Gary Willis

January & February 2021

Dissonant Truth

February 28, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 8:31-38

Peter admitted his difficulty accepting the future Jesus predicted. It did not make sense that God’s Messiah would meet such a tragic fate. If Jesus tells us anything it is that God’s truth and values are always in contrast to the world’s. In a world where truth is elusive, Jesus reminds us that he IS the truth, the one and only.

Shaped by the Tape

February 21, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

The Apostle Paul’s metaphor of running a race is certainly applicable to disciples of Jesus. The problem is that we seem to find ourselves racing often in life, but not for the purpose Paul proposes. If our life’s race is not defined by the goal of God’s kingdom, for what are we running?

Beautiful & Good

February 14, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 9:2-9

The Transfiguration is a scriptural narrative we cover each Christian year, and yet it never quite crosses the lines of relevancy for us as some scripture does. Aside from all the mysteries represented in the story, could there be shear power in the fleeting, transcendent glimpse of divine beauty? How desperately do we need an intrusion of goodness and beauty in our world? Perhaps the Transfiguration is more relevant than we think.

Ebb & Flow

February 7, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 1:29-39

After the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law, Jesus is mobbed by a sea of people in need. Early the next morning Jesus makes an intentional escape to pray. Avoiding the crowds, he sets his sights on resuming his purpose of proclamation. Jesus’ example reveals the ebb and flow that our lives require as well. Time apart with God is not a luxury or frequent happenstance. It is the essential food for the journey to which we are called.

Welcome Extinction

January 31, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 1:21-28

In one of several occasions, with authority Jesus eradicates an unclean spirit from a tortured man. Jesus actively participates in the extinction of the demonic. Today we’ll play around with the notion of extinction. Sometimes extinction is a part of evolution; sometimes it is a result of our irresponsible stewardship. However, there are some extinctions we should welcome and aggressively pursue, if we would experience the fullness of life in Christ

Fishing School

January 24, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 1:14-20

Often the scariest word in the church is “evangelism,” and yet Jesus makes it clear from day one that we are in the business of inviting disciples into God’s kingdom. While few people consider themselves equipped to share the faith, perhaps we underestimate the value of what we can offer when placed in God’s hands.

Come, Look & See

January 17, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

John 1:43-51

It is Philip who convinces Nathanael to “come and see” Jesus. One disciple lead the other to a path of discipleship, because Philip had seen for himself and believed. The church has often seen this as a one way street, expecting those outside the church to simply come inside and be converted. But to go and see Jesus sometimes requires us to look outside our walls, into the places where Jesus dwells with those who need him most.

The Outgrowth of Baptism

January 10, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 1:4-11

Baptism is not just a ritual we practice, as Jesus did at the Jordan River. Baptism offers us an alternative script for life, one that replaces the failed narratives that we have accepted. Identity and purpose are at stake as we grow into the claim that God makes on our lives.

3:16 for a New Year

January 3, 2021

Rev. Dave Fortuna

John 3:16


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