Vineyard Church of the Peninsula
34 episodes


How God’s Kingdom Works
2021 May 0234m 8s
The functioning of God’s Kingdom, devoid of competition, jealousies, and grandstanding, stood in stark contrast with the functioning of the disciples’ world. Jesus’ teachings and demonstrations of the Kingdom, while definitely awe-inspiring, had to have been, to some degree, inconceivable to the entrenched thinking of his group of twelve guys. So many of the details seemed an impossible stretch, too peculiar, upside-down even. Maybe Jesus meant for them to understand that he was simply exaggerating to make a point, and not anticipating that they would follow these instructions legalistically. Maybe there was a hidden code they were yet to decipher. Or maybe he was openly revealing an entirely ‘other’ reality, a portal into a Divine community where pure love and joy and peace were constants, where happy laughter was the norm, where sin and its pollutions, including death, were banned for all eternity.
Timeless Urgency
2021 Apr 2543m 37s
Dateline: circa AD 33, Location: Jerusalem - It’s been 21 days since Jesus’ Resurrection, just over halfway to day 40 when he will be taken up from before the eyes of his ever-incredulous disciples. It means that Jesus is super-concentrated on defining details of the Kingdom, its atmosphere, its workings, its priorities, as well as a more detailed description of what is foreign to its atmosphere, its workings, its priorities. Overlaid on this finetuning is a repeated emphasis on the Father’s intimate, abiding, saturating love. Military might, strategic dominance and Israel’s return to freedom in power and glory are nowhere mentioned in the briefings. A strange Kingdom indeed.
All That and More
2021 Apr 1838m 12s
Matthew’s gospel emphasizes the Kingdom of Heaven (40 references) and Jesus as its King (14 times). His writing bridges the 400-year gap between the Old and New Testaments, carefully outlining the clear and unmistakable lineage from King David to King Jesus. Matthew wrote this account approximately 30 years after Jesus left to be seated at the right hand of the Father in the glory of the courts of Heaven. The disciples, while Jesus walked with them, were in the thick of accepting and making sense of their experience and tying it together with everything they knew of their Scriptures, even as they were regularly stupefied to be first-hand witnesses to the breaking through of the Kingdom of Heaven in their day and in their lives. That a certain level of detail escaped them in the heat of the moment, is understandably human, and immensely forgivable.
Chosen for Service
2021 Apr 1127m 54s
‘Eastertide’ (the 50 days between Resurrection Sunday and Pentecost) was a precious time when Jesus seemed, for all intents and purposes, to be ‘back,’ and apparently back exclusively for the twelve, reinforcing his previous explanations of the Kingdom and how it operated, answering any further questions that came up, urging them not to leave Jerusalem until a future, undefined event had occurred, and proving to his little band of emerging leaders that he remained confident in their latent abilities. Luke, in Acts 1, talks of Jesus ‘appearing’ many times, making this a challenging new post-Resurrection twist in their relationship. Instead of hanging out with them as before, he would leave/disappear for a time then return/re-appear. Perhaps it was his way of weaning them of their clingy dependence and providing opportunities to strengthen their faith.
Resurrected JESUS Revealed
2021 Apr 0434m 36s
Old Testament saints longed to see it. Jesus’ disciples and his contemporaries longed to comprehend it. We are called to remember it. Not just the starry night and the storied manger, not just the miracles and signs and wonders, not just the cruelty and mockery of Holy Week, not just the betrayal and the mock trial and the beating and the cross, but the once-for-all defeat of sin and death, Satan’s rout, our incredible, first inhale of freedom. As the resurrected Jesus’ redeemed ones, his becoming-spotless Bride, his Church, his Kingdom Ambassadors, we are but ordinary clay pots, but clay pots who are brimming with anointings, with giftings, with divine endowments, with worth. We, finite mortals all, now ooze holiness, being too frail to contain it within our as-yet uncompleted frame. Jesus’ perfume has become ours. His mark is upon us. His glory is our treasure. His kingdom realm has become our true and forever home. And so, we look ahead to see Him that we might more clearly see Him today.
The Song: David Heard It
2021 Mar 1436m 52s
Rahab’s great-great-grandson was raised in the insignificant region of Judah called Ephratah, in the even less significant village of Bethlehem. He was the youngest of the eight sons of a man named Jesse and charged with watching his father’s sheep. He was also a singer/worshiper/musician/songwriter. He was an obedient son whose life was dedicated to serving the Lord, the God of Israel. His anonymity expired just as happened with Abraham, Moses, and his great-great grandmother before him. He was launched on a path he could not have foreseen, one that would guarantee no one would ever need to ask his name. As for the song, David knew its invitation more intimately than most.
THE SONG: Rahab Heard it
2021 Mar 0733m 15s
It’s embarrassing! It’s cringingly awkward! God’s love story talks about – it. The church’s prudish sensitivities are never on fuller display than when the Word includes tales of illicit love affairs, seductions, rapes, people caught ‘in the act’, even the ‘world’s oldest profession.’ But there it is, in print for all to see and read. One of the Old Testament books was considered so racy, young men were strongly encouraged, if sometimes commanded, to not read it for fear of the troublesome consequences. And yet, God! And that love song! No one is excluded from its invitation. Not even a prostitute! It’s been said: “God sees from on high, but he looks real low.” The ‘lowly’ Rahab heard it.
THE SONG: Moses Heard It
2021 Feb 2847m 6s
What an astonishing story! In just a few short verses, Scripture introduces us to a baby born at one of the worst times in history, in some of the worst conditions imaginable. The king’s edict has gone out that all newborns like him are to be put to death immediately after they are born. In an act of defiance, the two Hebrew midwives honor God over the king. The baby is hidden in a basket in the bushes by the river, found by an Egyptian princess, returned to be nursed again by his own mother, then adopted into Pharaoh’s household and raised and educated in the palace as an Egyptian prince! This one whose life was supposed to have been snuffed out, was loved and cherished by the very one who had willed his demise! Moses heard the song.
Living with God’s Justice
2021 Feb 0737m 10s
A key component of God’s intricate plan of salvation is for his church, his bride, to live out her physical life in the world without allowing her soul to be assimilated into it. His blueprint accounts for every contingency: sending a live-in life coach – his Spirit, assuring an advocate with Himself - his crucified, risen, now-reigning Son, composing a letter of faithful, loving promise - his Living Word. In consummate righteousness, Jesus holds eternal status as the King supreme over All Kings and the Lord supreme over all Lords. He rules with terrible justice and mighty power. He is the plumbline of Amos 7. It is an excessively grim self-condemnation to continue living next door, quaking in fear of the Plumbline, having been invited in to live with him, the Seat of Justice of the whole earth, to bask in the security of his radiant glory, his Shalom.
Living with God’s Faithfulness
2021 Jan 3132m 46s
To the poor, the lonely, the abused, the abandoned, the depressed, the very idea of a faithful God can seem like twisted humor; something available to everybody else, but not them, or at the very least, something for which everyone else qualifies. The brokenness of the world and the clanging cymbal of a divided Church conspire against them to heap despair on despair. Hearing about God’s faithfulness but not living with it is one of life’s bitterest disappointments. For Christians to be sidelined on that dead-end street often leads to no longer following Jesus, but with nowhere else to turn. Today there are tens of millions in the US who are tragically referred to as the formerly churched. And all the while the Gospel of the Kingdom continues proclaiming the unchanging, indeed unchangeable, faithfulness of Creator God to all who come to him.