Sermons by John Nuxoll
At one time or another, we all come face to face with a tragic loss. Whether it’s the loss of a job, the discovery of some disease or the suicide of a loved one, shock, confusion, anger and pain confront us in bewildering ways. Is it possible to experience real comfort when a tragedy leaves us feeling trapped and alone?
Respect, acceptance and appreciation are powerful forces. The prospect of a positive public opinion can motivate us to succeed. But it can also crush us when it’s not there. And it can push and pull us in all sorts of wrong directions. Join us as we search through Acts 5:12-42 to discover how we can navigate the push and pull of public opinion.
Conflict is one of the most normal human experiences. But is it possible that we can address conflict in ways that don’t end up breaking relationships as is so common? What did the first Christians have that enabled them to thrive as a community even when their members made hurtful mistakes? Luke sheds some light on that in Acts 6:1-7.
After a long season of disruption, normal sounds like a good thing. But what if our normal isn’t so good? Or what if normal misses the mark of the kind of satisfying life we were made for? The resurrection of Jesus was anything but normal for the first disciples who just happened to be the first skeptics too. It was a convention-defying invitation to be something different. Can it be that for us today too?
In our unstable world where public opinion shifts quickly and it’s easy to lose relationships over little things, we could all use a little security and clarity in where we stand with God. Is there any relationship that can offer us more security, hope and belonging than a positive one with our creator? And yet, with so many religions and even so many flavors of Christianity, establishing a clear basis for a meaningful relationship with God is more confusing than…
When God doesn’t answer prayers in the way we expect, he can still take our disappointments and make them into something new. But what about those times when the unanswered prayer doesn’t appear to have any long-term gain at all? Is it possible that if we had prayed differently God could have turned an unanswered prayer into a better opportunity?
As painful as it can be, grief is a normal part of life. But grief misunderstood can bring about disastrous results. Unchecked loneliness, shame and hopelessness can lead to bitterness, a warped sense of reality or even worse. Is there a godly grief that can offer a sense of companionship and hope even when we’ve suffered a great loss? Luke 7:11-17 offers an interesting perspective on grief and shows us how God might be involved in the middle of it.
Celebrating Christmas doesn’t seem like the right response to 2020. But is there something in the Christmas story that can give us comfort and joy even in a difficult season such as this?
One of the last things most of us need during this season of disruption is another thing to add to our plates. Is there something different we can do that will energize and empower everything else we’re doing already? Luke is going to tell us a story about Jesus that will show us just that.
The past year has been filled with tension and strife. Everything that has happened on a national scale is affecting us all on a personal level as well. Is there something we could do as a church and as individuals that would enable God to help us bring healing to our places of work, our schools and our homes?
In the face of so much division in difficult and unjust times, is there a way we can engage people in meaningful ways that will bring about real change? An important lesson about God from the book of Revelation gives us a path forward.
With the rise in public tension, it’s become harder to rise above the noise. How can we continue to offer the good of God to the world when people seem to be so upset with one another?