Posted in buttface, Great Ends of The Church, tagged bill gates, church, ephesians, ggbolt16, great ends of the church, greatness of god, knowledge and wisdom, pcusa, proverbs, psalms, religion, sermon series, theology, warren buffett on May 23, 2013|
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This is the fourth post of week 2 in a series where I will be journaling through the Consultations on the Common Texts while preaching a sermon series on the “Great Ends of the Church”. Here’s the plan.
Today’s scriptures are Psalm 8, Proverbs 3:13-18, and Ephesians 1:17-19. Today we are looking towards the scripture for Sunday (Romans 5:1-11)
Another one of the aren’t we awesome scriptures…and…by we, I mean the God that we believe in. If God gave us dominion over the works of God’s hands and all things have been put under our feet, what does that say about climate change, celebrating profit over relationship, and the unwillingness to follow God? One of my parishioners asked this question and I had never thought about this in this way, “If we are supposed to have dominion, is God mad that we haven’t learned to control tornadoes yet?” What do we mean when we say dominion, does that mean we’re in control, but God is in control, but when is God calling us to control? Questions, Questions, Questions.
My daughter’s name is the Greek word for wisdom, so I like the scripture. It makes me think about preservation of the truth and the difference between knowledge and wisdom. You can know a lot of stuff but if it doesn’t affect your life it certainly isn’t wisdom. That idea draws me to people like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and others giving away a lot of their money to help others. That seems wise to me, even biblical, if only everyone lived by the knowledge they had.
Another prayer for wisdom and revelation. I can only imagine that you don’t have wisdom without revelation. If there is no “AHA!” moment, then I’m not sure there can be understanding of or acknowledgement of the greatness of God and others.
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Posted in buttface, Great Ends of The Church, tagged church, ezekiel, firstpresnc, great ends of the church, Luke, pentecost sunday, psalm, psalm 29, religion, series, sermon, sermon series, theology on May 15, 2013|
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This is the third post in a series where I will be journaling through the Consultations on the Common Texts while preaching a sermon series on the “Great Ends of the Church”. Here’s the plan.
Today’s scriptures are Psalm 29, Ezekiel 3:12-21, and Luke 9:18-27. Today we are reflecting on the scripture from Sunday (Acts 16:16-34)
Verse 7 says, “the voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.” In terms of the upcoming Pentecost Sunday I’m intrigued by Psalm 29’s varied expressions of the voice of the Lord and how that relates to proclamation of the gospel. St. Francis of Assisi has a famous quote, “preach the gospel always, use words if necessary.” As we are called to proclaim I wonder if we limit how we do that or what proclamation even means. Is a casserole delivery or a hug just as much proclamation as any sermon? I think it is, but in a different way. In our world that is ever changing and the lecture style of communication is waning, how do preachers and the church own and intentionally proclaim the gospel to the world?
Wow! No pressure! God lifts Ezekiel and takes him to live with exiles to tell him that if he doesn’t proclaim God’s word to people they will die and so will he. Yikes! It makes me think of that Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It seems that God is telling Ezekiel if you here something from me, you MUST share it, even if it’s not going to be easy. That’s a challenge. How to tell people things without them thinking you’re a self-righteous jerk or crazy. I know that’s a little extreme, but as someone who stands in a pulpit and proclaims the gospel weekly it’s hard.
“Who do you say that I am?” That’s a tough question. If you look in the media it might appear that Jesus is judgmental, hateful, violent, and aggressive. There’s a saying, “You might be the only Jesus someone ever meets.” As we proclaim the gospel our actions do the talking, if we say one thing on Sunday morning and do something else on Monday that says something about we say Jesus is. Those that are able to be consistent every day of the week are the one’s Christ is talking about in verse 27, “But truly I tell you, there are standing here who will not tast death before they see the Kingdom of God.” The Kingdom of God is around us always and we can have glimpse of it, if we look and we can share that message with all we meet.
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Posted in buttface, Great Ends of The Church, tagged bible, ggbolt16, god bible, great ends, human-rights, paul and silas, pcusa, religion, theology, week 1 on May 13, 2013|
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This is the first post of many where I will be journaling through the Consultations on the Common Texts while preaching a sermon series on the “Great Ends of the Church”. Here’s the plan.
Today’s scriptures are Psalm 29, Exodus 40:16-38, and Acts 16:35-40. Today we are reflecting on the scripture from Sunday (Acts 16:16-34)
This scripture speaks mainly of the power of God. Paul and Silas were in jail when an earthquake shook their chains loose, presumably by God. However, in the translation I am using, The Life With God Bible (NRSV), the title to this Psalm is “The Voice of God in a Great Storm”. This makes me think that when we are locked in our innermost cells in the stocks of our own shame and life situations God’s voice is powerful and can help to lead us to freedom when we listen.
This also makes me think of a story a friend of mine told me. Her father is a Free Will Baptist, in their prayer meetings they have a time of prayer where everyone prays out loud at the same time, it’s more than a litte chaotic. My friend would talk about in those prayer times, she could always here her father’s voice and that reassured her. I always liked that story. Hopefully, even in our darkest times we can still hear God’s voice.
Paul and Silas were freed from their chains but stayed in the prison and saved others. Sometimes we feel like we are free but something is holding us back. Moses made all the preparations, by all intents and purposes he was ready, the Israelites were ready to pass into the Promised Land. It seems that sometimes we are physically ready, but may not be spiritually or mentally ready for the next leg of the journey. Just because we’ve done all the work and crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s doesn’t mean we’re ready. I wonder if Paul and Silas stayed because they weren’t ready, I wonder if I leave before I am ready. I pray that I am able to lead (and follow) folks at the right time, not just when we are ready for a change.
Often we allow people off the hook. Paul, a Roman citizen, demands justice for his beating and arrest. It’s not enough to let him go, the authorities must make amends for their crimes. Sometimes when the injustice no longer affects us we no longer care, but Paul named the injustice and appears to be taking a stand against the systematic injustice around him, hopefully ensuring that it will not affect anyone else.
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