New Mercy’s theme for 2015 is Greater Things:
Stepping Into God’s Promise.
In our current Lenten sermon series “Stepping Into,” we are exploring some of the ways God wants us to dive into realizing his promises in our lives. Typically, Lent is a season where Christians turn inward to reflect on their spiritual lives—there is a sense of passivity about it. However, we believe Lent should be more than that, as noted in Isaiah 58. Part of the reason Jesus suffered is because He was fasting from His life so that we could have life. His suffering was not passive—it was the result of an active love.
In this light, this page has been created for congregants not only to reflect on the cross through testimonies and reflective questions, but also for us to share resources where we can further engage in opportunities and conversations regarding the “active” aspect of Lent.
The hope and prayer is that this page will encourage and challenge us to identify with the suffering of our Lord. Keep checking back each week for new content that may help us to prepare and to worship—not only as individuals, but also as one body.
Stepping Into: Justice
Generous Justice by Timothy Keller
Overrated by Eugene Cho
Everyone Here Spoke Sign Language by Nora Ellen Groce
The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis (Essay available in PDF.)
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. It is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.
Love by Diogenes Allen
Christianity is the source of the conviction that every person has absolute value; it is not present in any philosophy prior to the advent of Christianity. Stoicism came closest to it, claiming that all people have dignity because they have a logos or reason, but this still left out the retarded, mentally ill, or senile. This conviction cannot be found in any other religion: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, or even Judaism. Only in Christianity is it made absolutely clear that all of us have absolute value or significance.
Stepping Into: Forgiveness
The Drop Box (documentary about a South Korean pastor who takes in and cares for orphaned children)
The Sunflower (personal account/narrative of Samuel Weisenthal, a Holocaust survivor)
Free of Charge - Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (Miroslav Volf - Yale Divinity School professor, survivor of Holocaust)
Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don't Deserve (Lewis Smedes)
Stepping Into: Mercy
Top 7 Bible Verses Showing God's Mercy Patheos.com
Stepping Into: Community
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan
The Trinity Made Simple by J.P. Holding