Archive for October, 2015
One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that “he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and “to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and “to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’—this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question. [NRSV]
Love is the Core Value and Core Action
Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
- you shall love the Lord your God
- with all your heart,
- and with all your soul,
- and with all your mind,
- and with all your strength.’
- The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
- To love God is to love your neighbor and yourself
The five languages…Gary Chapman (not so different a list from the Greatest and 2nd Greatest commandment)
- Words of Affirmation.
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
JESUS EXAMPLES OF “5 love language”
- in this text : Jesus gives the affirmation that the scribe who knows when we show love to others, God’s Kingdom is near to us.
- In the examples of feeding and healing Jesus and the disciples give themselves in service to others.
- From birth, Jesus receives gifts: gold frankincense myrrh, a child’s lunch, the hospitality of supporters. And he gives gifts of healing, food, forgiveness and resurrection.
- Jesus spends concentrated time with the disciples, “leaving nets and follow”, with the little ones, “bring the children to me.”
- Jesus also shows his love through physical touch. The hem of his robe, the touch of his hand, He is not just words in stone, he is a physical example and resources.
All Saints Day
Saints are those who love God because God has first love us
sainthood is not determined by our opinion nor the church’s vote, rather by God.
Those who love God and love neighbor, are themselves love in the world.
Motivation to thank and pray
we have no real reason to love God is God has not loved us first
so we love our neighbor before they love us
- Saints take the first step
- Saints start the conversation
- Saints offer gifts
- Saints make the time
- Saints extend the contact
- loving is a process not a perfection
So on this All Saints Sunday we remember those who have shown us God’s kingdom of Love and we reaffirm ourselves as the Saints who will show God’s love to this world in every way we can.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. [NRSV]
This American Gospel hymn draws us to turn to and trust God to bring us to fruitfulness and to restore what was invested long ago. If you look at the Top 100 popular songs for this week in October, you find these 25 titles that speak of the message of our current culture:
Cant’ Feel my Face, Locked Away, Wildest Dreams, Hotline Bling, Hit the Quan, Ex’s and Oh’s, Same Old Love, Trap Queen, Renegades, My Way, Drag Me Down, Where Ya At, Strip it Down, Love Myself, Worth It, Earned It, Bad Blood, Break Up With Him, Anything Goes, Come Get Her, Nothing But Trouble, Stressed Out, Live From the Gutter, $ave Dat Money, Love Me.
Do these sound like words of joy and fulfillment? Now I’m picking on important genre of the population’s voice and expression. But it is always important to listen to, and to understand the words. The words have meaning and power.
The Pslamist is a song writer: The songs begins by reminded us that God has done GREAT things for us in the past.
The next words, remind us that sometimes all we have left at the moment is the dream of what was. The vital importance of keeping the dream alive.
A call to remember what brought us laughter, joy, comfort, peace and a time where fear, doubt, worry were not our driving realities.
Remember times that you were so happy you and your neighbor could be heard shouting for joy.. (back when the Dawgs could expect to taste sugar at the seasons end.)
Remember when all the other nations would look at our nation and say, God is at work through them in great ways… Not our reputation, but God’s reputation.
The Seasons of emptiness, depression, doubt and loss.
The Negeb water courses…There is a seasonal change, expect the drought, expect the flood, expect the in between conditions. God is present throughout all the seasons.
Exchange program, you bring me tears, I bring you joy. The Rag Man, the Christ
Tears of sadness from the joy. Joy is meaningless without the tears. God is fruitful in both times, all times. Turn toward God in sadness and bring God home in joy.
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: “You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’ ” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions. Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.” Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” [NRSV]
WHAT IS GOODNESS?
- Be a good boy or a good girl?
- Act like a good young man or good lady?
- Work hard, follow the rules and do t get into trouble?
- Do good things and you will become a good person?
- Just avoid doing really bad things, get away with being good enough?
- All wrong.
AM I GOOD? GOOD ENOUGH?
- The short answer: no
- your no good, your no good baby your no good
- And no matter what you give up you cannot buy, make, earn or steal
- Goodness is a God given gift
THERE IS GOOD IN ALL OF US, Right?
I trust that is the image I which we are created
GOODNESS IS NOT SELF INTERESTED
GOODNESS IS GOD INTERESTED, GOD FOCUSED, GOD DRIVEN
ITS TOO HARD TO BE GOOD
- WE ENJOY BEING BAD
- No one WANs to be the goody-two-shoes
- No Eddy Haskle faking it when the auority is looking
- I fact there are times WE ENJOY DEFINING WHAT IS GOOD
WHO ARE WE TO DECLARE SOE THING TO BE GOOD, IF IT IS INDEPENDENT OF GOD
JESUS IS DEFINING GOODNESS AS GOD-ness.
Good comes with the persecution
God is Good, so give God your self, your all.
Am I all in?
The reward of Goodness is realized in heaven
- The world will define its own goodness
- Good will not get you into heaven if it’s your own goodness
- So what’s the deal with being good?
- We think and behave is goodness because God is at work in us
- Keeping the Rules for the rules’ sake, correctness is not God’S Goodness
- Keeping the commandments because we trust God reflects Gods goodness guiding us
The time to be good:
- When our team looses. When our team wins
- When face life. When we face death
- When he world says it’s good to be bad, we ask Whatglories God
- When wealth, comfort, fortune, acceptance surrounds us AND when povert, discomfort, rejection, and unfortuent events weight us,
- When we have governments we like and those we dislike, goodness is still defined by God, not politics, agendas nor principles.
So is God my trust, my focus, my faith?
- There are fears of wars, financial crashes, changes of power and culture
- The Question: is it my Goodness that will save or Gods?
- Whomever can save us is the good that we are to follow.
- So don’t follow me. I’m not following you. We are called to trust Good as Gods
This is what the world need to know
Not their they are bad, we are all short of Good if God is not at the heart
Are you telling the world that simple blessing
“God is greatest, God is Good” everything and everyone else will fail you.
Invite Gods goodness to make you Gods own Goodness
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” [NRSV]
I am grateful for Rev Michael Morton preach while I am away this Sunday. He will be leading the congregation in World Communion.
My refe toon on this weeks text
- Often healing and other prayers are co firmed and we fail to show our gratefulness to God.
- Many peopled bless but few claim the connection with God, in fact many work to disconnect
- Jesus is not in it for the praise and glory. Jesus gives himself to all. Only a fraction return the appreciation.
- The 9 have healing. The tenth has healing and connects the dots of faith.
- God blesses the grateful and the ungrateful. Become one who grows in faith and relationship through Gods faithfulness and grace.