Sunday, September 4, 2016

Two Becoming One

Interim Pastor Terry White welcomed us on this gorgeous summer Sunday morning.

Nursery volunteers are being sought for the coming year. Sign up sheet in the back.
Next Sunday is Rally Sunday. Note time change: service begins at 10:15 p.m.
Fish Fry Saturday September 17. An opportunity to minister to people in our community by just being friendly.

"The introit is a time in which we move into a listening to God." The call to worship was from Psalm 34:1-3 as Terry invited us to listen to the music and learn how to be in the presence of the Lord as we worshiped the Lord in song.

An offering was taken and blessed, and then Chuck led us in a time of prayer.  (Some members of our church family visited Arline Stapleton in Rochester and brought back a report that she's doing well and thinking of us. "What a beautiful woman," one said. )

Two Becoming One

Today's message revolved around II Corinthians 5:11-21.

Pastor White began by sharing how the meanings of words have changed over the centuries.
Awful used to mean full of awe. Egregious is another word that got transfigured over time. He then instructed us to tell someone they were nice, then he said "nice" used to mean ignorant. The word has had a number of unkind definitions over the years before arriving at its present usage.

Meanings of words change.  In the days following the Resurrection people who were followers of Christ were called Followers of the Way. It wasn't till later in the book of Acts that they were called Christians.

Nowadays the word Christian means different things. Sometimes it means you grew up in the church or other meanings. Terry prefers to say he is a follower of Jesus, which is more descriptive.

In a world where words have fuzzy meanings, what language can we use that speaks to broken people? "Living forever" may not cut it. Terry likes the word "reconciliation."

We read the passage from II Cor. 5 and then Terry asked us what makes reconciliation so hard? A number of reasons were given, but the point he brought us to was how difficult it is for two people to become one.

We live in moments where it is difficult to live in agreement and reconciliation. Nearly all of Christian life is learning to talk like God talks, love like God loves.

What advantages do we get by not being reconciled? None. What do we gain by being reconciled? Everything.

What does it take for two people to be one? It's rewarding only when we are both reconciled to God.

What does it look like when your relationship is broken? It is a weighty thing. And when you see all the brokenness in the world, the root of it is the lack of reconciliation with God.

At the end of this passage Paul wrote, "We implore you... be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Key thought: To want what God wants, this is the path out of our brokenness that leads us to the hope and life we long for.

After singing Jesus Messiah we shared the Sacrament of Communion.

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