Wade Allen on May 13

This week’s story is one of my favorite in all of Scripture. I love the dynamics of the story. Followers of Jesus are surprised when they encounter the risen Christ. But it is the way the story plays out that intrigues me. While they seem to have been very close to Jesus in his ministry, they do not recognize Him when he shows up on the road to Emmaus. Let me encourage you to read this story ahead of time as you prepare for worship on Sunday. As we work our way toward Pentecost (June 9), we will be looking at several of Jesus post-resurrection encounters. (Luke 24:13-35 NIV) Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t... read more

Wade Allen on May 06

Just in case you need a reminder, Sunday is Mother’s Day. This year, we will be going all the way to Genesis as we consider God’s creation of mothers. In a world where gender and sexuality debates are commonplace, we will consider God’s design in Genesis 2. Let me encourage you to read ahead as you prepare for Sunday’s worship. And don’t forget to recognize the special women in your life. (Genesis 2:18-25 NIV) The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. read more

Wade Allen on April 29

As we move through the Easter season, we will find ourselves moving from story to story. We will also have a special sermon next week on Mother’s Day about Adam and Eve. This week, we find ourselves in the book of Acts. Peter is a key leader in the early church. In Acts 10, he is surprised by the movement of God. As we study the story of Peter and Cornelius, we are challenged in our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives. Sometimes we hold tightly to “the way we do things”. Let me invite you to read Acts 10 as you prepare for worship on Sunday. Since it is a longer passage, I will link to it in this entry. See you on Sunday. Acts 10 from Bible Gateway read more

Wade Allen on April 22

One of the most familiar passages in all of the New Testament is Matthew 28:16-20. We refer to this set of verses as the Great Commission. Books have expanded on these verses to describe Jesus’ intention for church growth. Church mission statements have often highlighted these instructions. This week, we conclude our study of Matthew with this reading. Let me invite you to take a few minutes to survey Matthew 28:16-20 as you prepare for worship. See you on Sunday. (Matthew 28:16-20 NIV) Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” read more

Wade Allen on April 15

It was wonderful to gather together this past Sunday. We enjoyed a wonderful brunch and assembled as one church body in worship. We journeyed with Jesus and his disciples into the city of Jerusalem considering the events that transpired throughout holy week. This coming Sunday, Resurrection Sunday, we come together to celebrate the most significant event in all of history. We have been in Matthew’s gospel since the first Sunday of 2019. This week, we come to the final chapter. Just a reminder that we will be gathering in two services (9:15 AM and 10:45 AM) this week. Let me encourage you to read ahead you prepare for worship. (Matthew 28 NIV) After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then... read more

Wade Allen on April 09

As we move toward Easter, we will gather together this Sunday for a combined worship service. You are invited to join us downstairs at 9:30 AM for a brunch. We will then worship together at 10:45 AM in the sanctuary. The brunch and combined service is a wonderful way to connect with those who worship at different times. I hope you can make it. As we gather together, we will be studying Matthew 21:1-17. We might remember the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. But there is much to this story that we might miss since we are not first century Jews. As we journey with Jesus just prior to his arrest and crucifixion, we will discuss how these events impact all that will happen over the next few days. Let me encourage you to read ahead as you prepare for worship. (Matthew 21:1-17 NIV) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.... read more

Wade Allen on April 01

We had a wonderful trip to visit our daughter last week. It was nice to catch up and spend time with her. Neil Kring was with us this past Sunday. Thank you, Neil, for your willingness to preach. As we begin a new month this week, we are only a few weeks from Easter. We will continue to work through the gospel of Matthew over the next several weeks. This week, we come to a familiar parable in Matthew 25:14-30. You might recall this story. It is about a landowner who goes away and leaves his resources in the hands of three workers. Their responsibly varies; some are given less and others more. In the end, the owner returns and calls his servants to account. This story challenges us in a variety of ways. I am looking forward to exploring it with you on Sunday. Let me encourage you to read the passage as you prepare for worship. (Matthew 25:14-30 NIV) “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me... read more

Wade Allen on March 18

Have you ever been in line in the grocery store when a new lane is suddenly opened up? Many times you will hear the clerk say Can I take the next person in line? But more often than not, someone who has just arrived will quickly scoot their cart into the free lane. Most of us are annoyed when this happens. In this week’s passage, Jesus uses a story about workers in a vineyard to describe the dynamics of the Kingdom of God. You might remember the last verse of Matthew 19. (Matthew 19:30 NIV) But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. This verse is puzzling. Why are the last first? This does not fit into our cultural understanding of fairness. We will talk more about this on Sunday. Let me encourage you to read Matthew 20:1-16 as you prepare for worship this weekend. (Matthew 20:1-16 NIV) “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About nine in the morning he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about noon and about three in the afternoon and did the same thing. About five in the afternoon he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ “‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening... read more

Wade Allen on March 11

We have been faithful in sticking to the prescribed passages in the Narrative Lectionary since September. But this week, we will veer from the recommended text. I prepare sermons several weeks in advance. As I developed the sermon on Matthew 20 (we will get to this sermon next week), I was intrigued by necessary context set in Matthew 19. After working on the Matthew 20 sermon, I felt that we needed to cover Matthew 19 further. All this to say, we will be in Matthew 19:16-26 this week and then Matthew 20:1-16 next week. These sermons together provide a powerful picture of the Kingdom. Let me encourage you to read the passage for this week as you prepare for worship on Sunday. This is a challenging, yet powerful passage. (Matthew 19:16-26 NIV) Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell... read more

Wade Allen on March 04

As we enter into the season of Lent, we continue in the Gospel of Matthew. This week we come to a difficult passage, Matthew 18:21-35. We are immensely challenged by the words we read. Most of us, if we are honest, grapple with forgiveness on some level. When we have been wronged, it is hard to extend grace. Yet when we flip it around and find ourselves on the other side of the transition, we are all for forgiveness. Let me invite you to find a quiet place and read this passage as you prepare for worship on Sunday. (Matthew 18:21-35 NIV) Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ “But he refused. Instead,... read more

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9:15 AM (Traditional), 10:45 AM (Contemporary) each Sunday.

Wade Allen will be preaching this week (May 26) from Luke 24:36-49

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