Collective Podcast Sermons for threshold faith communities.

We said last week, love is the point and goal of our faith, tradition, and community, but it begins in you, and begs some reflection about what is going on in you. Why does it seem to be an uphill battle to live it? The letter carries us further into what this looks like and what it doesn't.

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This week we'll be moving into the second chapter of this epic letter. There's a decisive shift as we learn of some conflict in this community, and are invited to practice a way of being that transcends petty debate, and anchors us in a life of meaning and goodness.

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This week, we pick up where we left off in our study of a letter that promises life beneath the chaos. Last week got just to the edge of how we actually step into this experience. This week we'll begin our exploration of how to practice this grounded life, starting with our illusions.

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After last week's thorough introduction to the community that produced it, this week we launch our proper dive into this letter. We'll explore the content of the "message of life", through image, metaphor, poetry, and perspective. We'll allow ourselves to live in the flow between the dance partners, gravity and grace.

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This week we begin to read the letter of 1 John; a letter of love from and for a community of love. The opening draws us into the ecstatic invitation to experience the fullness and density of life that the writers have experienced. But before we can understand this invitation and this life, we have to understand the community it comes from, and is intended for. In this community, we meet a mystical group with a dynamic and universal vision for life and faith.

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This parable is offered to the self-righteous who look down on others - certainly none of us can relate. This Sunday we wrap up our summer of parables with a really fun reading with some fascinating twists. It invites some significant personal and social reflection, and has us considering the deceptions and illusions with which we unknowingly live.

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This week we'll be weaving together a number of threads, including a couple of baptisms, and an exciting report from a couple Collective folks about a recent summer theological institute. We'll make these connections through the parable of the pearl, Harry Potter, and a ship of fools. We'll ask some important questions about how faith is so often understood as a fixed commodity, a point of arrival, when faith is so often experienced as a meandering, lived in process.

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This week we'll experience a sort of sampler of sermons on this well worn parable. Often called "The Good Samaritan", this story offers several levels for engagement and interpretation. Ultimately, we want to peel back each layer, get a bit deeper, and attempt to reveal the deepest goodness this story holds. In a world rocked by suffering and fear, this week presents a unique opportunity to receive some truly GOOD news.

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This week we’ll explore a parable that plunges us into some territory almost too familiar for comfort. This story confronts us with the uncomfortable truth that our desire for clear-cut categories of good/ bad, black/ white, hero/ villain are constructs we create. In reality, we inhabit systems and economies with much more complex and nuanced interplay regarding our perception of what is fair. How then do we seek justice?

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This Sunday we continue our engagement with parables, coloring them with our own experience. In addition to coloring sheets in the service, we’ll hear from the voice of the kids from their first reading. This week we’ll lean into the mysterious nature of parables, and the way they offer a sort of revelation through concealment. If you come looking for answers, they leave you with more questions, if you come desiring satisfaction, they seem only to further kindle your desire.

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