A weekly podcast from Nexus Church in downtown Kitchener, Ontario.
Power Moves (S12 Episode40)
A lot of attention has been given lately to the role that power plays in relationships and more broadly in society. Power exists and people obtain power through a myriad of ways, some more fair than others. So, how should power be used? This Sunday I want to show you a classic ‘power move’ the apostle Paul made during his lifetime. He isn’t subtle about it either. It almost feels mafia style. And yet, I want to contrast Paul’s use of power with one of his contemporaries. Both were responding to remarkably similar situations and there are both similarities and striking differences in their approach. In looking at both, I think we are given a fantastic primer on the nature of power and how it should be used. I hope this Sunday is meaningful for all of us and a great conversation starter.
Experiments in Prayer (S12 Episode39)
I want to speak about prayer this week. If you are anything like me, prayer is a struggle. I just find it hard. And yet, it seems important for the person of faith. Over Lent I participated in a prayer experiment, and I want to share with you some of my learnings from those forty days of prayer.
A Sermon About Soup Sunday (S12 Episode38)
After two long, long years without a Soup Sunday friends, it is back! That is right folks, this Sunday we reclaim the wonder of sharing soup together. Do remember that we are out at Steckle Farm this week, not at the Conrad Centre. We are meeting there at 10:30am. So please join us and bring a chair…and a bowl…and a spoon. Don’t forget your chair and bowl! Also, this is not a potluck. If you haven’t been asked to bring soup, you get to just come, receive and enjoy the soup and the morning. So I really hope you will join us.
In fact, so excited am I about Soup Sunday that I wrote a whole sermon about it. This Sunday morning is a meditation on the beauty of Soup Sunday - why it is important, why we need it, and what we can learn from it. I hope to see you Sunday!
Easter Sunday - Resurrection Conjecture (S12 Episode35)
For the past two years we have had to celebrate Resurrection Sunday online. No longer! Friends, I am excited to finally be together again for Easter Sunday. This year, I want to toss around some resurrection conjecture. That the tomb was empty is a revelation. But what does it reveal? This Easter I want to explore the four things the empty tomb reveals and the four things it points towards. And so, for the first time in two years, I hope you will make a point of being together with us for the Sunday at the heart of our faith. I can’t wait to see you then!
Good Friday - Temptations, Trajectories and Trials (S12 Episode34)
Between Jesus' triumphant arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and the victory of Easter Sunday, lies gruesome Good Friday. That the day is “good” at all is not intuitively obvious. As such, it is a day we cannot rush past. When Good Friday is skipped, resurrection celebrations can often start to feel cheap. The day and event ask us to linger there because the cross is the epicenter of Christianity and what makes it strangely scandalous. So, join us as we linger around the cross and the particular temptation that took Jesus there.
Finding Strength and Courage (S12 Episode33)
For this Sunday, we are heading into the sixth and final week of Lent, which brings us to Palm Sunday as we journey towards Finding Strength & Courage.
This week’s playlist is an eclectic selection of songs to help us reflect on the themes. You can find the playlist here on Apple Music or on Spotify.
In terms of art and film, I will just say I have truly kept the best for last. This piece, Christ’s Entry Into Brussels in 1889, is, I believe, one of the greatest religious portraits ever created. The piece is enormous, 14x8 feet, and comes as a parody of Palm Sunday, and yet it captures something incredibly profound. We witness here a masked mob carnival procession of clowns and marching bands, welcoming the arrival of Christ. But Jesus here is a lonely figure, distanced from the crowd, all but ignored. The artist, James Ensor, is making a point still as relevant as ever. The message and implications of Palm Sunday are still ignored today. I will be reflecting on this work a lot this week and next, referencing it in my teaching this Sunday as well.
For those interested in film, I will boldly say it – there is no greater reflection on faith in film than Terrence Malick’s masterpiece A Hidden Life. I can only beg and plead with you to make this film part of your Lent or Holy Week. Your faith life will be immensely richer for having experienced it. The film is gorgeous, profound, unsettling, and one of the greatest reflections I have ever seen on what it means to be Christian. Variety said of the film, “Cinema at its mightiest and holiest. A movie you enter, like a cathedral of the senses.” I will say no more except to plead again for you to make time for this film sometime before Easter. Watch the trailer here.
Brad is one of the best communicators on faith you can listen today.
The sermons at nexus are a work of art, and should be listened to again and again.