Sunday, September 9, 2012

Harvest Fest

Our service was held at the Twig Town Hall in celebration of the new Sunday School season. The theme for this year’s Harvest Fest was Come Deepen Your Roots Wit Us. It’s one of the early autumn days where the sun warms by day and temps drop during the night. As we gather beneath the pavilion there are some in jackets because of the chill and some in short sleeve shirts soaking up the sun. The pillars and front of the makeshift sanctuary are adorned with orange and yellow sun flowers and maple leaves, splashed with sunlight.

“I’m grateful you’re here. I hope you can all hear me,” Pastor Brad said, informally attired in a blue-grey T-shirt. Announcements in the bulletin included… but other practical matters were addressed, such as the easiest way to reach the restroom.

Brad elaborated on the theme for today, deepening your roots, and then read from a passage in Colossians 2, “Be rooted in Christ… And put on love…” What does it look like to be rooted in Christ?

This was Elsa's last week with us and Brooke brought Brad an envelope with a card that included the gift of an oil change for the car Chuck helped her find. We all then prayed for her to be blessed as she went on with her life path.

Darlene, Chuck and Ken led us in some songs including I Saw the Light, You Are My All In All, and others.

Invocation, Offering, a Scripture Reading from Mark 7:4-8, 12-13 and 21-24, Prayers for needs in the Church Family and Special Music by Ed Newman carried us to the message Brad delivered this day.

A Few Words for Our Time

I read about a play on Broadway that opens in a smoke-filled hotel room. It is a political meeting and they were looking for a candidate. Once they identified their candidate, they began looking for a winning platform. Ideas are thrown around, and nothing sticks so they ask the chambermaid who says their campaign should be about love. "Everyone wants love. The platform should be Love."

Today’s politicians do the same thing, looking for a word that tells their story: Hope, Change, Integrity… But so often it all just feels like words.

But the early church did make their platform Love.

Love is essential, but not easy. I Cor 13:4-7 sums it up. What love does and things is does not do. In the midst of this, Paul writes that love always hopes.

The Greeks had plenty of everything but they did not have hope. Located in the center of Corinth was a Temple to Aphrodite, in which employed massive quantities of temple prostitutes so the very name Corinthian meant slimy.

Paul went there and preached with the aim of making an impact. Paul’s hope was not based on wishful thinking, but rather on his knowledge of the power of the Gospel and God's love which impelled him. Love always hopes. There are no hopeless people. Love always endures.

Brad told the story of a Muslim man who listened to the Gospel and noted what it would cost this man to become a follower of Jesus.Everything.

In one of Paul's letter's to the Corinthian church Paul outlined the extent of his own suffering on behalf of the gospel. Brad then noted that there have beeb more martyrs on behalf of Gospel this past century than the previous nineteen and shared other examples of what people have sacrificed for God.

Ultimately, we see Jesus in the Garden and his own anguish in the shadow of the cross. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Suffering is not going to make it as a plank on anyone’s political campaign, but God has a higher purpose for you... to make you like Christ.

Come deepen your roots with us.

No comments: