Isaiah talks about the need to forget the past. In Matthew Jesus admonishes us to not be anxious about tomorrow. The present moment is where we experience God. If our minds spend too much time in the past or the future we will miss much of God’s grace which is available to us right now! Erin Henderson will share her resurrection story as part of this message.
Pastor Dave will begin a four-part Lenten series dealing with change. Our United Methodist denomination is changing. Bend Church will receive a new lead pastor. We don’t like change! It is time to reframe our reality, time to look at life through a different lens. Our preachers will use Laurie Short’s book, “When Changing Nothing Changes Everything” to explore how changing our lens can actually change our attitude. For this Sunday the best thing we can do is to understand how the big picture affects the small picture.
Will God offer us strength and comfort in our final days? What does it mean to have a good death? How can we support one another as we near death? Join us this week as we conclude our Winter Grace series by reflecting together about death and dying as a part of our journey of faith.
Pastor Dave continues our Winter Grace series by talking about memory. As we age our need to remember increases along with our fear of forgetting. Memory is fundamental to who we are. Haggai asked the newly returned exiles if they remembered the temple in its former glory. When we remember it is not only the events that are recalled but the activity of God.
Julia Frisbie from our Greater Northwest Foundation will be our guest speaker. She writes, “Our bodies are time-bound. The stories we tell are not. What does it mean to have temporary bodies and permanent stories? With examples from scripture, tradition, reason, and experience, we’ll consider the ways that people are remembered beyond their lifetimes. We’ll also imagine our own legacies— and how they’re shaped, first and foremost, by God’s love.”
Pastor Dave will share the third in a three-part series about men. If last week’s tears were due to laughter, this week’s tears may be for sadness. This is because there is a very important step in every man’s search for his true heart. Men often do everything they can to avoid it. This Sunday we’re talking about the male wound and how it affects a man’s search for his wild heart.
Pastor Dave continues with the second part in this series about the search for a man’s wild heart. Last Sunday we learned how men become separated from their hearts. This message is about how men hide from their true hearts and the anger that results when they cannot or will not live from their wild hearts.