The Prodigal in Each of Us

The Prodigal in Each of Us

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am on “The Barge”.  We will be focusing our time on the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15.11-32.  As we look at the life of the youngest son we begin to notice that there are tendencies in all of us to be like the prodigal.  But, God meets us in our anguish and meets us when we are at the end of ourselves.  All are invited to journey with us through this look at the prodigal...
Old Story / New Story

Old Story / New Story

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am on “The Barge”.  We will be beginning a journey looking at how we all have an old story and now Christ offers us a new story.  This Sunday we will be looking at Luke 15.11-32 and how the prodigal took the inheritance and squandered all of it on shallow relationships.  We will be setting the tone for the coming months of how the prodigal son found himself in need after wasting all of what his father had provided him.  This is the story of what we see in Wilmington.  Countless people have come here and squandered all that they have been given, and we need to acknowledge this reality.  This reality check will then let us look at the new story that Jesus offers to us as he commissions us for the good work of sharing the gospel message.  All are...
Jeremiah 38.1-13

Jeremiah 38.1-13

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am on “The Barge”.  This will be our last Sunday in the book of Jeremiah.  We will be focusing on Jeremiah 38.1-13.  In this passage Jeremiah continues to share with the people of Jerusalem that they are to surrender to the Babylonians and live.  This enrages the leadership and they toss Jeremiah into an old cistern.  Jeremiah sinks into the mud in this abandoned cistern and he is left to die.  But, an Ethiopian eunuch comes to his rescue and saves him by pulling him out with some old rags.  Let’s gather together and learn more about these salvific...
Jeremiah 33.14-16

Jeremiah 33.14-16

This Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am on “The Barge”.  We will be focusing our time on Jeremiah 33.14-16.  In this passage we learn about the righteous branch of that will spring up for David even in the midst of Jewish exile.  This is God’s promise being fulfilled even in a foreign land.  Come and let us gather together to learn more about how this righteous branch if fulfilled in...
Jeremiah 31.31-34

Jeremiah 31.31-34

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am on “The Barge”.  We will be focusing our time on Jeremiah 31.31-34.  This passage is part of a book that was written to the exiles in Babylon (Jeremiah 30.2), that was meant to be a book of comfort to those in the diaspora.  That is why the Lord tells them that there will be a new covenant and it will be written on their hearts.  It will be a covenant based on their relationship with God, where each and every person will know they Lord.  Let us gather together and learn more about this covenant being written on...
Jeremiah 31.7-14

Jeremiah 31.7-14

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship on “The Barge” at 9am.  We will be focusing on Jeremiah 31.7-14.  In this passage we are continuing the “Letter of Encouragement” that began back in chapter 30.  The Lord says that the scattering of Israel was his prerogative, but now the gathering of Israel is also part of his plan.  As Israel is gathered, God will be to them like a shepherd is to the sheep.  God will lead them beside the waters and their path shall be straight.  Let’s gather and hear more about God’s desire to scatter and then...
My first few days

My first few days

I called my mom on my way to my second day of work at The Anchor. I could hear her curiosity seeping through the phone as she asked me about what I did on my first day. I could barely find the words or come up with some sort of explanation of what I experienced so I simply told her what I did…. I spent the morning and some of the afternoon hanging out with homeless folks and learning about their stories–where they were from, how long they’ve been in Wilmington, about their families, etc. Later on in the afternoon, I had the chance to hang out with Philip and his family at the home of Burmese refugees to celebrate the first birthday of their child. That evening, I participated in the missional community, Bridge Night, at Solomon Towers–a public housing facility for the elderly and disabled. I explained to my mom, that on my first day, I had dipped my toes in so many different pools of people that I rarely came in contact with. You see, I’ve grown up in a middle-class, suburban household. I have been blessed with an extremely supportive family, encouraging mentors and friends, a roof over my head, and food always available in the pantry. Sure, I’ve gotten to attend several mission trips and seen poverty and pain. But those things were temporary: daily or weekly events. To be honest, I spend the majority of my time in the library and classrooms of Duke Divinity School–a bubble of a bunch of students studying theology. The hours of my day are dedicated to writing papers, reading...
Did you lack anything?

Did you lack anything?

Last week in the blog post titled “He began to be in need” we took a look at Luke 15.11-32 and how the youngest son squandered everything he had and began to be in need.  While considering this phrase I decided to look at other places this phrase could be found in the Gospel of Luke.  In the original language of the New Testament the Greek word for “to be in need” is ὑστερέω.  Interestingly, ὑστερέω is only found in one other place in the Gospel of Luke — you can find it in Luke 22.35.  In this passage Jesus is reflecting with his disciples how he had sent them out two-by-two into the surrounding towns and villages that he was going to go to eventually.  They were sent as representatives of him and they were commissioned for a particular work. While Jesus was reflecting with his disciples about how they had been sent out he asked them in Luke 22.35: “‘When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?’ They said, ‘No, not a thing.'”  Why didn’t they have any need?  They should of been in need.  Jesus sent them to these towns and villages without food, money, a bag, and without shoes.  What makes them answer Jesus’ reflective questions with a definitive “no”?    I have been considering the juxtaposition of these two ways of looking at need that we find with the story of the prodigal son and the sending forth of the seventy disciples.  In Luke 15.11-32 the youngest son leaves his family with his half of the inheritance, whereas the...
Jeremiah 31.1-6

Jeremiah 31.1-6

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship on “The Barge” at 9am.  We will be focusing on Jeremiah 31.1-6.  In this passage we will be focusing on verse 2: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away.”  The wilderness is one of God’s favorite areas to share of this amazing grace.  The wilderness can be a place of confusion, transition, and growth.  For the Israelites, the wilderness was an invitation to journey to the promised land.  It never was a fast journey, but it was a journey that was filled with grace.  Let’s gather together and learn more about the grace that is found in the...
He Began To Be In Need

He Began To Be In Need

In the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15.11-32) we are introduced to a family that has a father and two sons.  The youngest son asked his father for his half of the inheritance.  Interestingly, the father gave the son what he asked.  Soon after that the youngest son decided to leave everything behind and travel.  He never asked for advice on where to go, instead he chose to leave by himself and leave everything that he knew behind (except of course the money). While in this distant country he began to spend all of the inheritance that had been trusted to him.  He made decisions that were based on lust and desire, and those decisions were a lot of fun at times and those decisions also brought him into a very dark place.  The youngest son squandered his inheritance on shallow relationships and on things that did not last.  And then disaster struck ….. there was a famine in the land which caused an economic collapse. After spending everything that he had he found that those relationships and friendships were so shallow because they were only based on the amount of money he was willing to spend.  In verse 14 it says that “he began to be in need”.  And then in verse 16 it says: “and no one gave him anything”.  All of those shallow relationships ended up turning a blind eye to the man who had squandered everything.  Even in the midst of an economic collapse, they still did not help him.  So, the youngest son had to do the one thing that was a devastating...