Sunday, March 8, 2015

Don't Be Fooled

Pastor Bradley Shannon brought the service to order and said "I'm grateful you're here." while carrying a rotary telephone, illustrating the manner in which times change. Phone went from rotary dial to digital buttons, and from dumb phones to smart phones. We live in a world of continuous change, but how do we react when changes rock your world and break your heart?

There is a new members class being assembled. Notify Pastor Brad if you are interested in becoming a member.

The trio led us in worship today, selecting songs from the 70's, the first being "He Died On the Cross." This was followed by a song Elvis used to sing to his mother, "Without Him" after which we sang three songs from the Silver Songbook. During the offering the Trio also sang "On the Jericho Road."

John and Christina are in the hospital this morning, and even though you are not supposed to work on the Sabbath, Christina is in labor at this moment. Other requests were lifted up, including many hard things that happened to people close to our church family.

Don't Be Fooled

The lectionary text for this day, all over the world, is I Corinthians 1:18-25

What seems like foolishness to some seems like the power of God to others.

Brad read a passage from No Wonder They Call Him the Savior, by Max Lucado. Ultimately if true the Cross is history's hinge. If not true it is history's hoax.

The Cross is central to everything, and as much as it has been maligned through history it can never be ignored or forgotten.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. His compassion, His humility, and His love are unchanged.

God knows everything about us, including our bad behavior, improper reactions to things, yet God is always reaching toward us to comfort, to demonstrate His care. His character is perfect and does not change.

The second question, when you think about God's power, His omnipotence, is this real?

Our beauty, our strength all fade. Sooner or later we all peak and go downhill. Likewise presidents and even countries come and go.

Psalm 145 says "Your dominion endures for all generations." God's power is as vast as it ever was. God hasn't eased up or tired out. His power is endless and infinite.

The third question: Do you believe it's a hinge or hoax that God absolutely hates sin.

This culture seems to minimize sin. It's no big deal anymore. But if sin were no big deal, there was no need for the Cross.

God is intolerant of greed, injustice and racism. God hates how lives get broken by deceit, immorality, and envy. God hates the wounds caused by sin.

After creating the world and all that is in it, God had one more act of creation that is more astounding than all.... He created forgiveness. At the Cross, God created a divine whiteout the erases our sins.

The Cross is the hinge of history where forgiveness can take place and bring redemption that we might be His people.

Do you believe that it's the hinge of everything or a hoax, that God has given us -- the church -- this mission to share this message? Brad reasoned that if we said yes to all the other questions, it is a natural progression to conclude that this is also a yes. And it is not a "burden" we're asked to carry, but a privilege. We get to be part of God's mission. It' an incredible mission, and we have the opportunity to contribute.

The world is a mess. Horrible things happen every day, but we are God's arms to comfort, we are the expressions of His caring. All we have is the love of Jesus and the love of a family.

When people are hurt, we can come alongside and weep with them, as Brad and Ruthanne did this week. When things are confusing for others, we offer our confidence and faith in an unchanging God through the Cross of Jesus Christ, a God who is love and mercy and kindness. That's all we have, and we believe every human being needs this. Everybody does.

In a heartbreaking world, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

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