Our Pentecost Worship Series investigates the birth of the ancient church, and draws parallels to the same issues facing our church. The worship series titled, “The Unexpected Gifts of the Spirit” is grounded in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome and his second letter to the Corinthians. It is also informed by a fantastic book study called Gifts of the Dark Wood by Eric Elnes. The series explores those places in our lives framed by uncertainty, emptiness, getting lost, sudden insight, temptation, disappearing (withdrawal), and being misfit (not fitting in). It’s about finding your place in the world at the very point where you feel furthest from it. Something that the early church most definitely struggled with. You won’t want to miss our kick off service, Pentecost Sunday, when we will be celebrating the birth of the Church!
Sermon Theme: The Gift of Uncertainty
Scripture: Romans 8:22-27
"We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
Overview: To most people, uncertainty seems more like a curse than a gift. When we cannot see the endpoint of a crisis or conflict, or the path forward is not clearly marked, we grow anxious and impatient. When the assurance that everything will be okay is hidden from us, we tend to dig our heels in...and worry. But the fact of the matter is that life is messy and no amount of doctrine or dogma can change that. Faith that is only built upon certainty falls apart when our foundation shifts...even slightly. However a mature faith is one that embraces life as a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved--that accepts uncertainty as a gift, not a curse. As Paul wrote to the Roman Church, "Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? If we hope for what we do not see, we will wait for it with patience."