Today's Devotions

Showcase: Assorted Treats

  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire +

    It is doubtful if, in 1972, those attending one of Jim Cymbala's worship services in a run-down Brooklyn church imagined Read More
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ortbergWhat does it mean to trust completely in Christ? John Ortberg begins a series on the book Unbroken, about the story, as the book notes, "of  survival, resilience and redemption." This first sermon from January 8, 2012 is a powerful look at what the Bible says about trust in Christ.

January 8, 2012

Romans 5:3-5

"Lessons from the Raft"

John Ortberg

Would you all stay standing for the sermon? A new tradition we're starting this year. No. You can sitdown. I want to say a word about Christmas as we get into this series. I have never heard so many storiesabout ways God is at work in our congregation, ever. This last Christmas Eve season was just remarkable.We asked people to volunteer so that it could be kind of a family night for folks, and we had the highest levels of volunteers we have ever had.

One woman came to serve at the 5:00 service and then she waited all the way through the 6:30 service so she could be first in line for the 8:00 service because she had invited a guest and she wanted her guest to have a really good seat, so she was here through three services.

In San Mateo, they had a dinner between their services for the volunteers, and Eric Quan just kind ofspontaneously in the first service said, "Hey, if anybody doesn't have plans for Christmas Eve, come and join us," and they had about 35 or 40 folks who didn't have a place to go for Christmas Eve where they could have Christmas Eve together.

We had a volunteer-run shop called "Fair Trade" in Menlo. It went for about three weeks. We thought it would be amazing if maybe it could do like $100,000 of business that could help benefit folks in under resourced parts of the world. It ended up taking in, including taxes, $100,386.16. Yeah, that was a reallycool deal.

We said, "Let's pray and be evangelistically bold as we invite folks," because this is when a lot of peopleare most open to God, and you were. One guy wrote in that for 10 years he'd asked family members to come, and they've always said no to church, and this time they came, and they were so moved, they actually stayed and sat through a service a second time.

Another family talked about a guy they know. He's in his twenties. His mom died three days beforeChristmas, and he really didn't have anybody. So they said, "You come have Christmas with us. We'll be your family." Then they brought him to the services here so he could hear Christmas is for the broken.

We had folks who hosted over a hundred homeless folks for dinner, and then brought a bunch of them toChristmas Eve services. We got an email from one of them saying, "I felt so loved. I want to make this my church." Fifteen different services at four different locations. Over 9,600 people, which is by far the most ever in the history of our church. For all the prayer, all the evangelism, all the boldness, all theserving...way to go, church! Yay God and yay you. It's just amazing. Thank you.

Now this weekend we're launching into this series. It's based on the book Unbroken that we talked about on Christmas. It's kind of arranged around the life of this guy, Louis Zamperini. Unbelievable life. We'reall reading through the book. If you don't have a book yet, you can get the book Devil at My Heels...I think we're out of Unbroken, but we still have the book Louis himself Connection Center after this service. I want to make sure you're taking the reading seriously, so we'll start with a little pop quiz ,just a couple of questions.

The first one is...At what age did Louis start smoking: twenty, fifteen, ten, or five? Turn to the person next to you if you would and let them know, from the book, at what age did Louis start smoking. Correct answer...look up at the five he started smoking, picking up discarded cigarette butts while walking to kindergarten. Have you ever known of a kindergartener doing that one? A unique character.

Another question. At what age did Louis start skateboarding: three, ten, in his fifties, or in his seventies?Again, turn to the person next to you. See if you got this one right. All right, everybody take a look up onthe screen. No kidding. That is Louis Zamperini at age eighty one. He took up skateboarding in his seventies. I just think that spirit is so cool. I think we're going to start a skateboarding ministry for eighty something-year-old folks right here at our church. Yeah. Yeah. Get some helmets. Now that's a good idea.Thank you very much. I appreciate it. Input from the congregation while I'm preaching is always very helpful, so thanks, Ray. Lots of corrections needed.

This is a remarkable life, and this series is going to give us a great chance to learn. Next week, we're going to talk about Lessons from a Prison. Then the week after that, Louis will be here himself. Lessons from Louis. I'm so excited about this whole series, but that last weekend, we're going to talk with Louis about how his life got turned around by his encountering and surrendering to Jesus Christ, and just lay out what the gospel is real clearly, and then give everybody who comes an opportunity to respond to the gospel.

