Sermon Series “Come to Jesus”

Five week series retracing the footsteps of all kinds of people as they came to Jesus

Video MessageResources
Week 1:
Nic at Night
Monday Memo notes

1) Here are three excellent devotionals from The United Church of Christ on John 3.1-10; you can sprinkle them throughout your week: 
  Holy Invitations
  Midlife Babies
  Asking for Directions
2) Read the rest of the story of Nicodemus in John’s gospel (he appears in 7.50 and 19.39): 
  John 7.10-52 NRSV
  John 19.38-42 NRSV
3) Being “a feather on the breath of God”:
– Every day this week, pray that quote for your own life at least once. (You can pray it for our church too, if you like.)
– Toward the end of the week, take time to reflect upon how you felt the wind of God’s Spirit throughout the week, perhaps in surprising or unanticipated ways. How did you cooperate with it, or how didn’t you? (You can do this reflection in prayer, in a journal, or in conversation with a good friend.) 
– There are two movie clips that came to mind for Pastor Chris when he knew that he was going to share that quote from Hildegaard of Bingen, neither of which he had time to flesh out in the sermon itself: the first is the opening to the Oscar-winning movie, “Forest Gump” (the first link), and the second is from another Oscar-winning movie, “American Beauty,” but instead of a feather, it’s a plastic bag (the second and third link below, the 2nd is from the movie itself, while the 3rd has the character narration stripped out and only shows the plastic bag with the accompanying movie score: 
Forrest Gump Opening Scene (Feather at the Bus Stop) – Forrest Gump (1994)
American Beauty (1999) – Plastic bag scene
‘American Beauty’ – Thomas Newman (from the ‘plastic bag scene’)
Week 2:
An Uninvited Dinner Guest
Monday Memo notes

Two passages later in Luke have a similar emphasis to this one at the end of Luke 7, both are well-known. You could use these texts in your devotional life this week: 
Luke 15.11-32 NRSV
Luke 18.9-14 NRSV
And here’s a daily devotional to use later this week by way of reminder: 
What’s Under Your Rug?
Last, use this simple prayer throughout the week, inspired by the story in Luke 7.36-50 (by Jan Richardson): 
“Lord God, when I feel ashamed and broken, help me come to You without hesitation, and seek Your lavish grace and extravagant love, knowing that You forgive me before I even ask for it. And when I encounter the brokenness and shame of the world, help me show them the same grace and love that I receive from You, amen.”
Week 3:
Doubting John
Monday Memo notes

1) Spend your Bible reading time this week making your way through the story of John the Baptist in the gospels: 
Luke 1 NRSV
  Luke 3.1-22 NRSV
John 1.19-34 NRSV
Matthew 11.2-11 NRSV
Matthew 14.1-12 NRSV
2) Pastor Chris mentioned an interview with Christian author Philip Yancey near the end of the sermon yesterday. Here it is – at several points, it touches on the theme of faith and doubt: Philip Yancey live Q&A on faith, doubt and the future of the US church
3) More written Q/A with Philip Yancey about faith and doubt, a recurring theme in his writing: Faith and Doubt – Philip Yancey
4) An easy, accessible read about faith and doubt is “Know Doubt,” by John Ortberg (first published under the title, “Faith and Doubt”): 
Here are some excerpts for you to explore – Faith & Doubt Quotes by John Ortberg
And here’s the book itself: Know Doubt: Embracing Uncertainty in Your Faith: Ortberg, John
5) Interested in learning more about the late Mother Teresa’s struggle with doubt? Try these as good points of entry:  
Doubt: A meaningful part of Mother Teresa’s story
Mother Teresa’s Crisis of Faith
Addressing Doubt With Mother Teresa
And here is the biography which includes many of her posthumously-published letters and journals: Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light: The Private Writings of the Saint of Calcutta: Mother Teresa, Brian Kolodiejchuk
Week 4:
Faith Like a Child
Monday Memo notes

The book mentioned yesterday during the tag team sermon: 
Dangerous Wonder (with Discussion Guide): Yaconelli, Michael 
And here are an introductory article to it, and some good quotes from it: 
Dangerous Wonder by Mike Yaconelli: a book review
  Dangerous Wonder Quotes by Michael Yaconelli
Here are a few more resources:
 – An article describing how C. S. Lewis described childlike faith: The Importance of Childlike Faith in the Workplace
– A brief devotional on the power of childlike faith: Weekly Devotional: Faith Like a Child 
– And back to C. S. Lewis for a look at childlike faith as seen in beloved Chronicles of Narnia: Faith Like a Child: A Look At Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia – Laura E. Weymouth
Week 5:
One Samaritan Came Back
Monday Memo notes

1) A quote to remember – from Justo Gonzalez, a noted church historian, when writing about this story in Luke 17: 
“This is the great reversal of Jesus: those who are most marginalized and excluded are also able to be the most grateful to Him. Those whose experience of rejection has been the most painful may well come to the gospel with an unparalleled sense of joy.”
2) Here’s a great overview of all the “outcast” groups that were drawn to Jesus, and that He loved, followed by an article that focuses on the mentally-ill as a marginalized group that He would prioritize:  
5 Groups of Outcasts That Jesus Loved
Jesus and the Social Outcasts
3) Want to dig into the spiritual practice of purposeful gratitude a little more? Try these articles…first from Henri Nouwen, second from Richard Foster: 
How Gratitude Breaks the Chains of Resentment – Henri J. M. Nouwen
Simple Words of Gratitude – Richard J. Foster