The House of Listening
A 2021 Lenten Series in Four Parts
The House of Listening is a four-part series preparing us for Easter. The title “House of Listening” refers to the Temple when Jesus cleared out the merchants and moneychangers. Quoting Isaiah 56, Jesus declared that his Father’s house would be a “house of prayer,” or listening, for all the nations.
This series will set the stage for the events of Holy Week, Easter and for the weeks that follow when we focus on the expansion of the church to all the nations in the Book of Acts.
Part I: Are Idols Still a Thing? - March 7
This message begins the series by looking at the first and second commandments in Exodus 20. Although idolatry is largely culturally obsolete, its essence is still a danger to us in our materialistic times. We will see that God’s self-disclosure has always been through words, not objects. Thus, those who wish to know God must be good at listening to those words. We are to become The House of Listening, an apt metaphor for our church in these days of growth and planning.
Part II: Occupy the Temple. - March 14
Do you remember the Occupy Wall Street Movement? In John 2:13-22 Jesus takes on Corporate Judaism in the form of the Temple. We will explore what the gospel teaches us about Jesus’ response to a religious culture focused on the external matters of institutional religion rather than on the skill of listening to God in His Temple.
Part III: A High Priest Forever. - March 21
In this message, we explore the lectionary text of Hebrews 5:5-10, which declares Jesus a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. This striking passage shows how the Book of Hebrews rereads Jesus’ relationship to the Temple and how his life, death and resurrection supplanted the need for reliance on Judaism’s institutions. This transforms the relationship of God to humanity and sets the law in our hearts – a true act of listening.
Part IV: The King Versus the High Priest. - March 28
This Palm Sunday message will focus on the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem a few days before he was crucified. We will prepare our hearts for the darkness of Holy Week and look with expectation toward a glorious Easter morning.