We sometimes wonder if we’ve got the right gifts for the job of loving as Jesus loved, serving as Jesus served and entertaining strangers. God uses whatever gifts we have to share God’s grace and hope with others. A spiritual gift is abilities given to us by God, and carried out through us by the Holy Spirit.Our repeated patterns of hospitality create habits that shape our character. If we're going to be people of hospitality, we need the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to use every gift that God has given us to make the difference, to make the impact. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY8tzHeQiuA

Simple Kindness: Christian hospitality is the active desire to invite, welcome, receive and care for those who are strangers so that they find a spiritual home and discover an unending life in Jesus Christ. When we build a relationship with someone they cease to be a stranger. We should notice that the actions Christ desires us to perform are not beyond our ability. The simple act of sharing a meal has implications for our eternal reward. Spending our time with those in need matters a great deal to Jesus. After all, he committed all of his time to the needs of the world. He wants those who serve him to share in this same attitude... Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_KJFdcbpXo

When you think of Advent, your mind might not immediately go to John the Baptist, but this saintly prophet plays a pivotal role in the liturgical seasons of Advent and Lent. He was the herald, the forerunner who spoke about Jesus’ coming deliverance. No one does a greater job living for and preparing others for Christ than this saint. His entire life, mission, words, and works were breathing examples that pointed, not to himself, but to Jesus. In the midst of our own Advent journeys, there is no better exemplar who can show us the way. John the Baptist was known for his simplistic clothing as he proclaimed the coming of the Messiah. What will you wear this week, and how will you proclaim the good news as you point the way to Jesus? Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKv1QMj4FtY


Jesus has good news for those who are poor (literally) humble, lowly, the needy, the afflicted. Christ looks for those who have been passed over, the outcasts, who realize that they need Someone to come for them. He comes for those who know they are sick, not for those who think they are well. Blessed are the poor in spirit, Jesus would say. He has good news for those who realize just how desperately they need a Savior. In Luke 4:14-21 we find the ‘first sermon’ of Jesus being proclaimed in the synagogue. As followers of Jesus, we have a similar calling with the marginalized, the disenfranchised, those who are hurting and in need of Christ’s love. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQhlVNKXj68&t=1766s

Music Sunday!

Music has been a part of the human experience for as long as humans have existed. Research suggests that music developed right alongside spoken language. It seems our spirits are made to sing. Music has also always been a part of any and every faith tradition. It is natural for humans to express their most holy and sacred thoughts and experiences through song, in all its many forms. On Sunday, September 4, we will celebrate the faith we sing, as we hear the stories of some of our favorite hymns and worship songs, and lift our voices (or sit and listen) in song. Share your favorite hymn or praise song on our Facebook page, facebook.com/UnionChapelIndy. And invite a friend to join you for this uplifting worship experience grounded in the songs of our faith. In-person and online, 10:30 a.m. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u45eAaKgMMU

Feeling anxious? You’re not alone. Between things like financial pressure, health problems, and job stress, it can feel like anxiety is your only option. But your mind matters to God and He wants more for you. Whatever we meditate on becomes deeply rooted in our minds. In today's sermon, we close out the Anxious for Nothing series by focusing on the whatsoever things of God as God's goodness and grace washes over us. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUFf9p-mXsA

The Bible calls David “a man after God’s own heart.” As we look further into the story of David & Goliath we discover that David was 1) anointed by Samuel 2) a respected musician 3) a humble shepherd and 4) a model for servant leadership. Throughout the beginning stages of David's story, we find David exhibits 4 characteristics of servant leadership: 1) takes the initiative 2) responsible for tasks 3) obedient 4) expedient - wasted no time. Goliath embodies the obstacles that we face today. God fills us with the power of the Holy Spirit to face these obstacles in unique ways. Intimidation, fear of man, jealousy, and anger were all obstacles that David faced. However, he overcame by walking in obedience and understanding that he carried his own unique gifting and skills set that would help him overcome Goliath. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Abu0CPmF59s

Finding Hope in Grief

Sometimes mere words aren’t enough. Sometimes what we’re facing escapes the bounds of language and human description. Sometimes what we face defies our ability to make any sense. It’s in moments like this that our hearts are broken, our faith is challenged, and we’re so crushed that to even pray seems impossible. Jesus, upon the death of His friend Lazarus, and seeing Mary weep, “He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33) For the man, Christ Jesus, mere words could not describe the grief He was experiencing in that moment of loss. Let the irony, transparency, and humanity of that moment sink in; the ONE whom John said was THE WORD (John 1:14), had no words. He wept. He groaned. He was troubled. Why is Jesus so qualified to come to your aid? He doesn’t sit idly by and witness your pain and suffering, He too groans in earnest empathetic pain, and He’s ready to do something about it. The life and ministry of Jesus calls us to a place of living a life of love and not fear. We are a people of prayer. We are a people of hope. We are a people who can allow the love of Christ to shine through us in our everyday mission of loving people through acts of kindness, even in the midst of grief and despair. Before God’s Spirit would eventually intercede with unutterable “groanings” that were too great, too intense, too overwhelming, and too painful for words, Jesus groaned and wept with humanity, committing to never leave us nor forsake us. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wunZtEDG6Y0

Our sense of smell has the power to turn us away from something, draw us in, and even trigger deep memories. The smell of a musty basement might take us right back to grandma's root cellar where we played hide-and-seek as a child. A delicious smell from the kitchen let's us know that supper is about ready. Certain aromas tell us its time to clean out the refrigerator. Scripture encourages followers of Jesus to be a 'fragrant offering to God,' just like Jesus was. So just what are others smelling as we Christians make our way through the world? Is it a pleasant experience that draws them in and points them to the goodness of God? Or is it not? Does the world's experience of us repel them because it is so unpleasant? The everyday mission of loving our neighbors through acts of kindness goes a long way toward helping the world smell good! Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSFNhUdYCDQ

Judging Others

You hear it on the school playground; in the teens' locker room; at the coffee shop; around the water cooler at work... the seemingly harmless remarks that are intended to, ever so subtlety, raise ourselves up and put others down. "My mom and dad are taking me to Disney World for spring break. Where are you going?" "After school today my dad's taking me to pick up the car he bought me. Are you still driving your mom's van?" "Did you see how that woman was dressed? Seems a little over the top for someone her age." "What was he thinking? I would never be so crass as to say such a thing out loud - even if I thought it. No wonder he got passed over for that assignment." And the snipes, the criticisms, the judgments only escalate from here. With little effort, we can make ourselves out to be better than nearly anyone else around us. We always have a way to 'one-up' others, as we claw our way to the top of the heap. In the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7), Jesus teaches his followers about life with him in the kingdom of God. And most everything about life with Jesus stands over and against the ways of the world. In the upside-down Kingdom of God, the poor are blessed, people live for others, the rule is love, and prayer is about relationship, not results. And Jesus also has a shortlist of don't's in his sermon. One of them: Do not judge. It seems a simple and clear enough command until we try to live it out. In the upside-down Kingdom of God, living in love with others means not condemning, criticizing, or belittling others. In the upside-down Kingdom of God, our measure is Jesus, not others. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmb_5MmrQQ0&t=4113s