Below are the transcripts of some of the sermons and meditations that I have had the opportunity to give at the Church of the Messiah over the years.
The ministry of lay persons is to represent Christ and his Church; to bear witness to him wherever they may be; and, according to the gifts given them, to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation in the world.
The result of living a life of gratitude towards God in Christ is a breaking of the pattern of Prayer, Deliverance, and Forgetfulness, because every day, not just the extraordinary days, are days to give thanks.
Like Mary, we too have been asked and tasked to help make God real and present in this world.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Choose, therefore, from every church those things that are pious, religious, and upright, and when you have, as it were, made them up into one body, let the minds of the English be accustomed thereto.
O For a thousand tongues to sing My dear Redeemer’s praise! The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace!
And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
In following Jesus the Messiah, we are a people of prayer, of proclamation, and of an abiding humility. We follow him in peace, respecting the dignity of others, and caring for their physical needs. And, like the Messiah, we are a people of forgiveness and reconciliation. This is what it means, when we call ourselves, The Church of the Messiah.
Therefore, as you go out into the world this week, seek out the Canaanite in your life. Seek out that person or group for whom you are certain stands outside of God’s Kingdom. Engage them without judging them and be ready for God to work within them and within you.
This is our calling. A calling to imitate our Lord and our God. For like him, we are to sow the love of God abundantly and without distinction among all people. For no person is beyond being a recipient of the Grace and Love of Jesus Christ.
So what does that return look like? A return to the beatific plumb line is not a matter of your own effort to just be better tomorrow. Rather it is a true return to God Himself. If your heart is out of plumb seek him out. Be in constant prayer with God. Words are unnecessary. Go wherever you feel his presence and simply be.
Be disloyal to the powers and expectations of the world. Be disloyal to the wealth and privilege given to you. And go to debtors. Go where you are called to serve. For there you will find Christ. For there, you will find your eternal home.
The purpose of the parable isn’t to teach us that God will always welcome us home or to be a joyful rule follower. Rather, the heart of the parable, and indeed the very heart of the Gospel, is to teach us what it means to become the Father.
This morning we are looking at the Creation narrative set forth in the first few verses of Genesis. I want us to look at three major lessons of the Creation narrative, and how it relates to our life in Christ.