Category Archives: Prophets

Pentecost Sunday

Collect of the Day
Almighty God, on this day you opened the way of eternal life to every race and nation by the promised gift of your Holy Spirit: Shed abroad this gift throughout the world by the preaching of the Gospel, that it may reach to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Ezekiel 36:22-27
Acts 1:1-11
John 16:4b-15

Message: “In the Spirit of Jesus” by Rev. Steve Breedlove
(Check back soon for sermon audio!)

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Reading for Transformation

By now, you have likely seen in the KNN or heard during announcements that there is a group of folks reading through some important books with the shared goal of transformation.  We desire (and it’s the Spirit’s desire in us) to have our hearts transformed to love our local community (our neighbors) with Christ’s heart, and to have our church transformed to see the world with God’s eyes and hope for the world with God’s heart.

Because this is intended to be an OPEN GROUP, this blog is a great place to share some of the picture that’s forming.  Below are some excerpts from this month’s recap.  (Contact Rev. Steve Breedlove if you’d like to be on that email list!):

Great conversation tonight! I have attached the notes so that you can get a picture — but in summary, it was terrific to see how God has been moving for months at Oak Creek Village through the prayers and work of people at All Saints, Good Shepherd, and the Gathering. What has become a dominant aspect of our outreach is part of a much larger move of God to serve this community with the love of Christ.

As you read through, the are several concrete action items I want to highlight:

  1. There are many ways to get involved already. Contact Thomas Kortus if you want to help.
  2. We want to generate more information and more prayer. Thomas & Steve will be working on that.
  3. We want to see a prayer focus, perhaps a prayer walk, on a monthly basis. This could be part of a small group effort, or it could be its own thing. Paul Marvin is on this, along with Joe Adelman.
  4. There is interest in creating a small group, that has the regular ministries of a 242 group, but whose primary focus is outreach to OCV. This is Joe & Terri Adelman’s heart and prayer

If any of these things connect with you, please take the initiative. And beyond these things…there are many other issues that could get kicked up.

We’ll meet May 2 and begin discussing Andy Crouch’s book, Culture Making. Read as much as you can. Charles has done a great job of facilitating the discussion, and we may be able to induce him to continue. But if there’s someone else with an interest in leading the conversation on Crouch’s book, let me know.

Thanks for all the interest and prayers. I am genuinely excited about God’s stirring us and uniting us in mission and outreach for Christ’s sake.

Love in Christ,
Steve

As Steve says above, our next meeting is at the church on Monday, May 2.  We will be meeting from 7:30-9:15pm, and we will be discussing Andy Crouch’s Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling.  We’d love to have you!

(Note: Contact info for the folks above can be found here and here.)

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Saint Matthias

Psalm 15
Acts 1:15-26
Philipians 3:13-21
John 15:1, 6-16

A Reflection
I love this particular image of St. Matthias, because he has his hands extended with palms up and cupped, the posture of those willing to receive whatever God has for them – whether Bread of Life or dirty feet needing washed – in openness, humility, and expectancy (not to mention that it’s the posture we take when receiving Communion each week).  Truly (and literally), this is the picture of a saint.

The account of the choosing of Matthias is a moving one.  It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the way that Peter reads the Psalms in a way that most of us wouldn’t think of reading the Bible, and we may find ourselves wondering what it means that the Church “cast lots” to discern God’s will for its leadership.  Those details, however, while perhaps worth our time at some other time, should not distract us from what is at work here in the early (so early that we might even call it a pre-Church, because the Spirit had not yet been poured out) Church.

Let’s set the scene.  In the preceding verses, Jesus has just told his followers to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Spirit and then ascended “out of their sight” into heaven.  Those dazed folks (the disciples, Mary, several women, Jesus’ “brothers”, and apparently several unnamed others, for a total of about 120) returned to Jerusalem together “devoting themselves to prayer” but surely wondering just who or what the Holy Spirit was and how soon Jesus would come back out of the clouds to set up his kingdom on earth.

Truly, if we know that Spirit means ‘Breath’ (and in Greek it does), this community is a newly born and helpless infant, and it’s not clear yet if it will survive, let alone thrive.  The time between the Ascension and Pentecost (and in the church calendar, all the time is happening all the time, including Ascension and Pentecost this day in Epiphany) is the time waiting for a newborn to draw its own first breaths of outside air, and those brief moments seem to be taking weeks.  When we are remembering Matthias, that is what we are remembering.

Here, God, by leading the selection of Matthias by the believers, restores the believers’ hope that God is with them, has not and will not ever abandon them, and will fulfill Christ’s every promise to them.  The choosing of Matthias is the infant Church’s whimper, the promise of God that the full-throated wail of Pentecost is soon to follow.  Thanks be to God!

Collect for the Day
Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

-Rev. Nick Jordan

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Fourth Sunday After the Epiphany

Collect for the Day
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Psalm 15
Micah 6:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 5:1-10

Sermon: “Companioning with God” by Rev. Nick Jordan
Nick Jordan invites us to understand how Micah 6:1-8 teaches us to love God and our neighbor through engagement in our world.

(sermon audio available here)

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Third Sunday After the Epiphany

Collect for the Day
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Isaiah 9:1-4
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Matthew 4:12-23

Sermon: “Shamed for Good” by Rev. Steve Breedlove
With the help of our team which went to Rwanda in Summer 2010, Steve unpacks what it truly means to live into the kinds of foolishness, weakness, and shame with which we are marked in Christ.

(Check back later for sermon audio.)

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St. Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356


St. Antony battles demons in the desert.

Antony is a saint which I wish I had known more about sooner.  He is functionally the Desert Father, an early example of that group of folks who, as Christianity became more the cultural norm and in certain ways more culturally accommodating, retreated further and further into the desert to live lives of study, unceasing prayer, and yes, as the need arose, battling demons.

Antony set one of the early Christian norms for what it meant to be a Christian.  Before Antony, there was the model of Biblical martyrs like St. Stephen, whose last words as he was stoned echoed Christ’s, even as Stephen saw Christ standing at the right hand of the Father in heaven.  In the early church, many Christians believed that literally dying for their faith was the truest way of living into the fullness of Christ.

Then Antony entered the picture; another saint, Athanasius, wrote about him; and there was now a new model for true holiness, which came to be called ‘bloodless martyrdom.’  The ‘way of the cross’ to which Jesus calls everyone who wants to follow him was shown to be a way that certainly costs everything (Antony himself was a rich heir who sold all he had and gave it to the poor), but which also did not necessarily involve the violent spilling of one’s blood.

Read Athanasius’ Life of Antony (really, read it, as it’s worth your time and honestly fairly accessible if you’ll give it a chance) and you find Antony more and more entering into the form of Jesus’ life.  While the author was certainly writing as someone in awe of the desert saint and the story is not historical by today’s understanding of history, the basic message is still clear: the life of Antony (and the life of every saint) looks like the life of Jesus.

The Collect
O God, by your Holy Spirit you enabled your servant Antony to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil: Give us grace, with pure hearts and minds, to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

– Nick Jordan

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Second Sunday After the Epiphany

Collect for the Day
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Isaiah 49:1-7
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
John 1:29-42

Sermon: “Sermon for the Second Sunday after Epiphany” by Rev. David Hyman
Yes, that is indeed the title, as David explains in the sermon.

(audio available here)

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Filed under Anglicanism, Discipleship, Epiphany, Gospels and Acts, Preaching, Prophets, Services and Special Events, Worship