Psalm 85 The Crossroad of Ugly and Grace

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Invitation: Attend to Intersections (Loving-kindness/faithfulness, Righteousness/peace)

You, LORD, showed favor to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of your people and covered all their sins. You set aside all your wrath and turned from your fierce anger. 4 Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. 5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations?6 Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? 7 Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps. [NRSV]

Intersections

The hermeneutical point of every sermon is the crossroads of our story and the story of Jesus Christ.

In that regard, every sermon is basically the same message in the context of where we are and where we meet God’s grace in outlives.

Intersections are locations

We are at the crossroad of Peavine and 95 or (Rock Spring Drive)

From a public relations point of view, we need to lobby to have the section of road between the post office up to Catlett be renamed Rock Spring Drive instead of 95. Not only is part of the crossroad already named such, it connects with our church by that same name and the community’s name and if the Baptist have a road, we need to have a crossroads in the community with our name on it as well. Making known our presence in the context.

Intersections are where journey’s inter-mingle.

One of the great seasons for faith sharing is Christmas and even more in the season prior to Christmas. The Christmas pre-season begins November 1st. It is All Saints day and the day the Halloween items go on sale and the Santa sect celebration begins to unfold.

This season between November 1st and December 31st we are more likely to be in contact with more people, spending more resources, traveling to more over-lapping circles of opportunity. This freeze can’t be sustained for 365 days of a year, but it is important to know we are are in the prime of our year of opportunity for intersections.

Where our stories, lives, work, play, celebrations over-lap with other people and others cults and cultures we are more chances to share our faith with more people.

Intersections have the opportunity or congestion and conflict, and we don’t need to let that become our excuse to avoid the crowds, and thus, the greater opportunities.

So it’s time to use the non-Christ stories to intersect with your Christ stories.

As someone who is celebration Santa Clause to explain how Santa’s celebration gives us opportunities to share grace, 1. Giving gifts to people who deserve no gift. 2. Care for those who are forgotten or rescue or save those who are lost. 3.

The Ugly Sweater Crossroad

“That is the ugliest sweater I have ever seen.” A Conversation Starter. 

Partner Practice Time: Find your partner and take terms having these conversations:  Start with the sweater, transition to faith, share the Good News of CHRIST-mas!

  • In a world filled with signs and acts of ugly, it is a good thing we have a season to see the good beyond the surface.”
  • That is a crazy sweater. Where there are so many crazy things going on in our lives, it is good to have a reminder that God brings order out of chaos.
  • That is the most obnoxious sweater, it’s good news that God loves us even though we obnoxious ways.
  • That sweater is in bad taste, it reminds me that God’s word is sweet like honey.”
  • “That sweater is just sad.”
  • That sweater scares me,” Be not afraid, the angels told the shepherds that Jesus comes to bring hope to our frightened world.

Faith Sharing with a stranger can start from the common opportunity as ugly, crazy, obnoxious, bad, sad or scary place we might find ourselves, and THAT is confirmation of the Goodness of the Good News we share in Jesus’s name.

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