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Light of the World – Advent 2017

For Advent we are exploring the significance of this season from the writings of the Apostle John. Rather than focus on the nativity stories of Matthew and Luke, we’ll take our cue more from the writings of the Apostle John. This will include looking at the first chapter of the gospel of John and the significance of the incarnation for our understanding of Christmas (John 1:1-18), as well as exploring John's apocalyptic vision in chapter 12 of the book of Revelation and its spiritual significance for understanding the coming of the Messiah.



Ears to Hear: Learning and Living the Sermon on the Mount

This series looks at Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) with an aim to learn how we can live out the vision of life found in Jesus' teachings



General Sermons

These are sermons preached at Greenfield that were not part of any particular series.



The Kings of Chronicles (Summer 2017)

Most are familiar with the Bible’s A-List: Abraham, Moses, King David, Solomon, to name a few. Much less is know, however, about minor characters such as Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Mannaseh, let alone Queen Athaliah! This series will look at the reigns of some of these "secondary" kings from the unique perspective of the book of Chronicles. But rather than character studies, we will look at what we can learn about God from these stories. Please join us as we explore the Kings of Chronicles, and particularly what lessons about God we can glean from the lesser known kings of the Bible.



Learning the Unforced Rhythms of Grace

Everyone is busy, too busy. Some of this is the product of our fast-paced culture and some of this is self-inflicted. As we approach summer, we’re going to step back and take a look at our lives, our commitments, our pace of life, our relationship to the time and the seasons and rhythms of our lives… and how all of that relates to what it means to follow Christ. The inspiration for this sermon series comes from Eugene Peterson's translation of Matthew 11:28-30: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matt 11: 28-30, The Message).  I invite you to join us as we learn "the unforced rhythms of grace" and follow Jesus together.

 



Romans, Part 2: Living in the Light of God's Faithfulness

Living in the Light of God's Faithfulness.

In chapters chapters 9-16 of Paul’s Letter to the Romans (particularly from chapter 12 onward), Paul gets practical and explores how we should live in the light of God's faithfulness.



The Easter Revolution

I fear that many church goers, following the lead of our culture, have bought into the commercialization of Christmas and the domestication Easter. And while most in the church recognize the dangers of a commercialized Christmas, I’m not so sure we have countered our culture’s domestication of Easter as well. It is telling that for many of us, Christmas is by far the bigger holiday, rather than Easter. This is opposite historic Christianity where Easter was always at the very heart of the Christian faith.

Not only have we domesticated Easter, sometimes I think we have misunderstood what is at the very heart of the Christian faith. This is the view of leading New Testament scholar, Tom Wright. He has argued persuasively in his latest book, The Day the Revolution Began, that most of modern Christianity has misunderstood the significance of Easter and the nature of salvation. He contends:

We have Platonized our eschatology (substituting “souls going to heaven” for the promised new creation) and have therefore moralized our anthropology (substituting a qualifying examination of moral performance for the biblical notion of the human vocation), with the result that we have paganized our soteriology, our understanding of “salvation” (substituting the idea of “God killing Jesus to satisfy his wrath” for the genuinely biblical notions we are about to explore). (147)

Those are some big claims and some big words. We will unpack some of these claims during our Easter Sermon series, The Easter Revolution. This series will begin on Palm Sunday and will continue through the Easter weekend and conclude the first Sunday of May.



A Fellowship of Differents

Mrs. Gump compared life to a box of chocolates. Scot McKnight, in his book A Fellowship of Differents (Zondervan, 2014; buy from amazon.ca) compares the church to a salad. Not a salad made up of iceberg lettuce and doused with dressing, but a colourful mixed salad filled with different tastes, all mixed together with the olive oil accentuating the taste of each.

In this summer sermon series, "Fellowship of Differents," loosely based on McKnight's book of the same name, we will explore what it means to be church and how the Christian life is meant to be lived out in community.  McKnight argues that "the church is God’s world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together are designed by God to be. The church is God’s show and tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a family" (p. 20).



A Journey through the Psalms (Lent & Easter 2014)

From the earliest times the Christian community sang, read, and prayed the Psalms when they gathered together in worship. Paul enjoined the Christ followers at Ephesus to “sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” among themselves (Eph 5:19). One of the earliest mentions of psalm singing in the worship of the Church is by Tertullian, Bishop of Hippo in North Africa (end of second century AD). He notes that “the Scriptures are read and the Psalms are sung, sermons are delivered and petitions are offered” (On the Soul 9.4).

For the Lenten season leading up to Easter, Greenfield will focus on prayer and worship as we “Journey through the Psalms” together. This sermon series will take us on a journey from praise through lament to thanksgiving. While the Psalter ends on a note of resounding praise, the first two-thirds are dominated by lament and complaint. These psalms express — perhaps better than we ever could — a profound feeling of doubt and disorientation. The laments express a real and honest relationship with God. But lament is but one stage in our journey with God, a journey that should end on a note of resounding praise when we, with the psalmist, can affirm “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Ps 150:6).



A New Hope: Return & Restoration

With this sermon & teaching series we resume our journey through The Story. Starting with a recap of where we left off last year, this series begins with Israel returning from exile in Babylon with the edict of Cyrus, king of Persia.



A.D. The Story continues

"A.D." is Latin for "Anno Domini", which translates to "In the year of the Lord." The early Christian movement dramatically expanded after that first Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead. The Story of the expansion of the early Christian movement — initially called "The Way" — is found primarily in the Book of Acts. This second volume to Luke's Gospel narrates the growth of Christianity from its beginnings in Jerusalem to its move through Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the then known earth. The various letters of the New Testament also provide glimpses of the issues and challenges the early church faced as they expanded, while the book of Revelation is alone in giving a glimpse into the future when Jesus returns and God renews creation.

