The Ways of the Kingdom: Lent 2023

2/22/2023 - 2/22/2023

As we enter the season of Lent, it is a time for reflection, repentance, and renewal. It is a time for us to draw closer to God, to examine our hearts and lives, and to deepen our relationship with Him. One way to do this is through the practice of studying Scripture, and in particular, the parables of Jesus.

In this sermon series, "The Ways of the Kingdom," we will be exploring five different parables from the Gospel of Matthew. Each week, we will dive into a different passage and explore its meaning and significance for our lives today. Here is a brief overview of each week:

In This Series

  1. The Unforgiving Servant - 02/26/2023

    This week begins our sermon series entitled "The Ways of the Kingdom," and our focus for this first week is on the passage found in Matthew 18:15-35 traditionally known as the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. In this passage, Jesus teaches about forgiveness and reconciliation in the Kingdom of God. Jesus begins by emphasizing the importance of addressing conflicts within the community of believers. He teaches us that when someone has sinned against us, we should first go and speak to them directly, seeking to resolve the issue. If that doesn't work, we should bring one or two others with us to help in the reconciliation process.

  2. Laborers in the Vineyard - 03/05/2023

    In this second week of our sermon series, "The Ways of the Kingdom," we turn our attention to the parable found in Matthew 20:1-16. This parable, traditionally known as the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard, tells the story of a landowner who hires workers for his vineyard throughout the day, and then pays them all the same amount at the end of the day, regardless of how long they had worked.This parable challenges our ideas of fairness and justice. We may be tempted to think that those who worked longer hours should be paid more, but in the Kingdom of God, it is not about what we deserve or earn. It is about the generosity and grace of God.

  3. The Wedding Banquet - 03/12/2023

    As we continue our sermon series, "The Ways of the Kingdom," we come to the passage in Matthew 22:1-14, which tells the parable of the wedding feast. In this parable, a king invites guests to his son's wedding feast, but the invited guests refuse to come. The king then sends out his servants to invite anyone they can find, both good and bad, to come to the feast. This parable reminds us that the Kingdom of God is open to all, regardless of their background, status, or history. God's invitation is for all people, and no one is excluded from the opportunity to enter into a relationship with Him. However, it is also important to note that not all who are invited will accept the invitation. There is one part of this parable that can sound strange to us. That is the impromptu guest who is kicked out for not being dressed properly. As we explore this parable and what it teaches about how the kingdom of God works, we'll also be sure to look at this guest.

  4. The Parable of the Bridesmaids - 03/19/2023

    The parable of the ten bridesmaids, also known as the parable of the ten virgins, is found in Matthew 25:1-13. It tells the story of ten bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom's arrival at a wedding feast. They all had lamps, but only five of them brought extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, all ten bridesmaids fell asleep. When the bridegroom finally arrived, the five bridesmaids who had brought extra oil could keep their lamps burning and were welcomed into the feast, but the other five who did not have enough oil were shut out.In this week's sermon, we will take an in-depth look at what Jesus might be teaching in this parable, how it challenges how we live in this world, and how we use the "talents" God gives each of us.

  5. When Did We See You? - 03/26/2023

    As we come to the final week of our sermon series, "The Ways of the Kingdom," we turn our attention to the passage found in Matthew 25:31-46. This passage describes the final judgment, where the Son of Man will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep are commended for their acts of love and service, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick and imprisoned. On the other hand, the goats are condemned for their lack of love and service. Ultimately, our salvation is based on Jesus Christ and his decisions, and his decision may surprise us.

  6. Ash Wednesday 2023 - 02/22/2023

    This Ash Wednesday service, in partnership with Paoli UMC, featured prayer, singing hymns, a sermon from Pastor Kevin about becoming childlike to enter the Kingdom of God.  Pastor Alice lead the call to repentance and the imposition of ashes.  We finished the service with communion.