Posts Tagged "World Communion Sunday"

Sermon October 1: Think Tank

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Sunday Message KB | Comments Off on Sermon October 1: Think Tank Faith United Methodist Church October 1, 2017 World Communion Sunday / Family Sunday Rev. Kristabeth Atwood Scripture: Philippians 2:1-5 Prayer of Illumination: We thank you, Gracious God, that you answer all who call on your name.  Make us bold to ask for your help and eager to hear your word.  May our faith in you transform our lives into testimonies to your love and power.  Amen. Sermon:                                           Think Tank Today is the animal blessing, so I’ll tell you something about my dogs.  Niles is my service-dog-in-training who has been in training for four years.  (He’s not the quickest study.)  Bady, who is my 10-year-old service-dog, is a thoughtful – I might even say intellectual – dog.  He does that adorable dog-thing where he tilts his head as he thinks things through.  Niles, though, is all impulse.  He’s the only German Shepherd we know who doesn’t tilt his head.  He can’t be bothered with thinking.  We joke that the only way we can tell that Niles is thinking is if that spot on the top of his head (between his ears) is warm…… We know who’s the brains in this think-tank.  The Scripture lesson for this morning got me thinking about thinking.  Paul tells us that we are to have the mind of Christ.  Does that mean that we are to think like Christ?  And, if so, how does that work?  Would that make us Christians a “think-tank” of sorts?  A group of people to provide information, ideas and advice on Christian things?  Or maybe we’re thinking too much.  Is there more to having the mind of Christ than thinking?  Does having the mind of Christ call us to act in a certain way? As Paul wrote, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” It seems to me that having the mind of Christ means living so that others can see Christ in us.  Having the mind of Christ means letting go of ourselves, our ego, and those things that get in the way of furthering Christ’s work in the world.  As William Greenway suggests in Feasting on the Word, “One does not self-empty by focusing on oneself.  One is emptied of self to the degree one is overcome by the needs, pains, hopes and desires of others.”  If we adopt Christ’s attitude our work will reflect an unselfishness, a lack of competition, a humility, and an effort to strive and serve. When we live in Christ our own preferences, rights, power and desires drop out of the short list of most important things in life.  Instead of doing things in our own power, we do things in the power of Christ.  When we live in Christ we recognize that whatever humble authority we carry within us comes from God and God alone. So maybe the lesson here is not to think too much.  Maybe we are to be more like Niles ~ all action.  Action that grows out of humility, love, and generosity, knowing that Christ is with us.  Sometimes ~ sometime ~ we have to stop thinking and just get to work. Thanks be to the One who empowers us to do more and greater things than we could, alone, imagine.  Thanks be to the One who gifts us with the work of the Kingdom.  Amen.  ...

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Sermon October 5: God’s Love Story

Posted by on Oct 7, 2014 in Sunday Message KB | Comments Off on Sermon October 5: God’s Love Story Faith United Methodist Church October 5, 2014 World Communion Sunday Rev. Krista Beth Atwood   Scripture: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 Prayer of Illumination:   The universe proclaims your truth, O God. Your knowledge flows night and day. We open our ears to hear, our minds to comprehend, and our hearts to receive all that you have to share with us this day. Amen.   Sermon:                                God’s Love Story Rules. We all are supposed to follow them, right? The rules of the road. The laws of society. Even the unwritten rules of our families. But sometimes “rules” seems like a dirty word. Don’t you know the rules? What can’t you just follow the rules, anyway? Rules, Rules, Rules! Today, though, we have before us the rules to beat all rules. The Ten Commandments. How many of you think you could name all ten? No cheating and looking at your Bibles! Yet, even if we are hard pressed to name them all on the spot, we do know they are important, right? The question becomes, why? Well, the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the Jewish law that we find in our Old Testament. And for Jesus, coming from the Jewish culture and tradition, the Law ~ along with the Prophets ~ was his Scripture. In fact, in the Gospel of Matthew we hear Jesus affirm, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Jesus came to live the commandments of God. And he came to show us the way, through grace and love, to live them for ourselves. In modern America, the place of the Ten Commandments in our public life has been a topic of debate. To post or not to post, that seems to be the question. You may remember a few years back when former chief justice of Alabama, Roy Moore, decided to take the Ten Commandments on the road. His “Ten Commandment Tour” involved him loading a 5,280-pound monument of the Ten Commandments onto the back of his pick-up truck and driving from town to town. Hauling around a 5,000-pound monument certainly demonstrates commitment. That’s 500 pounds per commandment. Perhaps the weight of that Ten Commandment monument is fitting, though, since we, ourselves, can sometimes buckle under the weight of the them. The people of Israel were filled with dread even as they received them. “When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.” One way to view the commandments is as a burden, a heavy obligation. After all, they are commandments, right? They are not suggestions, good maxims, options, principles or electives. We don’t call them the Ten Recommendations.   They are commandments. They are God’s rule of life. They are the living words of God and their words do carry weight. I’m not totally convinced, though, that carving them on a monument and hauling them around in the bed of a truck is really the way to go. What we need is to experience the Ten Commandments as lived out through people faith. The people of Israel lived the Ten Commandments in relationship with each other and the living God. D. Brent Laytham shared his opinion in The Christian Century when he wrote, “The appropriate display of the [Ten Commandments] is not a plaque on the wall, nor a replica out front, but the faithful people of God.” Despite what common sense might tell us, following God’s rule of life doesn’t...

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