This sermon series will complete our journey through The Story by looking at the expansion of the early church and then shifting to look at the vision of the culmination of The Story from the book of Revelation.



Beginnings: Finding Your Place in The Story (Early Fall 2014)

This sermon series begins our exploration of The Story at Greenfield.  This is a teaching series that goes through the entire message of the Bible chronologically, from beginning to end. The entire church body — adults through the sermons, kids in Sunday School, and youth on Tuesday nights — will be entering The Story. This will be a unique opportunity for all of us to find out how our story is found in God’s story!



Everyday Practices

This five week series will be looking at "Everyday Practices" for following Christ. This won't just be a discussion about the “Spiritual Disciplines” divorced from the reality of everyday life. Instead, we will look at an incarnational style of life of how to dwell with God in and for the world — a “missional” spirituality — for our everyday lives.

This “missional” spirituality will be profoundly “this worldly” as we seek to live into The Story of God and learn to love God and love neighbours, and love God through loving our neighbours. True “Christian spirituality”, Barry Jones argues, is “not about the pursuit of an esoteric spiritual experience or some celestial encounter with transcendence. It’s about life—all of life—lived with and for God in and for the world” (Jones, Dwell: Life with God for the World, p. 31).This series will explore how we “live with and for God in and for the World."



Follow Me: Exploring Advent in the Gospel of Luke

For our Advent sermon series we will be exploring the birth of Jesus the Messiah through the lens of the Gospel of Luke.



Finding God in Unexpected Places (Advent 2013)

While there perhaps is something calming and sentimental about a nativity scene where you find Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, the shepherds and three wise men, cows and sheep all pleasantly together in a clean manger, that image is more of  an odd mixture of Matthew and Luke with a couple thousand years of tradition mixed together with a dose of Hallmark melodrama.

This Advent we’re going to focus on the Gospel of Matthew. We’re going to attempt to get a sense of what he was doing in his account of the birth of Jesus Messiah. And his account upends our expectations in many ways.  Jesus’ genealogy is unexpectedly sketchy (filled with prostitutes and foreigners and downright nasty people!), his own birth is unexpectedly scandalous (an unwed mother miraculously pregnant!), and that pagan astrologers were the first to recognize Jesus as the "king of the Jews" is certainly unexpected (as is the resultant mass murder of infants by a paranoid king). “Christmas” for Matthew is not your typical Hallmark Christmas card! It is no tidy story told to children gathered in front of a sparkling Christmas tree.   No, it is the unexpected story of what happens when God – Immanuel – comes to be with us.  So this Advent we are going to read Matthew’s account again for the first time. And as we do, I hope we will find God in expected places.



Follow Me: Exploring Easter in the Gospel of Luke

As we approach Easter, we are returning to the Gospel of Luke. Picking up the story as Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem (chapter 18), we will follow Luke's account of Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection through the Easter season. As we conclude Luke's gospel, we will again come back to the question, "What does it mean to 'follow Jesus' in this day and age?"



Follow Me: Exploring Jesus through the Gospel of Luke

This is the first of a trilogy of preaching series exploring the words and works of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke.  This three-month fall series, called "Follow Me: Exploring Jesus through The Gospel of Luke,"  will look at the teaching and ministry of Jesus, including his public ministry in the Galilee region (4:14-9:50) as well as his journey to Jerusalem (chaps. 9:51-18:30). As we go through this section of Luke's gospel, we will continually come back to the question, "What does it mean to 'follow Jesus' in this day and age?"



God Moved into the Neighbourhood (Spring 2015)

"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood" (John 1:14, The Message).

As we head into the summer months, we will be starting a sermon series that will ask the question, "What would it look like if we take Jesus' command to 'love our neighbour' seriously?" This series will look at what being a good neighbour means from a biblical point of view and will explore how together as a church body we can establish a faithful presence in our neighbourhoods.



His Story: Jesus as the Culmination of The Story

Many of the Jews returned home after the exile; many remained in the diaspora. During the almost four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments God was silent, although he was not inactive. God worked behind the scenes and then, as the Apostle Paul says, "when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman…” (Gal 4:4).  In this sermon series we enter the Gospels and will look at the birth, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. We will explore how Jesus is the long anticipated Messiah and fulfilment of the promises God made to Abraham and King David. The Gospels present "His Story" — Jesus' story — as the culmination of The Story.



Hope from Ashes (Advent 2014)

In the Christian calendar, the season of Advent marks off the four weeks before Christmas. It is a time of anticipation, a time of longing, a time of hope. Advent is rooted in ancient Israel’s deep longing for God to act, yearning for God’s kingdom to come. And this longing is set against the backdrop of the most bleak and disturbing periods in the history of Israel: the breakup of the monarchy, the destruction of the northern Kingdom, the exile of the southern kingdom and the destruction of the holy city Jerusalem as well as the Temple.

In the darkness, they longed for justice
In the darkness, they longed for God to act
In the darkness, they hoped that God would be faithful to his promises

And so, this Advent season we are continuing our series in The Story and are going to enter into this bleak time in Israel’s story. But instead of just going through ancient Israel's history and its failure, we are going to take the vantage point of the Hebrew prophets — individuals who were sent by God to turn his people back to covenant faithfulness and to show them that after judgment hope remains, as the failure of the monarchy laid the foundation for the hope that God will be faithful to his promises and will send his Messiah. There is Hope from Ashes.



Greenfield Community Church
3712 - 114 Street NW
Edmonton, AB  T6J 1M1

Phone: 780-435-1060
Fax: 780-432-6635
Email: office@greenfieldchurch.ca

A North American Baptist Church