Habakkuk was a Hebrew prophet who spoke with God and spoke to the people. He was a prophet and intercessor in a time of evil and injustice. Ronald Lieu invites us to consider what trusting God looks like in a messy world full of injustice and unrighteousness.
As Jesus goes to the cross, he leads the way. Unlike most captives, he seems to be carrying the most authority and composure while those around him stumble and crumble. As author Joshua Ryan Butler says, “the cross isn’t happening to Jesus, Jesus is happening to the cross.” Pastor Lachlan invites us to let our entire beings be led by this leader, the GOAT, who loves us so much that he paved his own way to death, so we might be rescued. He’s the boss of the cross.
John concludes the discipleship discourse with a whole chapter of Jesus praying. Jesus prays to be glorified, for his disciples and for us, the future church and followers of Christ. His prayer is for his people to be united with one another, the Father and himself. Pastor Lachlan invites us to consider what our union with Christ means for our communion with God and community with each other, as we live in the reality of what the Lord prayed.
The third pillar of our vision as a church is mission. We want to be a community of disciples following the way of Jesus… for the sake of the world. God calls, sends, empowers and equips his people to be ambassadors of His Kingdom. To be on mission is to be the people of God, sold out for Jesus and His Way, living a different life as salt and light in the world. We share His love and show His kindness and compassion proclaiming good news in both word and deed.
Jesus has two interesting promises for those who follow him. That there will be trouble in this world and that he has overcome the world. The promises seem to be in tension but Jesus stands in between and says “take heart”. He give love, hope, victory and peace. In this sermon Pastor Lachlan invites us into the Christ empowered posture of hopeful realism, engaging in our ‘Easter Saturday’ world between death and resurrection, with Jesus promises and presence anchoring our lives and perspective of everything.
Jesus has some promises for his followers which are hard to hear. If the world hates you he says, it’s because the world hated me first. In fact if you’re persecuted this might not be such bad news, even though it will be painful, because it demonstrates that you are Jesus people. It’s not you, it’s me, Jesus says. And though living in and loving our post-Christian city as a follower of Jesus will be difficult at times, Jesus says that He will send help and give us everything we need, namely the Holy Spirit. Listen in as Pastor Lachlan shares Jesus’ advice for how to live as dual citizens, children of the Kingdom of God and inhabitants and contributors to the world.
We all like the idea of love, but putting it into practice is the hard part. Jesus commands us to love each other. He says to love each other like He loves us and his kind of love is a love where you lay down your life for your friends. It's the kind of love which can only flow out of the resources of Jesus himself, the fruit of abiding in the vine. And just like a cherry tomato plant bears cherry tomatoes, it’s a Jesus person who bears Jesus love. Pastor Lachlan talks about practicing the difficult art of loving people well.
Central to discipleship to Jesus is his invitation to abide in him, the true the vine. To abide means to make our home there, to dwell in Jesus and live with him. The second metaphor of the vine means he’s also our root system and we are fruit bearing branches bringing life to the world through our nourishment in Him. Pastor Lachlan explains what this looks like in his life and how we can live into this reality.
We are seeking to be a community of disciples following the way of Jesus for the sake of the world. In this sermon Pastor Lachy looks at Jesus call to "follow me" and what that means for how we live and do church. A disciple is an apprentice of Jesus who follows him by being with Jesus, learning from Jesus and becoming like Jesus. The invitation is therefor to commit to the way of Jesus, be changed by the way of Jesus and begin to walk with Jesus in his way.
Jesus promises the disciples that His Father will send them another friend like him, who will be with them and in them forever. The Holy Spirit can be a confusing subject for many Christians. He is a friend whom we know but could learn a fair bit more about. Jesus introduces his disciples to the promised Holy Spirit, another like him who will come to be their advocate, helper, ally, counsellor, encourager, strengthener and true friend.
Jesus is the way to God and the way to be. He is the source of life and the very embodiment of truth. This is a central and essential teaching of Jesus for both followers of Jesus and those who don’t call him Lord. As Jesus prepares the disciples for his departure he teaches that there is hope, there is one way to God and there is work to be done.
The posture of a beloved disciple is one who leans back and reclines on Jesus. On one of the darkest nights in history, Jesus' friends respond in different ways. Peter, Judas and John respectively demonstrate postures of self-reliance, God-defiance and God-dependence. The beloved the disciple is one who rests on Jesus, leans back on his chest and has a posture of reclining faith.
The first part of our vision is that we would be a community of disciples. Community has always been the way God works. The trinity, the story of creation, Israel, the disciples and the Church demonstrate that community is at the heart of God. In a society plagued by loneliness and isolation, God is calling his family to be a like a family, for the sake of one another and the people around us.