Did you miss one of our worship services streamed live on YouTube? Perhaps you'd like to watch a message again, or share it with a friend. Below you can find links to our previous sermons or head directly to our YouTube channel by clicking here.
September 11 - October 9, 2022
As we find ourselves (seemingly again) emerging into a post-COVID world, we have a lot to look back on and see a story of isolation, confusion and anxiety. Even though things are “back to normal”, the world is a vastly different place than it was pre-pandemic. Mental health issues are rampant, we feel more divided as a people, ongoing economic uncertainly is creating a level of anxiety in families that is taking its toll. The Church has undergone repeated controversy, and so in many ways it feels like these past two plus years and our present situation are a wilderness. The wilderness can be unsettling, but the wilderness is a place God calls His people to in order to be formed. Over this sermon series, we will unpack four stories of God’s people in the wilderness and be reminded that here is the place He meets with us, to call us, to form us, to provide for, and to bring victory over the darkness.
The wilderness is a consistent theme throughout the Scriptures (the Creation story begins with chaos and emptiness) but in the places where God appears to be absent, He is at work, bringing about His good purpose. Moses is one of the greatest Old Testament figures, leading the children of Israel through wilderness to the Promised Land - but before he leads Israel, Moses endures his own wilderness experience. It is here, on the run from his past, that he has ears to hear what God has to say and is called into the purpose He has for him. Likewise, in the wilderness we find ourselves in, God wants to speak to us, calling us into His plan, if we would have ears to listen.
The wilderness experiences we face sometimes come upon us unexpectedly. This can leave us feeling frustrated and grumbling about what was in the midst of what is. Israel had just been rescued decisively by God through the Passover and Exodus but now find themselves in the wilderness. Their response is to grumble against the LORD, longing even for what had come before in Egypt. God shows up in the midst of this, revealing His faithfulness to us even in our grumbling. God is the God who provides for His people and continues to lead and be with us even in the wilderness.
Long before Jacob finds himself alone in the wilderness, his life felt that way. He had a history of deception and poor decisions, burning bridges and alienating himself from his family. Here, on the eve of meeting his brother whom he’d run from (and who had vowed to kill him), Jacob finds himself completely alone. Here, God meets with him, and Jacob finds Himself wrestling with God in the wilderness. This encounter is formative in Jacob’s life - he exhibits perseverance, and while he is left with a life-long limp, God changes his name and blesses him. God wants to meet us in our wilderness and form us into new people, and so we are invited to wrestle our way through it, showing perseverance until God’s plan and blessing are revealed.
- Oct. 2
- Oct. 9