Para Vista Lutheran Church

Weekly messages from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Para Vista Inc

Well, Come and Take up your Cross (Video)

August 30th, 2020
Watch Now:

Well, Come and Take up your Cross (Video)

We all probably know what’s coming. This scripture verse is sometimes quoted ad nauseum, as kind of a readjustment of the moral compass which has been pulled by some kind of dark gravity into places we shouldn’t go. I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about.

When the Messiah (that’s what Peter has just called Jesus) delivers these words, “If anyone wants to follow after me, they must deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow me,” we find a reorientation of priorities and an eye-opening look at a different, dangerous and fulfilling life.

The scripture is not about recognising the things in our lives which most irritate us, or the things that cause us to sin, but it is truly an invitation: An invitation to die so that one might live.

In our contemporary culture of death denial, where businesses boom in the anti-aging, anti-pain market, we find a listless lack of life. Our culture strives to insulate us all from pain, from danger, from anything that confronts our comfort, and we are left scratching our heads in our endless search for the mirage of safety wondering: “What does this all mean? Have I exchanged true life in Jesus for the death of meaning?”

This week, we’ll peel back the layers of this scripture spoken by Jesus who invites us into the death and denial of our selves, and peek behind what Jesus was meaning for his disciples from all time.
What does it mean for us to lose our life to find it?

A message by Pr. Reid Matthias

Bible Reading: Matthew 16:21-28

Song JAM (C), performed by Chris Jaensch, used by permission.

Well, Come and Take up your Cross (Audio)

August 30th, 2020

Well, Come and Take up your Cross

We all probably know what’s coming. This scripture verse is sometimes quoted ad nauseum, as kind of a readjustment of the moral compass which has been pulled by some kind of dark gravity into places we shouldn’t go. I don’t think that’s what Jesus was talking about.

When the Messiah (that’s what Peter has just called Jesus) delivers these words, “If anyone wants to follow after me, they must deny themselves, pick up their cross, and follow me,” we find a reorientation of priorities and an eye-opening look at a different, dangerous and fulfilling life.

The scripture is not about recognising the things in our lives which most irritate us, or the things that cause us to sin, but it is truly an invitation: An invitation to die so that one might live.

In our contemporary culture of death denial, where businesses boom in the anti-aging, anti-pain market, we find a listless lack of life. Our culture strives to insulate us all from pain, from danger, from anything that confronts our comfort, and we are left scratching our heads in our endless search for the mirage of safety wondering: “What does this all mean? Have I exchanged true life in Jesus for the death of meaning?”

This week, we’ll peel back the layers of this scripture spoken by Jesus who invites us into the death and denial of our selves, and peek behind what Jesus was meaning for his disciples from all time.
What does it mean for us to lose our life to find it?

A message by Pr. Reid Matthias

Bible Reading: Matthew 16:21-28

Song JAM (C), performed by Chris Jaensch, used by permission.

Faith Gym, S2: Helping People Feel More than Welcome

August 29th, 2020
Watch Now:

Helping People Feel More than Welcome
Session 2.  More than welcome to join us in our life with Jesus

Genesis 18:1-10. Abraham receives three visitors...

Download handouts: here

A Welcome Declaration (Audio)

August 23rd, 2020

This is an audio recording of the message "A Welcome Declaration" by Pastor Rolly Stahl on 23 Aug 2020.

In our 21st Century culture, individualism is perhaps regarded as our most “inalienable right”. We are entitled to our own opinions and the right to express them. We have the right to make our own choices of what is right and true, what we want to believe, or what we regard as the supreme object of our attention or affection. It’s often put: “My truth is what is true for me. You can determine what is true for you.”

One day Jesus was in a region up north near Mt Hermon where many gods had been worshipped, sacrifices made, and bizarre things done in the name of those gods. People had done what they thought right in their own eyes – their own truth.  

Against this backdrop, Jesus asked his disciples: “What are some ideas out there about who I am?”  There are a variety of responses.  I wonder, what might be some answers we’d get from people today? But then Jesus looks them in the eye, and says: “Well, what about you guys, who do you say that I am?”  I can imagine a few moments of silent reflection.  

These fellas have all witnessed Jesus’ amazing deeds, heard his parables, and witnessed his dealings with people across the spectrum of his culture – and even among some Gentile cultures.  They could have come up with lots of responses: You are a miracle worker. You are great teacher. You are a very kind person. You are master over the wind and waters. You are ….

By the grace of Father God, Peter has joined some dots from the Old Testament promises and what he has experienced with Jesus: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  

Jesus does not deny it or pretend otherwise, but affirms Peter and calls him blessed.  At last, one of God’s people in Israel has received God’s truth: and declared it to Jesus before others.    

This truth is not just for Peter, but for everyone.  As those who have received this gift of truth, how might God use you and me to help others come to that same conclusion – and also make that declaration?  

A Welcome Declaration (Video)

August 23rd, 2020
Watch Now:

This is a video recording of the message "A Welcome Declaration" by Pastor Rolly Stahl on 23 Aug 2020.

