While the travel narrative is difficult to interpret, there is a discernable movement in Luke’s gospel of a journey leading to a destiny (the cross). In these chance encounters that happen “along the way” something of the cross is foreshadowed and the contrast between the way of the cross and the way most common to all of us is very clear. In each of these encounters, we are asked to examine ourselves – our patterns, our paths, our way – in the light of Jesus’ teachings. This series will trace the Travel Narrative – from the road to Samaria to the road to Emmaus – and show how these encounters with people very much like us, challenge us, especially in our day, to walk an other way.
Week 1 “An Other Way” Luke 9:46-51. Rev. Steve DeNeff
When Jesus says, “I am the Way…” he means that his is the most satisfying life available. Yet we’ve covered the way over with programs designed to elevate Jesus while we continue to traffic in whatever way is common to our culture, usually in ignorance of the ways of Jesus. We underestimate, if we even notice the stark differences between Jesus’ way and our own. This sermon will outline those differences and challenge us to a 40-day experiment to live in the way of Jesus.”
Week 2 “An Other Spirit” Luke 9:51-56. Rev. Steve DeNeff
As soon as Jesus “set his face to go to Jerusalem,” he entered a Samaritan village where his disciples were not welcome. “Do you want us to command fire to come down and consume them,” his disciples asked, and they said this because they didn’t know what spirit they were of (9:55, margins). Who are the Samaritans of our day? And what does the cross call us to do with them? At the heart of our most controversial subjects is a prejudice born in our spirit and masquerading as an argument. Perhaps the greatest fault line in our nation runs thru the human spirit. This message will call us to be reconcilers with an other spirit.
Week 3 “An Other Priority” Luke 9-57-62. Rev. Steve DeNeff
Everyone is busy. Our schedules are crowded. Our plates are full. Multi-tasking is a sign of importance and Balance a sign of maturity. Sadly, much of our discipleship today is about adding yet another commitment to a growing list of priorities. The result is a “junk drawer” of commitments, collected over time, each one detached from all the others; too valuable to throw away yet too peripheral to re-order the others. It’s not that we have too little time to do all the things we need to do; it’s that we do too many things in the time we have. So the “way” of Jesus is a narrowing of our priorities down to one, until we are preoccupied with him, until we have absorbed all other priorities – even the most noble – into his call to “follow.” But how can we, who have other commitments and promises to keep, become preoccupied with only Him? How can we “let the dead bury the dead” while still honoring our ties and our obligations to them?
Week 4 “An Other Greatness” Mark 10:13-16. Dr. Amanda Drury
The story of Jesus blessing the children isn’t a kids story–it’s for adults (children already know they are welcomed on Jesus’ lap, that’s why they’re there). What if children aren’t the future of the church, but they are the church? What would it look like to move past patronizing images of children and see them as equal co-heirs with Christ?