The Bloody Way (Luke 10:25-37)

The Bloody Way (Luke 10:25-37)

If I’m supposed to love my neighbor, like you say, if that’s how to build a better neighborhood, then…who exactly is that? Who exactly is this “neighbor”? It’s a great question. Because if I’m supposed to love this nameless faceless “neighbor” with the same passion and urgency and radical care that I love myself? I want to know who that “neighbor” is. Where do I focus this radical love?

Read More

Perichoresis (Psalm 149:1-4)

Perichoresis (Psalm 149:1-4)

When I hear you describe God, occasionally I wonder if you understand what our Savior is really like. Some of you see God as rigid, irritable, or aloof. Some of you don’t describe God that way directly, but the way you relate to God suggests that underlying assumption. Saint Athanasius described what God is like with a simple metaphor that’s ironically prohibited in some churches today: a dance.

Read More

Marriage Is For Me (Genesis 2:15-25)

Marriage Is For Me (Genesis 2:15-25)

Because when desires become expectations, there isn’t room for joyful gift giving and receiving. There’s only room for dissatisfaction and disappointment in their absence. And over time, disappointments become resentments, and resentments become bitterness. And bitterness kills. Because marriage has stopped being about what we’re dreaming and hoping for, and instead has become about me and my expectations that you aren’t living up to.

Read More

Kidsrock will Teach Children about Jesus (Matthew 19:13-15)

Kidsrock will Teach Children about Jesus (Matthew 19:13-15)

This week's lie is a sneaky lie - as lies go. It implies that the only place children can or will learn about God is in Sunday School - which we call Kidsrock here at Highrock.  

Instead, we believe teaching children about Jesus is the responsibility of every adult in church. We don’t get a mulligan on this - the faith of the children within our community is impacted by each and every one of us, for better or for worse.

Read More

You Get What You Deserve (Luke 7:1-10)

You Get What You Deserve (Luke 7:1-10)

In our attempt to do good things and to be good people, Salem has bought into a different kind of religion: humanism. Humanism: the idea that if I do good things, I will be a good person, so - in the end - good will come back to me too. Humanism is karma with skin on; karma with flesh and bones: it’s the idea that as long as I keep doing good things, I will be considered good enough, so whatever happens in the future, surely goodness will come to me.

Read More

Family First (John 19:23-27)

Family First (John 19:23-27)

For most of us in this room, I imagine, there is an unhealthy form of family first. From positions of privilege, with relatively unlimited resources at our disposal, we can make family the center of our universe. We can turn family, which God created to be a good thing, into the very reason for our existence. The dangers is when we make family first our religion - when we treat family AS our mission.

Read More

The Salt Bag System (Judges 6:11-16)

The Salt Bag System (Judges 6:11-16)

The people who did answer mostly said that the commandment they knew was: “God helps those who help themselves.” That phrase is no where in the Bible, but most Americans think it is. It’s this idea that my good destiny, my good fortune, my good reality is really up to me. Sure, God will help me too - but ultimately, I have to get the ball rolling first. And if that’s true, the opposite is also true - anything bad that happens to me is really my fault.

Read More

I Cannot Understand the Bible (Psalm 1)

I Cannot Understand the Bible (Psalm 1)

It seems that the Bible supported some pretty horrible practices throughout history. So all of us in this room must either be horrible people that support cruel and inhumane practices, or we don’t actually think the Bible supports those practices. But you can’t really know what it says until you read it and understand what you are reading.

Read More