What Happened to You?

Philippians 1:12-30

Mitch Chilcott

As Jeremy pointed out last week, Paul’s letter to the Philippians is an intimate one. It’s a letter between friends—partners in ministry—people who are trying their hardest to figure out what it means to live out the gospel in the world. One of the things I like most about Paul’s letters, and particularly the letter of Philippians, is that it shows us a little bit about how people talked to each other back then. In preparation for this sermon, I got interested in certain kinds of phrases that have gone in and out of vogue; phrases that we use to ask each other questions about our lives—to see how things are going.

Between Days

Philippians 1:1-11

Jeremy Richards

As you may have heard, we are beginning a sermon series on the book of Philippians today. I’m really excited about this. As you know, I’m a big fan of the lectionary, but there’s a certain lack of continuity in the lectionary. Sometimes it bounces around from book to book, or even within a book it might not go chronologically. For example, the book of Acts was very prominent during Easter, but large sections were left out, and it didn’t go in order. On the Sixth Sunday of Easter we read from Acts 17, but then on the Seventh Sunday of Easter we read from Acts 1. I’m not saying any of that is bad, but I was wanting, and maybe some of you were wanting, a little more continuity.

Dancing with the Trinity

Genesis 1:1-2:4a | Psalm 8 | 2 Corinthians 13:11-13 | Matthew 28:16-20

Jeremy Richards

So, today is Trinity Sunday, a day that celebrates a core Christian belief. Possibly the most confusing, paradoxical of our beliefs, and also, perhaps, our most distinct: that God is One and yet God is Three. That God is made up of the Parent or the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that these three are somehow distinct and yet they are One. We don’t believe in 3 gods, we believe in one God who is made up of three distinct…persons (it’s not even clear what we should call them)?

Heavy Metal, Severed Body Parts, and the Holy Spirit

Acts 2:1-21 | Psalm 104:24-34, 35b | 1 Corinthians 12:3-13 | John 20:19-23

Jeremy Richards

When I was 14 or 15 I went to my first metal show.

My dad drove me to the venue and when I got there I was greeted by a long line of people waiting to get in. Everyone was wearing black t-shirts and tight jeans. I had shaggy snowboarder hair, baggy jeans, and a bright orange polo shirt on. To make matters worse, my dad went to the front of the line to see if someone could tell him what time the concert would be over.

Fight or Flight or...?

Acts 1:6-14 | Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 | 1 Peter 4:12-14, 5:6-11 | John 17:1-11

Jeremy Richards

“Don’t be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you…” Really, Peter? Don’t be surprised? What, exactly are we supposed to not be surprised by? Innocent young people at a pop concert being killed by a suicide bomber? Nearly 30 Coptic Christians – men, women and children – in Egypt slaughtered by terrorists? Two people here in Portland, who stood up against hate speech on a max line and were stabbed to death for it?

Really, Peter? Don’t be surprised by these things?

The Unknown God

Acts 17:22-31 | Psalm 66:8-20 | 1 Peter 3:13-22 | John 14:15-21

Jeremy Richards

Years ago I was working for the Forest Service in the fisheries department. A coworker and I were headed deep into Payette National Forest, where we would stay two nights at a ranger camp called Krassel. While we were there we do a number of surveys on the health of the rivers and creeks in the area. I’d been working with this coworker for a while, and had gotten the impression that she was not a fan of religion.

Red Rocks, Cairns, and the Way of Jesus

Acts 7:55-60 | Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16 | 1 Peter 2:2-10 | John 14:1-14

Jeremy Richards

One of my favorite places is Arches National Park in eastern Utah. I’ve been there countless times.

If you were to fall asleep on the car ride to Arches, and wake up when you got there, you’d think you were on another planet. The scenery is other-worldly. Unreal rock formations rise up off the desert floor. The rocks and the sand are this stunning red. The most prominent rock formations are, as the name of the park suggests, arches (there are over 2,000 in the park), but there’s also balancing rock and devil’s garden and countless other unique rock features that wind, water, and time have shaped over the years.

The Joy of Inadequacy

Acts 2:42-47 | Psalm 23 | 1 Peter 2:19-25 | John 10:1-10

eremy Richards

“And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.”

That sounds good, right? That’s what every church wants: growth. Growth means more people in the seats, which means more money coming in, which means the church can hire new pastors and music leaders. It means that the church will feel and look like a success, like they’re doing things right.