We're getting phone calls. People who are coming in from out of town are asking for seats. So really pray.I think this series as it points toward that weekend, God can just do phenomenal things in our midst and inthe lives of people you love.

Today, we're looking at Lessons from the Raft. How do you hold on when everything around you says give up? When you're on the raft, what might God be up to in your life when it looks like your life isover?

I want to start with a word actually from the apostle Paul from the Bible. Paul wrote, "Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings..." Odd phrase. "...because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not [disappoint], because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

Now this idea that suffering can actually produce growth in character, can grow stronger people, was widely embraced in the ancient world, and thinkers in Greece and Rome would actually write what werecalled "hardship lists." Paul actually wrote some of these in the New Testament. They would write down really difficult experiences they had been through and then talk about how difficulties will make the wise person (they called them the sage) stronger, better.

But Paul, in his letter to Rome, adds a word in this passage those Greco-Roman thinkers would never have added. It's a word that changes everything. It'll change you, and we'll come back to that word, but meanwhile, we're going to come back to Louis Zamperini and his life.

Question: Did Louis have a hardship list? One of the most impressive of all time. In case you're a little behind in your reading, Louis was a juvenile delinquent who became an Olympic track star, who become a bombardier, whose plane got shot up to the tune of 594 bullet holes in one encounter. You see where itgot hit right there. He was in another plane that crashed into the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors wereLouis, the pilot Phil, and a tail gunner named Mac. Phil had a wound to his head. It wasn't clear to Louis that he was going to survive. Mac kind of snapped. The only food provisions they had for the three ofthem, Mac ate all by himself on the first night.

They're surrounded every day by sharks that keep bumping into their little raft. They were attacked at one point, if you've gotten to this point yet, by a great white shark. At one point, after they'd been on the ocean for some time, a plane spotted them, and they're euphoric because they know they've been seen, but then it turns out to be an enemy plane and it uses them for target practice.

Louis would jump under the raft, into the ocean, to try to evade the bullets. The raft ended up getting 48bullet holes in it. While he was under the water evading bullets, he would have to push the sharks away that would start coming after him. Their lips and skin were burned. Their feet were cratered with sores the size of quarters. Their thirst was maddening. Their food deprivation was so severe that Louis lost over 100 pounds. This former Olympic athlete ended up weighing 66 pounds.

One night, an albatross landed on Louis' head. He said they were so skeletal that when they were sleeping the albatross did not realize they were human beings. This bird lands on his head and wakes him up. Ittook him about two minutes. Moving very slowly, he caught the bird. They ended up using it mostly forbait because it was so foul tasting.

This happened again, and then a third time. By the third time it happened, they were so starved that Louis said, "We ate the entire bird with gusto. This time it tasted like a hot fudge sundae. I ate the eyeballs and all the rest."

Now Phil reminded Louis that killing an albatross is supposed to bring bad luck. Think about theirsituation for a moment. Their plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean. They're on a raft. They have no food, no water, no medicine, and no shelter. The Allies couldn't find them. The enemy found them and tried to shoot them. The sharks are trying to eat them. They're dehydrated, blistered skeletons waiting to die, and Phil says, "Hey, that might be bad luck." Louis says, "What more bad luck could we have?" He would find out. Keep reading. But today we're on the raft. We're going to look at a few lessons on the raft.

1. Trouble has a way of revealing, making evident, my character. Laura Hillenbrand, in Unbroken, writes about how... It's so fascinating. There are three different men. They all faced the same situation. Theywere all in the same raft, on the same ocean, in the same odds, but in their minds and their spirits, they respond in different ways. Mac just kind of gives up. Phil and Louis somehow embrace it as a challenge,and they engage how they think, in their imaginations, and that meant the difference between life anddeath.

I thought when I was reading the book about a statement in the book of Proverbs. This is what the writerof Proverbs says. Let's read this together out loud. "If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!" See, part of what trouble does is it tests my character. The hardship list doesn't have to be nearly as dramatic as drifting on the ocean. Everybody has a hardship list going every day, and God is at work in this.

