Category Archives: Sermon Thoughts

Thoughts – May 27, 2012

John 13:34-35; John 15:12-13

Imagining: a friend in my close circle of friends approaches me and pledges to protect me and sacrifice their life for mine. There is nothing I can do or say to my friend to convince them that I don’t want them to give up their life for mine, that my life is not important enough to be worthy of sacrifice. But I can’t convince my friend to see things my way. Nothing I say will change their mind. My friend will lay down their life for me. This friend loves me that much.

What can I do to repay that offer of protection and sacrifice? How can I show my gratitude for this amazing show of love? Is there anything I can do to appropriately acknowledge the gift that I have been given?

Perhaps the only thing I can do to prove myself worthy of this gift, to show that I truly do appreciate this gift is to do my best to show that magnitude of love and devotion to others. To do whatever I can as a person, a human, a mortal to enrich and sustain the lives of others. ALL others. Others of different faiths, different beliefs, different races, different politics.

Because loving only those who are like me, who are the same as me, is not love. True love is not selective. True love is inclusive. True love includes sacrifice. Sacrifice of self and being. You cannot receive love without giving love in return.

If you were told that the only thing you were required to do in your lifetime was to love everyone, would you? Could you? Would you at least try? We may not be capable of perfect love, but we can certainly try.

And perhaps, with enough effort, we can come close to knowing what it is like to offer our lives as a sacrifice for another’s. To want to do anything to protect someone and ensure their safety, here and now. And later.

Thoughts – May 20, 2012

Luke 24: 13-27

Today’s sermon was told as a story. A story based on today’s scripture. The point of the sermon was the importance of telling our story. Telling our faith story to others, telling our family story to others. If faith stories were not told and retold to strangers and family, faith would not grow and spread and touch the lives of others, would not encourage others to explore their own faith.

Why do you believe? What in your past, your family history, your personal experience leads you to believe that God is God, that Christ is Christ? What motivates you to live your life as close as possible to Christ’s example?

For myself, I don’t exactly know my story, at least not in words that I can easily string together in a comprehensible statement. But what I do know is that my works, the way I can best show people my faith in action, the best example of Christ I can emulate is to do for others what they cannot do for themselves. I give. I give blood, I gave a kidney, I’m trying to give a family a child, I pay for random strangers’ groceries when they have left their credit card at home and the cash they have is not enough. I give money to my church on a regular basis, including when I receive extra money I didn’t expect or earn. I have seen immediate and delayed results of my gifts and that is the affirmation I get that my faith “story,” as it were, is working, is a testimony that others can see.

My personal “story” is that if I cannot teach or heal or do, I can give to the best of my ability.

What is your story? What gives you the ability to stand up and say, “I believe in Christ?”

February 26, 2012

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Mark 1:1-15

Today’s sermon was focused on the Greek word Euthus, often translated into English as Immediately. The sermon’s theme was about the Gospel of Mark and it’s sense of urgency. After major events, Jesus, the disciples, the crowds all performed their actions with urgency, as if they all knew that there was not enough time to get everything done.

It seemed that the sermon suggested that if you see something important happening around you or in your life, you don’t sit to the side and think about what needs to be done, you act immediately. You act with conviction. You do what is right. You do what you know to be true, leaving not a second to chance or doubt.

But what if you don’t feel that sense of urgency. If you do not feel that you need to do something right away, what does that mean? Does it mean that what you are feeling (or not feeling) is not right? If you are not feeling an immediate pull to something that others are already following, is the path the others are taking not the right path for you?

If you do not feel compelled to do something, could it be that you are not supposed to do it? Is Euthus an indication of a call? Or is it just one indication?

What happens to those who follow at a less immediate pace? Are we left behind to wonder what all the fuss was about? Or, perhaps, do we come with a different perspective, a different account of what happened?

If you feel a sense of urgency in what you are to do, embrace the Euthus. But, I think, if you do not feel that same requirement of speed, take a steady and slow approach to it. Do not feel as if your experience is “less than” just because you did not have that sense of rush, that Euthus. Perhaps God has slowed you down for a reason. Perhaps you are needed where you are right now.

Perhaps I need to follow my own advice.