The final chapter of John ends with the the disciples encountering Jesus on the empty waters of the Sea of Tiberius, and the Wells for this year end with the baptism of Akin Bailey and Lily Lammert. The waters of baptism both give and end life. They are the drowning of the old life, which was a waking death of mad futility, and the beginning of a new eternal one, which Christ draws from the empty waters. From a fearsome nothing, comes a spring of life.
This week Ryan preached on John 18:1-36, which is Jesus’s arrest and the beginning of his trial. This is where Jesus disarms Peter, and in so doing disarms all Christians. Peter loses his ability to choose and control his own destiny, and must give up his will to God. We all have the choice of the cup or the sword, to do our will or God’s will.
In this sermon Ryan preaches on the raising of Lazarus back to life. This is a powerful message on the horror and evil of death, and how God responds to death. We, like Mary and Martha, wonder why Jesus waits and does not come to abolish death now. But God does something ultimately more loving, and chooses to experience and grieve death with us.
Kaiti spoke again this week, and preached over John 8:31-59. These verses recount a dialogue between Jesus and his followers that shows the hard questions which Jesus asks His disciples. There is no mid-range disciple. The claims Jesus makes require radical faith and living a life of real devotion and sacrifice, and this radical faithfulness is a matter of life and death.
This week, Kaiti taught on John 8:1-11 and the woman caught in adultery. Listen as she relates some of her own story and gives a unique perspective to this well-known story, and learn how Jesus shows us we are to treat women caught in sexual scandal or abuse. Our culture and our Church does not know how to treat these women, and has been guilty of a gross double standard, but Jesus shows us in this passage what to do with the woman caught in adultery.
Ryan is transitioning to a faster journey through the rest of the book of John by hitting certain major passages. This past week, he taught from chapter 7, and preached on what it means in the book of John to do the will of God. This is a question of admission of need, and realizing that everyone is thirty for the living water which Christ provides. These truths cut through our attempts to leave our neediness behind, and brings to light the pretenses and lies we tell ourselves to distance ourselves from our own brokenness.
Ryan Ford returns to the book of John this week by teaching from John 4:1-26. The story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman is a classic Sunday school narrative, but it is not a story about an individual sinner coming to faith. It is primarily one about the kinds of maps we draw to divide us. These demarcations are not necessarily physical, and are tied up in our sense of selves, the ways we defend ourselves, and the ways we ignore others.
Ryan finishes the third chapter of John by analyzing and discussing the closing speech often credited to John the Baptist. These few sentences contain concepts such as belief, majesty of God, parallels with Nicodemus, the trinity, and the wrath of God. In addition, Ryan preaches on the gift of eternal life and the gift of faith which pierces the darkness of our ignorance.
This Tuesday Ryan explored how John can have such joy when he is looking at the end of his decline and eventual death. This is a joy which scares us, because of what we may be need to let go, and understanding this joy necessitates an understanding of the ancient Christian teachings of attachment vs detachment. Are we willing to take the risk to have the kind of fullness of joy which Jesus gives?
This week Kaiti preaches about the Light that has dawned in our world. The sermon is about God’s ability to illumine our lives and reveal things we have never seen before, the pale imitations and false lights which deceive us, and how we are often still lovers of darkness and fearful of knowing our own selves.
This first Well of the Winter Quarter is on the story of Nicodemus visiting Jesus. Ryan focuses on the dynamic of the conversation between them, and how we, like Nicodemus, try to “get a handle” on Jesus instead of letting the Holy Spirit transform us though grace upon grace.
Kaiti Lammert is back from maternity leave, and has preached the next installment of our John sermon series! Kaiti shows how Jesus’ cleansing of the temple demonstrates His all consuming zeal for His Church, His radical, life-altering authority, and how we are to be open to responding to that authority.
This week Ryan speaks about wine, marriage, sex, and Jesus’s love for humanity. This passage is from the well known story in John 2 where Jesus turns water into wine, but the significance of this miracle is often missed. The wedding in Cana is the beginning of Jesus’s ministry and the coming of his hour. In addition to including amusedly awkward discussions of sex, this sermon highlights how marriage points us towards the selfless and pure marriage between Christ and the Church.
This week Alana is preaching, and she continues the “Grace and Truth” series by looking at John 1: 35-51, and the testimonies that are told in that passage! Listen and consider the kinds of things we give our trust to, our worship of objectivity, and the way we see others and let ourselves be seen.
Ryan is back this week and is continuing “Grace and Truth” with John 1:19-34 and John the Baptist. In this passage we see a man who points others away from himself and towards the Lamb of God who is the sacrifice for the world. The talk focuses on our ability to be relieved of urgently narrating ourselves to others, and what John’s confidence rests in.
This week one of our interns, Emma Rankin, preached the latest installment of the “Grace and Truth” series. She spoke on the mystery of the trinity and the types of distortions we tend to apply to it. In this message, you’ll get a taste of the the ancient and pivotal teachings of Cyril of Alexandria, and even a cameo of some superheroes from The Flash tv show.
Listen as we discuss questions such as: Does Jesus have toenails? Did Jesus’ body change when he went to heaven? Why did Mary have to be a virgin? Why does it matter? These inquiries begin an analysis of the wonder of the incarnation, our understanding of salvation, and what it means to be a child of God.
This week Ryan spoke about the paradox of hope and frailty that Christians are called to have when they bear witness to the Gospel. This podcast episode covers topics such as the obsession our culture has for mass appeal, our betrayals of Jesus’ vulnerability, and the seductive temptation to try to free the Gospel from the possibility of rejection.
THE DRAMA OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS: John 1:4-5 Salvation, Damnation, and why The Lord of the Rings is Better than Star Wars /
This past Tuesday, Ryan continued his series, “Grace and Truth,” by teaching on the nature of light and shadow in the human soul. Expect an analysis of the phenomenon of unmaking which we call evil, how we as Christians carry light or retreat into darkness, and some Gollum vs Darth Vader.
This is the first installment of Ryan’s series on John, titled “Grace and Truth.” He addresses the ubiquitous, mythical fear of losing our faith and spotlights the often unchallenged rival metanarrative of the natural sciences. He also delved into topics such as the very nature of being, our formation as Christians and the narratives we exist in, and how Eucharist teaches us to live in the story we read in scripture.