One of the Hebrew prophets we discover in the pages of the Bible is a man called Jeremiah. Jeremiah is a prophet, but he’s also an artist, a performance artist. The pages of his book are filled with symbol, metaphor, and signs. Artistic ideas and powerful images that interrupt us and draw us towards the God who has always been with us.
The parables of Jesus are stories that tell other stories – their depth is found in wrestling with them and exploring them. But when we do so, we discover that these are not simple stories but provocative tales that attempt disrupt us, disturb us, to distort how we see things – they are discourses that are designed to knock us off-track and into a kingdom life.
Baptism is a profound step in the journey of every Jesus follower. It is a public symbol of what Christ has done for us, and of our commitment to pursue Jesus wholeheartedly. In our teaching today, we engage with the significance of baptism, and what it represents of the much larger story of God’s redemption.
As we launch into a brand new year, we want to talk about some big changes coming up at Westside. We believe that our call is to do everything we can to make straight paths for people to to be surprised by the grace of Jesus right here at Westside. Take a listen to hear about how we're making big changes to continue to grow as a community grace, generosity, and radical welcome.
It has been said that the cleverest trick our minds play on us is not giving us blind spots, but convincing us that we don’t have any. Our world of difficult discourse and toxic debate shows that us humans are often really bad at seeing things from someone else’s point of view. And we’re terrible at imagining that we might be wrong. As Noam Chomsky points out, the modern approach to disagreement is often to shriek, rant, and slander.
The Holy Spirit is always there in the Bible. Always. But often just ‘off stage’, creatively working in, through, and with the characters in view. The way of Jesus will always require more creativity than we have alone, so this series, coinciding as it does with Pentecost Sunday, is an invitation for us to turn to the Bible and know the Holy Spirit a little bit better.