March & April 2021

Laying Down with the Shepherds

April 25, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

John 10:11-18

The image of shepherd is common throughout the scriptures, but it was not necessarily considered an honorable profession. Jesus redeems the image referring to himself as the “Good Shepherd,” who “lays down his life” for his sheep. Having given us this example, his expectation for us is clear, and it involves more than remaining sheep.

So, What's Next?

April 18, 2021

Rev. Dr. William Peeples

Acts 3:12-19

William is a pastor who retired after years of serving prominent churches in the Annual Conference. He has been appointed as an Interim Pastor several times following his retirement. He and his wife, Fane, live in Shreveport.

Living Proof

April 11, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

John 20:19-31

The story of the Apostle Thomas’ encounter with the risen Jesus focuses on Thomas’ doubt, but there are many of us who desire or demand evidence before believing. This story is for those people, and knowing Jesus meets the need of Thomas gives so many hope that we will not be judged either. There are still so many in our world who need proof, and the Church must provide it.

Great Ending

April 4, 2021

EASTER SUNDAY

Rev. Gary Willis

Mark 16:1-8

Easter is the pinnacle of our faith and seems like the best ending of any story ever told. However, Easter doesn’t even end the Christian year, that begins with Advent, by a long shot. The story goes on, as the world lives into the implications of a risen Christ. Truthfully, perhaps the best endings are those that never really end but continue to shape the future.

Unpopular Appeal

March 28, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

John 12:12-19

The Palm Sunday entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem is met, as we know, by a large and enthusiastic crowd. While we learn more later about this crowd’s character, do we not already know how crowds distort truth? Jesus didn’t cater to the crowd’s desire, and for that he became quite unpopular.

Defining Moments

March 21, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

John 12:20-33

This relatively inconspicuous passage is often quoted at funerals, and it does occur while Jesus is contemplating his own death. However, it is much more about the attitude with which he lived. Unlike the portrayal of a man wrestling with his destiny in the Garden of Gethsemane, this moment is defined by a resolute embrace of purpose. Jesus can empower us to face our defining moments in the same way.

A Dark Preference

March 14, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

John 3:14-21

The lesser-known verses following John 3:16 carry a painful indictment of the world – that we love the darkness more than the light. For those who are supposed to be “the light of the world,” this word reveals a deep human struggle. As much as we’d like to, we cannot conceal what we believe to be hidden in the dark. Our place is in the light, upon which all darkness is an encroachment. We must choose to increase the light.

It Seems So Simple

March 7, 2021

Rev. Gary Willis

1 Corinthians 1:18-25, 2:1-5

In our competitive world, the stronger ones tend to triumph. It’s a simple concept, until we are asked to equate the ultimate triumph with suffering on a cross. The cross is our emblem of identification as Christians, but we don’t ordinarily live as though suffering love is a power greater than all others. However, by his choice and example, Jesus argues that this perceived weakness is our greatest strength.

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