Archive for July, 2014

Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 “God Shines through a Gold Tooth” RSUMC 20140727

 

Krispy Kreme logo

Krispy Kreme logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

goldtooth He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, ‘Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.’ He answered, ‘The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen! [NRSV]

There have been some strange things show up in the offering plate through the years.

A half of a set of dentures, a silver scull and cross bones, IOUs, prepaid gift cards, chips from Harra‘s casino and once a gold tooth.

The funny things is the old dentures sold at a church yard sale for $20 and became one of the annual White elephant gifts at the choir Christmas party.

The scull ring sold for $44 on eBay. The gift cards took a traveling family to lunch. The casino chips were invested back at Harra’s and returned double the investment.

The gold tooth was valued at $14. It became the core ore of a smelting for mission trip to Brazil.

Sometimes what seems like the weeds turns out to be the fruit.

But there is a more serious warning found in the simple parable.

Jesus was the author of the parable. There had been fables similes and metaphors. But Jesus use this new teaching that combines elements of other figures of speech and story telling to explain the foundations of God‘s nature, methods, purpose and reality

Today’s parable teaches about the power if the weeds

My grandfather would drop his grand kids on the edge of a forty plus acre field and expect is to pull stalks Johnson grass out from the new corn plants. To the untrained eye like mine, they looked very similar and I would pull up the corn with greater easy than the grass. So the grass would not take root again we had to carry what we pulled to the end of each row where we could show off our hard work. My best effort was about 50/50.

My cousins might have accused me of doing it on purpose as I would get to have extra time with granddaddy learning the difference having him work on my row with me. But that grass would spread and strangle the corn. It had to be removed but we would never get it all. But when the corn got taller than the grass it was too late, it would have to wait.

Not matter how careful or faithfully we live we live in a sinful broken world filled with evil and temptation of all kinds. And God allows the crisis and chaos

Not so much as our punishment. Rather as a witness of Gods patience and nature. God is willing to wait on us, while we wait on God.

Be sure that if I’m trying to loose weight I don’t need to go visit the hard working folks at Krispy Kreme. I just found one in East Ridge this week I almost made it to the parking lot but knew I didn’t beed to be that close to the confections.

I have heard it said that of the angels made food for God it would come up from that hot goodness and through that glaze fountain at Krispy Kreme

From the parable I know God is not going to stop the production at KK Dunkin and other bakeries on my account. God is more interested in my choices than the presence of evil.

That a simple one. We look at millionaire entertainers and athletes who we idolize and know more about than the neighbors who fear for jobs and dread for closures.

Just like the good seeds in the parable wish God would have all those who would bring evil I to the field stopped and they destruction removed. God doesn’t operate that way

What God promises is to stand with us in the mix. If we stand with God evil will not prevail in the end.

But what do good seeds like us do in the between time.

First we need to stand with God. Don’t give in to evil and say god is not with us. God is real and alive

Second teach and remind each other that the precise if evil is not the end of the story. Have hope and do t give in. How do I know if I have give up? When I quit asking or trying.

Finally shine like the Son. Live like we know that evil is a temporary state and not the answer goal or default.

Let the love and patience of god shine brighter then the lutes and tease of evil and God will shine through us.

Homework. Identify what are the weeds and what is the corn
Ask forgiveness for when we call evil good

Don’t call a hot one nutrition
Don’t call feeding a child to trivial

Don’t call security wealth
Don’t call opening your heart to be in Christain relationship too hard.

Don’t think god had checked out
Don’t check out just when God calls for us to stand up.

Get it? Got ears? Good. Go do it.

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Romans 8.12-25 Free to Risk RSUMC 20140720

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So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh –for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption.

When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ–if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. [NRSV]

Adopted for Belonging
Saved for trust
Claimed for holiness and witness

Homework. Show someone you trust Jesus Christ.

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Psalm 113 “Passionate Worship” RSUMC 20140713

GiveGodYourHeart.jpg1 Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord; praise the name of the Lord. 2 Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time on and forevermore. 3 From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised. 4 The Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. 5 Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high, 6 who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 7 He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, 8 to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. 9 He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord! [NRSV]

Praise the Lord!

Call to the crowd, now is the time to praise.

Bless the Name, now and always

Start at sun up until you sleep

God is AUTHOR and all authority,

In Heaven and on earth

 

Cheer: Who is like our God, who is at the highest high?

Response: God who is way up there raises the poor from the dust,

Lifts the needy from the ash heap

Makes them sit with princes and kings

He gives life and make our hearts and homes fruitful and meaningful

 

I introduce to you a topic we will study and practice for years to come:

Passionate Worship

Worship too often is twisted around 180 degrees.

If you every hear someone say, “I just didn’t get anything out of worship.”

If you every hear someone say, “ I didn’t care for the music or the sermon.”

If you every hear someone say, “I need to find worship that makes me feel good or even my toes stepped upon.”

 

These are examples that worship has been flipped upside down and backwards.

Worship is not about the preacher, its not about the musicians, it is not about the congregation.

Worship is about God.

 

It is both a time and a place to direct ourselves toward God

It is a time to gather for God’s benefit and not our own.

Worship is putting the REALITY of our hearts into the hands and heart of God.

Sometimes we bring to God our poverty, brokenness and weakness.

Sometimes we bring to God our celebration, love and devotion.

Always it is God’s people coming to connect and give ourselves, our gifts and our futures to God.

 

Passionate Worship

Is placing our hearts, empty or full on the alter of God and becoming a living sacrifice through Jesus Christ.

Passionate Worship

Is coming together as unique individuals with differing depths of relationship to God and sitting together as fellow heirs in the court, together as son and daughters of the God.

Passionate Worship

Is putting our life on the line each time we gather in this place to be both strong and vulnerable. Bringing our faithfulness and our failures. Offering out sweat-equity and in-equities to be used through God’s Spirit in this world.

Now if you come to Sunday school or Bible study or small group and you don’t connect you can say, “I didn’t get anything out of it,” but that is different than worship.

Worship the primary way we show our praise of God 

Passionate Worship

Is putting our hearts on the line, that God and God’s people in trust and with integrity.

Passionate Worship is doing the Spiritual HokyPoky and putting our whole self in God’s hand…

Passionate Worship is not counting the minutes until we are done, rather counting the minutes until we are here again.

 

Is our Worship Passionate?

This is our home work.. Tell one person this week, Name one thing you bring to worship that pleases God, and explain why.

 

 

 

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Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30   “A Generation to Tell” RSUMC July 7, 2014

 ComeJesuswillgiveYourest “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to o one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” [NRSV]

1. All things have been entrusted to Jesus

2. Therefore: Come to Jesus……..

  • Come with your troubles,
  • Come with your problems,
  • Come with your failures and emptiness
  • Come empty and leave filled.

3. This is the invitation of Holy Communion.

If I have not emptied my heart, by pride, my pockets and wallet, my fears and ordinary parts of life.. then empty to be that much more filled.

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