Proverbs 17:3: "The crucible for silver..." In other words, that's where the purity of silver is tested."...and the furnace for gold..." The fire is where gold is tested. "...but the LORD tests the heart." God is real interested in my heart. There's a way in which all of life, every day, is kind of a test. How will I respond to an interruption, or not getting what I want, or to a health problem, or to somebody getting in my way, or being disappointed, or getting criticized, or having to wait? Does anybody here ever get impatient? I can think of myself as a real patient person, and then we're at the airport, and we have to wait just a tiny little bit for some luggage that's at the airport, and I find out I'm not a patient person at all. See, trouble can reveal my character.

Trouble can also be an opportunity for the growth of character. It was so interesting. I was talking with afriend of mine, a really good friend, over the break, about an important decision he faces. One path will be really hard. One path will be quite easy. He was trying to figure what to do, and so one of the questions I asked him was, "Would either path make you a better person?" His immediate response was, "The harder path would make me a better person." I asked why. I just thought this was a great statement. He said,"Haven't you noticed great comfort rarely brings great growth?" Isn't that true? Don't you kind of hate that?

Trouble, by itself, doesn't produce growth. Trouble can produce bitterness. Trouble can produce all kinds of bad stuff. If I can trust God in it, if I can live with poise and confidence and joy and not get all focusedon myself, then God can use trouble to bring growth. That brings me to the next lesson on the raft.

2. Desperate trouble reveals the truth about the human condition. Louis Zamperini may be the most resourceful guy I have ever read about. In Devil at My Heels, he writes...this is when he's an old guy. Hewas in his late eighties, I think, when he wrote this..."Today, I am licensed, accomplished, or an expert in 84 fields, from skiing to lifeguarding to skydiving to glacier climbing." When he was on the raft, at one point (some of you have read about this), a shark gets frustrated and actually leaps out of the water into the raft to attack Louis. Remember reading about that?

Imagine being in a raft and a shark jumping at you out of the water. What would you do? This is what Louis does. He said, "I thrust both my palms against its nose, which stuck out about a foot past the mouth,and was able to shove the ravenous creature back into the sea." I just am eager to interview a guy who is able to make this sentence, "I shoved the ravenous creature back into the sea."

On the raft, maybe the most resourceful guy in the world found that his existence was a gift over which he was not in charge. When the plane crashed, he writes, "Just to be on the safe side, I thanked God for saving our lives. My buddies prayed with me. Of course, on life rafts, that's what you mostly do. You pray." Of course, on life rafts, that's mostly what you do. You pray.

So fascinating. "On the raft, I was like anybody else. From the native who lived thousands of years ago on a remote island to the atheist in a fox hole. When I got to the end of my rope, I looked up." Dallas Willard says, "God's address is at the end of your rope." You have a rope, you have a rope, and it has an end. If you haven't gotten there yet, you will get there one day. That's where God is. Not the only place where God is.

Once, they went six days, no rain. They had no water on the raft, so they're dying of thirst. They had no where else to turn, so Louis prays. It was really more kind of a bargain. He says, "God, answer my prayers now. I promise if I get home through all this and whatever is to come, I'll serve you the rest of my life." Then Louis writes, "What else could I say? Given our miserable situation, devotion was all we had to offer." What else does anyone ever have to offer God? "Give me what I want, and I'll give you devotion and $20." Maybe devotion is all God wants.

Louis says, "When you're on the raft, no food, no water, no medicine, no radio, no engine, no bargaining chips, no diplomas, no offices, no desks, no promotions, no cash, you become aware of your intense dependence on God. How slender is the thread from which your life hangs." See, what if the view from the life raft is actual reality?

We think of the life raft as being kind of strange or abnormal. What if that's actually real? What if self sufficiency is the great illusion? What if we have so many props that we live with an illusion we're incontrol? Because when trouble comes...illness, loss, bankruptcy, divorce, fear...when you're on the raft,when you're at the end of your rope (and you do have a rope) that illusion of self-sufficient control gets shattered.

One day, the Word of God came to a church in Laodicea. God said to people, "You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.'" Of course, nobody in our area would ever think any thoughts like that, but in Laodicea, people did. God said, "But you do not realize that you are wretched,pitiful, poor, blind, and naked."

