Series: Emerge

emerge seriesEaster Worship Series – Emerge

Sometimes, creation itself tells of God’s glory and of the Resurrection promise! Nature offers a perfect symbol for the journey through hardship and loss, sorrow, death, and new life and joy.

The butterfly has long been a symbol of the resurrection of Jesus as well as the resurrection of believers as we emerge from the power of death. Like caterpillars, it might be hard for us to imagine the new life that is in store for us, and we find safety and security in the enclosing darkness of our own cocoons.

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Butterflies and a cocoon grace the altar.

A symbol of spring, the butterfly truly reflects the beauty of nature. The butterfly emerging from its cocoon represents the resurrection of Christ from the tomb.  Just as the butterfly comes forth with a new body, those who trust in Christ come forth with new and transformed life. The butterfly also represents flight, freedom, and creative thinking.

In this Easter season, we will examine our own transformations from cocoons and tombs to the unfurled beauty of all God calls us to be.

Sermons in this series:
April 16 – Emerge: Tombs and Cocoons
April 23 – Re-Form: Leaving Comfortable Places 

April 30 – Open: Into the Light 
May 5 – Stir: Waking Up
May 14 – Unwrap & Unfold: Unbound 
May 21 – Let Go: Leaving Behind what We don’t Need 
May 28 – Fly: Daring New Heights 
June 4 – Journey: The Places We’ll Go 

Sermon: The Gift of Disappearing

promo-tall“The Gift of Disappearing”

(April 9, 2017 – Palm Sunday) Caught between the poles of fear and shame, we sometimes let one or the other construct an image of ourselves, when in fact, each pulls us away from who God calls us to be. Jesus, having journeyed in the Dark Wood, knows the gift of sliding past those expectations, turning sideways to them, and disappearing, to emerge as who he has always been: God’s beloved Child. (Philippians 2:5-11; Mark 11:1-11)

Sermon: The Gift of Temptation

promo-tall“The Gift of Temptation”

(April 2, 2017) We think of temptation as a bad thing, but what if it is a gift– one that points us to our path? What if our temptations give us the chance to confirm our calling and commitment? (Matthew 4:1-11)

Sermon: The Gift of Getting Lost

promo-tall“The Gift of Getting Lost”

(March 26, 2017) Sometimes, only when we are lost can we allow ourselves to be found. In the silence and stillness, God is able to speak to and through even fallible people like us. (1 Samuel 3:1-11)

At a mid point in my sermon, I paused to show the first 1:45 of this clip from the movie “Apollo 13.”

Sermon: The Gift of Being Thunderstruck

promo-tall“The Gift of Being Thunderstruck”

(March 19, 2017) We seem to think that God no longer speaks to us, since we don’t experience burning bushes or the voices of thunder and flashes of lightning. But is it possible that it’s not that God has stopped speaking to humanity, but that we have forgotten how to listen? When was the last time you were thunderstruck? (Exodus 3:1-12; Job 37:1-5)

Sermon: The Gift of Emptiness

promo-tall“The Gift of Emptiness”

(March 12, 2017) At his moment of greatest emptiness, his own death on the cross, Jesus is completely empty. And there, in that emptiness, God is most powerfully present. (John 3:1-17; Mark 15:21-39)

Sermon: The Gift of Uncertainty

promo-tall“The Gift of Uncertainty” (When Broken Wings Learn to Fly)

(March 5, 2017) On the 25th anniversary of the fire that destroyed the first structure of Lebanon United Methodist Church, we confess that we are uncertain about where God will lead us next. Who are we, now that we are no longer “the church that burned”? (Matthew 4:1-11)