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

Wade Allen on February 25

As we are moving toward Easter, we are a bit later this year. Easter is not until April 21. Therefore, Lent does not begin until next week. We find ourselves this week at Transfiguration Sunday. This is a key story and so we cover it almost every year. This year, we will find ourselves in Matthew’s version of the story. Most will remember this account. Jesus invites his key disciples to join him on a trip to the top of a mountain. They then witness him transfigured before them. It is a fantastic event and will solidify Jesus’ resolve to move toward the cross. Join us on Sunday as we explore the story together. Let me encourage you to read the passage as you prepare for worship this week. (Matthew 16:24-17:8 NIV) Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done. “Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just... read more

Wade Allen on February 18

Walking through Jesus’ ministry is both gratifying and challenging. Each time I come to a passage in this study, I find new insights. I hope that our journey through Matthew brings fresh understanding to familiar stories. This week, we come to another well known story. We will be looking at the feeding of the 5000 in Matthew 14:13-21. I hope you will take a few minute to read the story before coming to worship on Sunday. (Matthew 14:13-21 NIV) When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. read more

Wade Allen on February 11

How many times do you you sit through a church service or sermon, walk away unable to recall the topic? You don’t have to reveal your answer to me; it might hurt my feelings :). In all seriousness, we often hear God’s word and never dig into it. If we dare admit it, we rarely ask questions or speak with others about our study. By this point in Matthew, Jesus is teaching the crowds in parables. The disciples don’t understand why Jesus is not teaching as clear as they might like. They don’t always understand his teachings and come to him with questions. In turn, Jesus reveals a purpose behind his method for teaching. I am looking forward to engaging Matthew 13:24-43 with you this week. Let me invite you to read it ahead of time as you prepare for worship on Sunday. (Matthew 13:24-43 NIV) Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” He told them another parable: “The kingdom... read more

Join us for our Worship Gatherings

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

Wade Allen will be preaching this week (April 28) from Matthew 28:16-20

Worship Schedule