Ockenga Fellows Reflection

Ockenga Fellows Reflection

Technology and the Bible | Genesis 4:19-22

During this pandemic, more than any other time in my life, we have depended on technology to remain connected, employed, and on the go. You may be experiencing or are currently experiencing “Zoom fatigue.” Zoom fatigue is when you get done with a day of work and you’re completely drained from all those online meetings and interactions. This happens because it takes more energy to have a meeting over Zoom. You have to focus or you might get lost in…

The Dance of Redemption | Song of Songs 2:8-10 (Ballet Sermon)

The ballet Giselle is a love story between a young frail maiden and a nobleman. Giselle lives in a small village with her mother where the villagers are preparing to celebrate the Wine Festival. The local huntsman Hilarion secretly loves her but so does another, Count Albrecht. The Count disguises himself as a peasant and shows her affection and care to win her love. The huntsman Hilarion will have none of it. He interrupts their dance and his suspicion grows…

Art & Beauty | Philippians 4:8

When Monica and I are on vacation we spot a contemporary art museum and I always say, “Hey, we should go check that out!” And then when we do go, I always hate it. I’m like, “What is this?!” So I’m preaching on art and beauty today… Let’s pray. I was sitting in one of my classes in seminary when a student raised his hand. I didn’t know this student very well. He was hipster; he wore a beanie to…

Education | Matthew 22:34-40

Does education matter? Most of probably think, “Of course!” In Westford alone an estimated 45% of the population has a four–year college degree or higher. At the very least we live in a community that values education. Maybe I should rephrase the question. Does education matter… to God? A Pharisee, one who was “an expert in the last” asked Jesus a similar question (Matt 22:35). Matthew 22:36-37 (NIV) 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied:…

Politics | Jeremiah 29:4-14

Today I’m preaching on politics. I was just at my fourth Ockenga retreat at Gordon-Conwell and this was our topic. My goal today is not to convince you to vote for a candidate or issue or to review this week’s news but to help us all process how the Bible calls believers to think about politics. Today’s sermon is not comprehensive, but hopefully you’ll find it helpful, or at least thought-provoking. If you want to have a friendly conversation about…

Aging | Ecclesiastes 12:1-8

Today I’m continuing to reflect on what I’m learning at the Gordon-Conwell Ockenga Fellows retreats. Last time I talked about death and dying, but today I want to talk about aging, about growing old. Now obviously I have more years than some of you and less than others. So I’ll do the best I can to teach what the Bible has to say about aging. I’m also going to share some of what others who know better than I have…

A Good and Faithful Death | Psalm 90

Tonight we are going to talk about death. At the Ockenga Fellows Retreat last week we discussed “Science, Technology, and Healthcare.” I’m going to cover technology in May but tonight I want to discuss how to die well. By show of hands, who here thought about death this week, either your death or that of a loved one, family member, or friend? A lot of us thought about death this week. Our culture doesn’t like to talk about death but…

A Theology of Work | 1 Corinthians 10:31

This is the second sermon in a series in which I will share some of what I am learning at the GCTS Ockenga Fellows retreats. The program exists to help the church bring about renewal and transformation to our culture. Our first session was on the Great Awakening and Ministry in New England and the second session was on Business & Work. We read two books for this session: Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God’s Work by Timothy…

Are You Born Again? | John 3:1-8

This is the first of several sermons throughout the next two years in which I will reflect on what I learn at the GCTS Ockenga Fellows retreat. The Gordon-Conwell Ockenga Institute is named after the seminary’s first President, Dr. Harold John Ockenga, and exists to help the church bring about cultural renewal and transformation. Our first session was on the Great Awakening and Ministry in New England, so I look forward to sharing some of what I learned in this…