Spiritually, that's all of us in our sin, in our stubborn pride. The lesson of the raft is I desperately need God, and everything in what we call normal life is designed to make us forget this. So don't wait for trouble to ask God to come near. Ask him now. Ask him before you get to the raft, and he will.

One of the most amazing moments in this story was when they entered into the doldrums. Rememberthat? They're on the ocean, and one day, there's no wind. The ocean is motionless. The sky looks like a pearl. It's transcendently beautiful. It is so still that when a fish breaks the surface of the water hundreds of feet away, they can hear the sound with crystal clarity. All of a sudden, dying on the ocean, there is this beauty like he has never seen before, and there's God.

Laura Hillenbrand writes, "As he watched this beautiful still world, Louis played with a thought that had come to him before. He had thought of it as he watched hunting sea birds, marveling at their ability to adjust their dives to compensate for the refraction of light in water. He had thought of it as he had considered the pleasing geography of sharks, their gradation of color, their glide through the sea. Such beauty, he thought, was too perfect to have come by mere chance. That day in the center of the Pacific was to him a gift crafted deliberately, compassionately for him and Phil." Crafted by whom? "Joyful and grateful in the midst of slow dying..." I love that phrase. "...the two men bathed in that day." There's God.

Now Louis did get rescued, but when he got rescued, he did not devote his life to God then like he said he would. He didn't do that for quite a long time. Briefly, one last lesson from the raft.

3. If deliverance is all I desire God for, then when trouble disappears, my desire for God will disappear.It's one of the most common themes in the Bible. In times of suffering, people's minds and hearts turn toward God. "O God, help! O God, save! O God, deliver!" But when the pain goes away, the oddest thing,I think about God less. I pray less often. I pray with less urgency.

Now Louis didn't know it. He was headed for even more trouble after the raft. We'll pick him up next week as a prisoner of war. The odd reality is Louis was in more danger, Louis drifted more spiritually when his life was comfortable and normal than he ever drifted physically when he was in the raft, which brings us back to these strange words of Paul to the church at Rome. "...we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."There is something fabulous going on.

A writer named David Fredrickson points out that in the ancient Greco-Roman world, thinkers oftenspoke of the connection between suffering and growth of character. They might write exactly what Paul wrote, exactly, except for one word, and that one word would be hope. Hope would be a head scratcher to them. They believed the world was a cold, hard, impersonal place, and the glory of an individual (this is widely thought in our own day) is to use my strength, to use reason (which they loved), to use self sufficiency to rise above all of the sufferings of life through a disciplined mind and refuse to allow any circumstance to disturb my serenity, my calmness, my inner peace.

So suffering leads to perseverance, leads to character. Yeah, but character leads to hope? Are you kidding? They didn't recommend hope. See, if you hope, you're giving up control. Hope is kind of a sign of weakness. In fact, some ancients actually wrote that hope is what they called a moral disease because it causes what should be a strong, self-sufficient person to trust a power beyond yourself, to no longer be captain of your ship, master of your fate. Paul is inviting us into a different world. There is something fabulous here we're coming to.

In the ancient world, just like ours, suffering was easier if it could be shared with somebody. Aristotle said suffering is lightened by the sympathy of a friend. Sometimes, one person might be willing to sacrifice, to suffer, and even to die for a friend. They thought this was noble. The writer Cicero said sometimes people go to a theater, and when they saw a scene like that, they would be moved to standing ovations. People would weep. They would rise to their feet and applaud at the sight of a friend sacrificing his life for a friend.

There were limits. This is all going to be backdrop to what Paul is writing here. One limit was the friend must be a person of high virtue who is worthy, who deserves any sacrifice you make. It is not a virtue to suffer for an un-virtuous person. Another limit was even if you do help somebody or sympathize with somebody, you are not to allow any suffering, not yours, not your friends', to disturb your tranquility. The word they had for that kind of suffering, for that kind of grief they looked down on that was weakness the word groaning.

Groaning was the word they would use for someone who was so weak in character that he allowed circumstances to disturb him. Groaning is what weak people do. Groaning is what people do when they cannot bear what happened, when they just can't stand the disappointment. I'll give you a picture of it. Did anyone watch Stanford play the Fiesta Bowl this week? That moment when regulation was ending and the ball sailed wide of the uprights, that sound you heard from all over Palo Alto, that was a groan. It was groaning time. By the way, if you can't empathize with that poor freshman placekicker, you have lost all traces of humanity, unless you went to Cal or something.

