Dear Empire: Romans 1:1-7


Enjoy this sermon on the beginning of Romans 1. Here Pastor Nikayla opens up the book of Romans to set us off into a 10 week series. 


No book of the Bible has played a more significant role in shaping Evangelical theology than the book of Romans. Penal Substitutionary theories of atonement and reformed theologies are largely shaped by texts in Romans.

Romans is the most written about, most taught, and most memorized book in the Bible. If you've ever attended a seminar on how to convert your friends to Christianity, you likely learned to use the Romans Road:
Romans 3:10 (all have sinned and fall short the glory of God), Romans 5:8 (but God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die while we were still sinners), Romans 10:9-10 (if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord you will be saved), Romans 8:1 (for there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ). See? It's the big kahuna of the Bible and our go-to for Christianese.

Romans is easily treated like a grab bag of quotes when in fact, it's a brilliantly crafted letter written by Paul to the Roman Church whom he hadn’t met. This was Paul's final letter. He wrote it from Corinth, hoping the Roman churches would help fund his missionary journey to Spain. When he finally arrived there, however, he was in chains and eventually executed by the Roman Empire. It's his desperate attempt to cast a vision for a divided community attempting to live in the pull between the dominant culture and the radically alternative vision of the Kin-dom of God. Sound familiar?

Paul begins his letter to the Romans by introducing himself as a slave. So let's spend 10 weeks reading through those eyes and together let’s heed the call to - LOVE over power - community over individual rights and freedoms – and generous hospitality over fear of one another.

Trickster Jesus: The Lost Sheep with James Wheeler


Enjoy this sermon on Matthew 18:1-14 by the amazing James Wheeler. 

Here he connects the lost sheep and a Good Shepherd to the warning against causing harm to a child. This text through trauma-informed lens opens the parable to new possibilities and brilliantly closes our Trickster Jesus series! Thank James. 

Trickster Jesus: The Parable of the Banquet


Brynne Nelson leads us in this sermon about the Banquet - Brynne challenges us to consider who we've invited and who we haven't and how we respond to all the new guests. This felt like a very important sermon for Awaken and for any churches navigating what it looks like to be a fully inclusive and welcoming space.


Thanks Brynne! 

Trickster Jesus: The Good Samaritan


Adam Ayer leads us in an amazing workshop about this parable - be warned, it's not a very podcasty-podcast. There was a lot of group discussion and dialogue but the microphone only picks up Adam's voice so we've edited it as best we can (thanks Anna!!) to make it all one message - it's quite interesting!


Good Samaritan questions:

After reading the parable slowly consider the details of the stor.y

Who is the man in the ditch? Do the others think he's dead? What happened to him? What would motivate the traditional enemy of the Jews to stop and offer such compassionate help? How do you think the lawyer responds to Jesus telling us to be like the person who doesn't believe the right things? 

Trickster Jesus: The Widow and The Judge


"despair is a luxury of the bourgeoisie" - overheard in a Palestinian refugee camp.

When you can't afford to give up, you don't. So *who* can't afford to give up? 


Tamika Palmer

Debbie Baptiste

Tina Duck


There are widows in our communities who are standing relentlessly for justice. Let's stand with them. 

Trickster Jesus: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector


In this amazing sermon, Dave King begins with the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee but then he shows us some other stories from Luke 18 and 19 to show how this parable is a key for unlocking all sorts of ways Jesus invites in those from the sides and sends away those who assume their place in the center. Wow! Thanks Dave! 

Themes he covered include "mercy", "childlike faith", and who's sent away vs who is invited in. 


Trickster Jesus: The Pearl of Great Price


In this story we unpack the way the text does not *actually* the kingdom is like the pearl - the kingdom is like the merchant who knows what he's looking for and can recognize it when he finds it. Do you know what you really desire and will you recognize it when you see it? 


Nikayla gives a small sermon and then Chris L comes up with a personal illustration. This personal testimony was an incredible gift to Awaken and a historical moment in lives of all of us. Thank you Chris! 

TricksterJesus: Labourers in the Vineyard


Have you ever stopped to consider:

Why did certain labourers get chosen first and why did some get looked over until the very end of the day? 

What kind of a businessman would give the same wages to all? 


Sounds to me like everyone is invited to the joy of becoming like Jesus and it sure sounds like God isn't a capitalist. It sounds like there's an abundance of joy and belonging and if it isn't a competition, we can celebrate one another's joy. Thank you Jesus for being a trickster and conspiring goodness in our community. 

Trickster Jesus: The Kingdom of Heaven is like Yeast


Lacey Hilgen brings this beautiful message to all of us where she goes through scripture and teaches us about the three measures, the bountiful feast, and the Kingdom of heaven. Thanks Lacey!

Trickster Jesus: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector


D'arcy Watsham takes us on a beautiful journey through how not to read this parable and how we might read it anew. Thanks for this challenging message to be open to the neighbourhood and open to one another. 

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