The church today has become stagnant and self-satisfied that we have found God; that we fully know God; that the Divine is reachable. We seem to believe that we can overcome our limited human capacities and somehow capture the Divine, place it in a box, dissect it, dilute it and direct it until it looks remarkably like something humanity created rather than something that created humanity.
We need new management. Actually, we need old management... really, really, ineffably old management.
In that moment as their eyes lock, as the child looks at his own father in fear, questioning why, as the father looks down upon his child ready to take the life that he helped bring into the world…in that moment as their eyes lock, irreparable damage is done. In the recording of the remainder of both of their lives, the child never utters another word to his father, and his father never utters another word to God. And God? God waits - waits for that moment to pass - waits for the damage to be done – and THEN says, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him.”…Don’t do anything to him? Isn’t it too late for that?
"In the beginning, there was something - not nothing – there was something, and that something was formless and void, rolling and dark, chaotic, seething with potential, but lacking true life. Our God intervened. Our God spoke into the darkness, into the chaos and began a change. A change which brought forth life from what seemed to be chaos. Creation broke forth on the words of God."
"We have attempted to domesticate God’s Spirit – much like the common dog. We tried to tame it, teach it to curl up beside our hearths and be obedient. We want to quantify it, objectify it, demystify it - train it, contain it & constrain it – like our children, we want it stop being so wild and uncontrollable. We want it to lose its propensity to form something new out of a world in which we feel comfortable."
This sermon is recorded in two parts. Please listen to "Part 1" and then listen to the YouTube clip. Then listen to "Part 2."
This is how it was presented during worship.
The last thing Jesus says to the disciples before rising up from this earthly toil and going into heaven is (loosely translated) this: “Look, God is going to give you gifts. Use them. Not just for anything – for something important. Go out there, into this world – a world full of emptiness - and shine a light. Not just any light, the light of the grace of God.” My favorite line comes a couple of verses later. After Jesus rises up, two men in white robes (presumably angles) come up to them and say (again, loosely translated), “Whatcha' lookin' at?”
A message based on John 14:15-21.
"But we, the Church, (oddly) prefer charity to justice. We are more than glad to take bagged lunches to people on street corners, but we are shamefully reluctant to stand on street corners protesting when the very programs that could help those in need are being de-funded."
A message based on Acts 7:51-60.
It is not likely than any of us will be called to give up our actual lives for love (though some of us may)... but it may be, that we must be willing to die to the things of this world in order to truly love.
Please take a moment to listen to our anthem, which is referenced in the message.
The End is Near(er)
It's the End of the World as we Know It
(and I feel fine)
A message based on Mark 13:1-8. In it, I take a look at end of world predictions. I debunk the end of world predictions for May 21, 2011 and December 21, 2012. As well as look at the message of hope that is caught up in this scripture and how it should impact our day to day lives.
↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ ↑↑↑ - Click the ► button to hear the message.
Message based on Acts 11:1-18
It's the divine bottom line: we are human and God is God; try as we might, we cannot hinder God. What does God want for this world, God’s good creation? Leviticus 19:18: that we should “love our neighbor as ourselves.” What does God want for this world? Today’s text: that we should not call unclean, unacceptable, unworthy anything that God has made. What does God want for this world? For God’s church in this world, for us, to stop our bickering, infighting, and divisive ways; for us to practice our Bible verses rather than our people verses; for us to welcome everyone to the table.