Groaning sounds like this. Aww! It's just that sound in your spirit, and it's a real important word. We're going to come to it in Paul in a moment, but I want you to all remember it. So let's try groaning together.All right? Are you up for that? See how well you do. Here we go. Aww! Wow, you guys are way better at groaning than any of our other services! That's very impressive.

That's what you do. When you get disappointed, you just go, Aww! You just lose out on the job you really wanted, everybody says, Aww! You ask a really cute person out for a date, and they slam the door in your face, you say, Aww! You find out the sermon has another 20 minutes to go, you say, Aww! No, no! You don't say that. You applaud! You say, "Yay, God, this is so good!"

See, to the ancients, mastery of the spirit is what counted. They didn't want to be groaners. They wanted tobe masters of the spirit. They had a word for this. This is all going to be the backdrop for what Paul is saying. We are coming to something transcendently fabulous. The word they would use for someone who had mastered their spirit was conqueror. That's a conqueror. Someone who has mastered their spirit through reason and self-sufficiency in a world going to hell.

Seneca wrote, "When will it be our privilege to utter the words, 'I have conquered'? Do you ask me whom I have conquered? Not external enemies..." They recognized a great truth. It's not just soldiers. It's not just defeating other people that's the real challenge. "...but greed, ambition, fear of death, all of these things that could disturb me internally that has conquered the conquerors."

To be a conqueror meant to become so self-sufficient, so self-reliant that no circumstance can disturb you anymore. Then you're a conqueror. Now the world is still unredeemed. The world is still full of pain and suffering. It's still going to hell, but I have trained my spirit not to be upset by it. That's a conqueror. Holdonto that definition of conqueror. It's all the backdrop for Paul is doing something unbelievable.

This meant the watchword for the ancient world was, "No groaners allowed." Groaning is not tolerated.Epictetus wrote, "No good man ever groans." Plutarch wrote, "Groaning is a sign of weakness." Cicero wrote, "It is a disgrace to groan." Ixnay on oaninggray. That was like the watchword for the ancientworld, except for a man named Paul, who wrote the strangest things about groaning. He said, "We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time."That's why he uses this word. Creation is groaning, overcome by sorrow and grief. Creation. Really interesting passage.

In ancient literature, writers would sometimes portray nature as if it were a person who had empathy or sympathy for human suffering. We'll see this in movies sometimes, in a real sad scene in a movie. Did anybody ever see the movie Bambi? Remember what happens to Bambi's mom? I don't want to spoil it for you if you've never seen it, but she gets shot, or something like that. It's a bad moment. A lot of times in movies, in a sad moment like that, what happens to the weather? It rains, because it's like the earth is crying.

There's actually a wonderful phrase for this. I never knew it before this week. It's called the pathetic fallacy. Did you ever hear that before? The pathetic fallacy: The portrayal of nature as if it can empathize,as if it can enter into human suffering. Paul says there's a reason why this idea keeps popping up across the centuries. Paul says creation itself is waiting to " liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God."

Now if creation already brings us so much joy with oceans and sharks and fish and albatrosses, if creation is already that, but it's in bondage to decay, what's it going to look like when it's brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God? I'd kind of like to see that, wouldn't you? In the meantime, the world groans. God's creation groans.

Not only that, Paul says, "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan..."There's this strange word here again. We're groaners. We "...groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship..." We're waiting for something. In the meantime, Paul is a groaner, and he's not ashamed of it. He groans openly.Not only that. Creation groans, Paul groans, the church groans, human beings groan.

Not only that (this is unbelievable), in our suffering, the Spirit of God intercedes for us with what? God groans. Nobody in theancient world talked about a God that groans. Paul did. Jesus groaned. Jesus groaned for every one of us.Jesus groaned for you. Aww! Aww! For your sin, Aww! God suffers with us.

God suffers with you. God is in the raft. God is on the cross. God is at the end of therope. Jesus groans. This means because we have a groaning God, we hope. Suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. That's a head scratcher for ancient thinkers, not for Paul.Why does character produce hope? Remember what we saw a moment ago? In the ancient world, people would sometimes sympathize with other folks. They might suffer for them, but only for somebody who had proved themselves to be virtuous. You only suffer for somebody who has shown themselves to be worthy, who deserves it, who is righteous. Okay? Keep that in mind.