In our 21st Century culture, individualism is perhaps regarded as our most “inalienable right”. We are entitled to our own opinions and the right to express them. We have the right to make our own choices of what is right and true, what we want to believe, or what we regard as the supreme object of our attention or affection. It’s often put: “My truth is what is true for me. You can determine what is true for you.”

One day Jesus was in a region up north near Mt Hermon where many gods had been worshipped, sacrifices made, and bizarre things done in the name of those gods. People had done what they thought right in their own eyes – their own truth.  

Against this backdrop, Jesus asked his disciples: “What are some ideas out there about who I am?”  There are a variety of responses.  I wonder, what might be some answers we’d get from people today? But then Jesus looks them in the eye, and says: “Well, what about you guys, who do you say that I am?”  I can imagine a few moments of silent reflection.  

These fellas have all witnessed Jesus’ amazing deeds, heard his parables, and witnessed his dealings with people across the spectrum of his culture – and even among some Gentile cultures.  They could have come up with lots of responses: You are a miracle worker. You are great teacher. You are a very kind person. You are master over the wind and waters. You are ….

By the grace of Father God, Peter has joined some dots from the Old Testament promises and what he has experienced with Jesus: “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”  

Jesus does not deny it or pretend otherwise, but affirms Peter and calls him blessed.  At last, one of God’s people in Israel has received God’s truth: and declared it to Jesus before others.    

This truth is not just for Peter, but for everyone.  As those who have received this gift of truth, how might God use you and me to help others come to that same conclusion – and also make that declaration?  

Faith Gym, S1: Helping People Feel More than Welcome

August 22nd, 2020
Watch Now:

Helping People Feel More than Welcome

Session 1.  As a person who matters to God AND to us

Jesus as host and guest… The Story of Zacchaeus - Luke 19:1-10

 

The power of hospitality to transform us…

 

Download handouts: (1) Notes, (2) Dinner party learnings & (3) Fish out of water

 

Faith that Jesus Welcomes (Audio)

August 16th, 2020

This is a audio message by Pastor Reid Matthias.

As we push through the middle chapters of the book of Matthew, we have to engage with some very difficult thoughts and ideas about the ministry of both Jesus and the disciples.

But (the Canaanite woman) knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, help me!’
Jesus answered, ‘It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’

Well, here we go. That is not the reply we expect from the docile, friendly, loving Jesus that we are so accustomed to talking about. What’s going on in this passage? Why would Jesus say that? Is he really implying that this Gentile is a dog?

At stake this week is the good news about the faith of a woman in a saviour she’d only heard about. The heart of this gospel account contains a culture shift, a change in focus from the people Jesus had been called to, to a people who needed his help desperately.
This Sunday, struggle with me through Matthew 15:21-28. Wrestle with the text, bring your Bible on Sunday and let’s go through this verse by verse.

Remember, though, that Matthew is writing to a group of Jewish believers. Also, take into account the context of what has happened at the start of Matthew 15. Let’s see where it takes us.

Faith that Jesus Welcomes (Video)

August 16th, 2020
Watch Now:

This is a video message by Pastor Reid Matthias.

As we push through the middle chapters of the book of Matthew, we have to engage with some very difficult thoughts and ideas about the ministry of both Jesus and the disciples.

But (the Canaanite woman) knelt before Jesus and said, ‘Lord, help me!’
Jesus answered, ‘It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.’

Well, here we go. That is not the reply we expect from the docile, friendly, loving Jesus that we are so accustomed to talking about. What’s going on in this passage? Why would Jesus say that? Is he really implying that this Gentile is a dog?

At stake this week is the good news about the faith of a woman in a saviour she’d only heard about. The heart of this gospel account contains a culture shift, a change in focus from the people Jesus had been called to, to a people who needed his help desperately.
This Sunday, struggle with me through Matthew 15:21-28. Wrestle with the text, bring your Bible on Sunday and let’s go through this verse by verse.

Remember, though, that Matthew is writing to a group of Jewish believers. Also, take into account the context of what has happened at the start of Matthew 15. Let’s see where it takes us.

Jesus is watching out for us (Audio)

August 9th, 2020

This is a audio recording of the message "Jesus is watching out for us" by Pastor Rolly Stahl on Matthew 14:22-33.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve witnessed a series of trials and tragedies: droughts, fires, and floods have ravaged large sections of our countr, COVID 19 – taking human lives all over the world, and impacting the economies of nations, the Black Lives Matter movement, where gross injustice has lit a fuse of unrest and international squabbles between superpowers.

These events have cast a shadow over our lives.

Jesus is watching out for us, and walking towards us to do us good.

Jesus is watching out for us (Video)

August 9th, 2020
Watch Now:

This is a video recording of the message "Jesus is watching out for us" by Pastor Rolly Stahl on Matthew 14:22-33.

Over the last 12 months, we’ve witnessed a series of trials and tragedies: droughts, fires, and floods have ravaged large sections of our countr, COVID 19 – taking human lives all over the world, and impacting the economies of nations, the Black Lives Matter movement, where gross injustice has lit a fuse of unrest and international squabbles between superpowers.

 

These events have cast a shadow over our lives.

 

Jesus is watching out for us, and walking towards us to do us good.

 

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