Sermon Series – “It’s Up to You 2024”

Nine week summer series addressing questions from the KirkWood family.

Video MessageResources
Week 1:
Tradition Isn’t the Truth
Monday Memo notes

Explore More This Week
1. Here are some scripture reading suggestions for the week: 
– The Gospel of Mark’s version of the story we looked into yesterday, which is a little longer: Mark 7.1-23 NRSVUE
– Matthew 15 isn’t the first time in Matthew’s gospel that Jesus and the religious leaders have squabbled over cherished religious/spiritual traditions…check out one of these prior incidents: Mt 12.1-8 NRSVUE
2. A devotional from The United Church of Christ about tradition: Truth and Tradition
3. No less than four folks mentioned the following song to Pastor Chris after the service yesterday…the perfect song to go with a sermon about “tradition”?: Fiddler on the Roof (1/10) Movie CLIP – Tradition! (1971)
4. An article in Inc. magazine about the trepidation of tradition in the business world, easily pulled over into the church world: The Downside of Traditions
Week 2:
How Can God Help Me if I’m Unwilling to Help Myself
Monday Memo notes

Spiritual Practices This Week
1. Every day this week, ideally sometime in the morning, offer up a simple prayer of dependence. Tell God that you know you can’t do life well without Him. Verbalize your desire for God to lead and empower you in a way that you can’t do for yourself. 
2. If you feel overwhelmed right now, remind yourself often that God is right there with you in your helplessness, and isn’t expecting you to move until you’re ready. 
3. Spend some time reflecting on or journaling about where in your past you learned both resilience and helplessness. There’s a good chance you’ve come to feel capable about some things, and very incapable about others, along the way. 
  4. What can you get 1% better at this week? What can you start to do for just two minutes at a time? What new habit do you want to start forming? These ideas about how habits form are from the book, “Atomic Habits,” by James Clear – you can check out a summary here: Atomic Habits Summary by James Clear
Week 3:
How Would the Existence of Aliens Change Our Theology?
Monday Memo notes

Explore More this Week
– This BBC article is a good summary of how religion might respond to contact with aliens. Note – it’s from 2016, so some of the scientific data is a little out of date: If we made contact with aliens, how would religions react?
– Here’s a recent podcast with Nicholas Spencer, English Christian writer on science and religion, that touches on extraterrestrials, A.I., and a host of similar topics (60 min.)…if you like him, you’ll find several books on Amazon, his most recent two are from 2024: Nick Spencer: What the science of aliens, animals and AI tells us about humanity
– Intrigued by “Fermi’s Paradox”? Wikipedia will tell you the origin story, plus survey the wide range of possible solutions to it: Fermi paradox – Wikipedia
– This is the Netflix series based on the “dark forest hypothesis, a potential answer to Fermi’s paradox…it’s REALLY good: Watch 3 Body Problem
– “Christ in the Universe” is a poem written by English Christian poet Alice Meynell (late 1800s/early 1900s CE)…in it, she envisions all of God’s children from the universe’s many planets gathering in eternity to share how God expressed Himself to them: Poetry Friday: Christ in the Universe by Alice Meynell
– For those who like fiction, here are two sci-fi works that get mentioned most often when digging into astrotheology, both envision contact with alien civilizations and how religion/Christianity might inform that: The Sparrow: A Novel (The Sparrow Series): Russell, Mary Doria and The Space Trilogy (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength) by C.S. Lewis
Week 4:
Will You Preach on My Favorite Verse Please – Luke 23:34?
Monday Memo notes
Week 5:
Do I Have to Believe in Hell to Be a Christian?
Monday Memo notes
Week 6:
Help Me Make Sense of Human Free Will and God’s Sovereignty, Predestination, Omniscience!
Monday Memo notes
Week 7:
I Feel Overwhelmed by All the Evil in the World – Can You Help Me?
Monday Memo notes
Week 8:
Christian Nationalism Scares Me – Why Do So Many Christians Buy into It?
Monday Memo notes
Week 9:
How Should I Read the Bible in My Personal Spiritual Life? Is Reading the Bible from Cover to Cover Straight Through the Best Approach?
Monday Memo notes