Paul goes on in this same passage. "...we also glory in our sufferings...suffering produces perseverance..." This can happen for you. "...perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not [disappoint]..." Why not? Not because we're such great hopers. "...because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."

How did this happen? "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die." In the ancient world, they would say, "Yep, that might happen. We love it when that happens. That might happen. Not often, but it might." "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:While we were still sinners..." Unworthy, undeserving, a mess. The best man who ever lived, "...Christ died for us."

Why does hope not disappoint? I will tell you why, and it's not because of your strength or mine. It's not because things will turn out the way I want them to in this life, and it's not because I have conquered my  emotions through supremely powerful, self-sufficient reason. Hope does not disappoint because Jesus, as an act of complete grace, for people as sin-soaked and sin-damaged and sin-stained as me, chose to give his life and suffer and groan and die on a cross for somebody like me. If we ever really understood that,everybody would stand up and cheer like we have never cheered for anything before in our lives. That's the good news. That's why hope doesn't disappoint.

Therefore, therefore, therefore whatever your hardship list is (and you have one, and it will grow as long as you live), whenever you reach the end of your rope (and you have a rope, and it has an end), you've been invited by God through faith into an infinitely greater adventure, into something unspeakably more noble, more heroic, more significant than just trying to attain personal serenity. That is not what life isabout. The attainment of personal serenity is not the reason why you are walking this groaning planet.

Remember, the ancients said a conqueror was one who maintained his tranquility in the face of animpersonal world that would always be broken. That's a conqueror. I've learned not to let the world get to me. Paul says, "No, in all these things we are..." What? "...more than conquerors..." Do you get it?That's not just a pretty phrase. That's not just nice language. He is being quite precise in what he's saying.

There is a conqueror, and a conqueror is somebody who through their own self-sufficient reason is learning to go through this life without being upset by all the problems. That's what a conqueror is. I'll tell you what we are. We are more than conquerors. Would you like to be more than a conqueror? How? Howcan this be? Not through you and me. Not through our power.

"...we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

That's why hope doesn't disappoint, and that's why you are more than a conqueror. If you want to clap or anything right now, I'd be kind of agreeable.

I'm going to ask everybody to stand up, and we're just going to go out on this note. Everybody stand up.Next week, we're going to look at how you can be more than a conqueror in maybe the greatest prison the human spirit knows. It's the message out of this whole series, I think for our church, we may most need to hear. Then that following week, Louis is going to be here. That's going to be unbelievable. I can't wait for that one.

In the meantime, we glory in suffering because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. May that hope grow in you this week, that hope that does not disappoint. May you, this week, be more than a conqueror, in Jesus' name, amen. See you next week.

Reflections to Consider

  • Corporate Spirituality

    Encouragement, Accountability, and Worship Solitude, community and ministry are three areas requiring balance and integration in the Christian walk. The Read More
  • Companion of the Souls

    When the two disciples recognised Jesus as he broke the bread for them in their house in Emmaus, he "vanished Read More
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Audio & Video

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  • Transforming this World: The Hope of Glory by NT Wright +

    Wright confronts the perspective that this world doesn’t matter, and that we live only to be in heaven. He shows Read More
  • What is Good in a World that Defies Hope: a talk by NT Wright +

    This is the second part of three talks by NT Wright at Harvard University in November, 2008 on the topic Read More
  • The Stream, the Lake and the River: NT Wright +

      Acts 2.1-21; John 7.37-39; a sermon at the Eucharist on the Feast of Pentecost, 11 May 2008, by the Read More
  • Jesus in the Perfect Storm by NT Wright +

    Zechariah 9.9-17; Luke 19.28-48; A sermon for Palm Sunday, April 17, 2011, In the University Chapel of St Salvator, St Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Warfare Spirituality +

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free +

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
  • Deliver us from Evil +

    Spiritual warfare is something that few Christians, regardless of their denomination, are accustomed to thinking about, let alone engaging in. Read More
  • Baby, you're a rich man! +

    The lover of money will not be satisfied with money; nor the lover of wealth, with gain. This also is Read More
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