2024 Yearlong Theme: A Lived Amen


Our 2024 Theme Goal:

Seeing the surpassing worth of God and worshiping him with our lives.


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For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 11:36-12:1


2024 Sermon series

• A Lived Amen // January 7-14
• Being the Church // January 21 – February 18
• Jesus & People // February 25 – May 5
• Ecclesiastes // May 19 – July 28
• A Lived Amen: theme revisit // August 4-11
• Humans Being // August 18 – September 29
• 1 Peter // October 6 – November 24
• Advent // December 1-29



Romans 11:36-12:1 presents a comprehensive methodology for living the Christian life, and it’s this methodology that we will spend all of 2024 unpacking. In Romans 11:36, Paul sums up his previous eleven chapters on the mystery of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, and he does so with a doxology. Like Paul, when we truly see the Triune God’s all-surpassing greatness, by which we come to understand him as the source, sustainer, and goal of all things, and simultaneously perceive the mercy we’ve received in Christ (12:1), we are moved to worship: “To him be glory forever. Amen.”

But we should ask, what response is appropriate to this realization? What should we render unto God? Nothing short of everything. Paul plants a giant “therefore” right between his doxology and his exhortation because the two are linked; in light of this, we must do that. God is the all-in-all, therefore we give him all; God is the Everything, from whom we have received everything, therefore we give him everything. By calling us to “present [our] bodies as a sacrifice,” Paul indicates the whole of our lives with a particular emphasis on the visceral, concrete, even mundane aspects of our embodied existence. As we say in our DNA language, Jesus is worthy of our entire lives.

Total response
Now, a focus on response might turn your stomach, particularly if it just sounds to you like someone guilting you into “doing more.” And rightly so—revulsion over to-do-list Christianity is well-deserved, and you’ll find sharp words from Paul on the matter (Gal 5:1). But our repulsion to performance-driven Christianity is a reaction to a trite, institutionalized form of worship rather than a reaction to the sort of response for which Romans 12:1 calls. If we trumpet the surpassing worth of Christ and then only call people to attend more events and give our church more money, the disconnect is transparent. Perhaps our disgust over “do more” Christianity comes from our intuition that this is, in actuality, less than what the gospel demands of us. In contrast to this sort of trite response, a total response is both appropriate to the worthiness of God and is a robust testimony to doubters and seekers, who Lord-willing would conclude that the claims of the Bible might mean something.

So, always working from the conviction that the Triune God is the all-surpassing Sovereign, we hope to strike most pointedly on what it means to present our all-encompassing response to him. This lived sacrifice is the response-life of the Christian, the stumbling steps of the freshly resurrected, in which we look to the animating force of this life: Jesus Christ.

Life in Jesus
Paul’s use of the word “sacrifice” tips us off to his meaning in the death and resurrection of Jesus, which he connected to our faith-filled response back in Romans 6: “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his…[so] present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life” (6:5; 6:12). This resurrection life is lived in Christ, not a better version of myself to which I am straining but a me-in-Christ into which I am being remade. Thus a proper understanding of this sacrificial life can only come through being discipled to the life of Jesus, scrupulously studying his manner and learning his ways (as we’ll see in series like Jesus & People and Humans Being).

But of course, this is no easy task—the process of being made new in Christ includes deconstruction, the dislocation of our false idols, and death to ourselves, as God slays us to make us alive in him (ex. our Ecclesiastes series).

Just one goal
To return to the goal of our series, we could easily treat it as two separate thoughts, 1. Seeing the surpassing worth of the Triune God and then 2. Worshiping him with our lives. As Paul structures Romans 11 and 12, seeing God’s worth is logically prior to our response, but these are essentially two sides of the same coin—because the confession of God’s surpassing worth is always held within a human person, the practice of our total response is merely the human outcome of this confession.

For this reason, all year long we’ll focus on both worship and response, seeing and living as a unified whole. This is particularly important because, in American Evangelicalism, we tend to artificially distinguish the two with language like “head knowledge” vs. “heart knowledge.” One cannot have good theology and bad practice (see James 2:18).

The Christian life involves both seeing God’s worth and responding in lived worship as a continual feedback loop. Imagine flipping a coin off your thumb and seeing both sides flash around and around in the air—since God is worthy of all glory and the source of our life in Christ, we render our whole Christ-animated lives to him for his glory, again and again and again and again.

How A Lived Amen connects to All of God for All of Us
Our 2023 theme, All of God for All of Us, observed the connection between the unified diversity of the Trinity and the unified diversity of God’s multi-ethnic people. This was borne out of dual convictions: 1. our need to grow in understanding and worship of the Triune God and 2. our perception that sufficient growth towards becoming a multi-ethnic church could not be achieved without prolonged, sermon-based teaching on the matter.

On the heels of Divine Community, A Lived Amen might sound markedly silent on diversity. However, you’ll notice the bones of 2023 and 2024 are remarkably similar: our worship of God leads to a thoroughgoing and costly response to him, for our good and his glory. A Lived Amen should give us plenty of room to address the many facets of our lived response to him, including our continued growth in gospel reconciliation and cross-cultural love. And, while 2024 doesn’t have an explicitly targeted sermon series like Divine Community, this absence should allow for some space to integrate lessons learned from 2023, much like sore muscles need a break before the next workout.
There is, of course, a threat here we need to keep an eye on: some of the momentum we’ve gained towards multi-ethnic community in 2023 could be lost in 2024 if we do nothing to sustain it. Spending all our time between workouts sitting on the couch will do nothing but injure us.

A word on Amen
Our English amen and the Greek ἀμήν are both transliterated from the Hebrew ᾽āmēn, which is most essentially an affirmation or assent; “indeed” or “that’s right” are good approximations. Said at the end of a prayer, it has the effect of concluding, “let it be so!”

Amen can seem like a religious filler word, but it possesses unassuming richness. Said by mortal humans, it underscores our limitations; what was just asked will only be so if God lets it. The silence that follows is a void for the Creator to fill. Said in a group, it unites us in a single voice of agreement.

But the Bible heaps even more riches on the word. Jesus is titled The Amen (Rev 3:14), in whom all God’s promises find their Yes and through whom we utter our own Amen (2 Cor 1:20) as we are brought more and more into conformity with his image. In this one word we find a microcosm of our whole theme: through The Amen we learn what to say Amen to with our lives.


How the theme connects to each sermon series

A Lived Amen // January 7-14
Unpacks the unifying theme of seeing the surpassing worth of God and worshiping him with our lives.

Being the Church // January 21 – February 18
We’ll address five hallmarks of membership in Jesus’s church to see how our collective and individual faithfulness is marked by living in light of his worthiness.

Jesus & People // February 25 – May 5
With careful attention to Jesus’s interactions with various people in the gospels, we’ll take into view a response to his work as well as the life of Jesus to which we are discipled (this series will lay foundation work for Humans Being).

Ecclesiastes // May 19 – July 28
As we seek to live in light of God’s surpassing worth, anything that we perceive as more worthy than God will need to be dislocated from the altars of our souls. Ecclesiastes will do just this sort of deconstruction work so that God can reconstruct us as his devoted worshipers.

A Lived Amen: theme revisit // August 4-11
Before the August rush, we’ll take two weeks to revisit our 2024 theme.

Humans Being // August 18 – September 29
In this topical series we’ll assess several themes of Jesus’s life, notable in his manner and teachings, learning how to be human from God-become-man.

1 Peter // October 6 – November 24
Verse-by-verse, we’ll see in particular how God sustains us through a life lived in this world as citizens of the next, assuring us that living in light of his worth is not in vain.

Advent // December 1-29
It’ll be about Jesus.