Thursday, October 14, 2010
Sermon Notes - Sunday, October 17th
So Who Cares?
October 17, 2010
We return today to the theme Vision. We are exploring how we answer the question, "What is the vision of Redeemer Presbyterian Church"?, looking to answer with words that grip us as members of this congregation and followers of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Please note that vision is not something we create, or form a committee to articulate, or a fancy ad campaign that is the outcome of good marketing and polling data. We don't 'get' a vision; on the contrary, a 'vision' gets us! It owns a person, and reorganizes their priorities, puzzling some and electrifying others. It turns fishermen into Apostles and the moribund into missionaries. Vision makes sacrificial lovers of those who were once in the grip of the self-centered acquisition of power and wealth. Vision makes warriors of wimps and turns the apathetic into the prophetic.
The one word that best encapsulates our vision is the great subject of Jesus' mission and message: "Kingdom".
Rooted in Luke 6, we noted three actions which summarize how the Church Jesus came to found and save manifests the life of his Kingdom: liturgy, community, and ministry. In Liturgy we open our hands to God in worship, offering to to him the sacrifice he commands from the heart he commends and receiving his incomparable blessings. In Community we open our hands to one another in selfless service that bears witness to the love of Jesus in the life of his people. In Ministry, we open our hands to a world not yet met by the saving message of the Kingdom, by word and deed bearing witness so that in the words of Isaiah, 'those who have had no news of him may see and those who have not heard will understand."
Three weeks ago, Dr Campbell brought you a wonderful message on community, and to that subject we turn again today for one more glimpse of God's grace in this aspect of Kingdom living.
I. Kingdom Community is Made Known in Covenant Commitment
A. Four Friends
- Do we know their names? I do!
- Life in the Invisible Church
B. Who will Carry us when We Cannot Walk to God's House?
* Faith made visible
* Hope made tangible
* Love made invincible
This is why small groups and parishes and studies and prayer gatherings and accountability partnerships and a host of other ways in which our lives are blended and really laid bare to be truly loved, really matter.
II. Kingdom Community is Made Possible in Covenant Theology
A. One Great Truth
* Truth Matters
* Doctrine humbly but firmly held, rather than Personalities arrogantly asserted, is the foundation of a long-term community.
* One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church
- We are one because we are Apostolic: we are founded on the Apostles and to the truth they have given us we must always turn and in that inheritance rejoice.
- JH Newman on Doctrine
This is why education at every level and training people for ministry really matters.
B. Two Great Practices
* Word and Sacrament - United around a font, a table, and a pulpit, for by these the risen and reigning Christ is made known among us and to us.
- Gathered hearts around the Scriptures
- Gathered fragments at the Table
Four Friends; One Truth. This is our shared life in the Kingdom. I asked at the beginning, 'So who cares?' If today's message strikes home, it won't make us ask, "Who are my four friends?" but rather, "Who may I befriend and carry?" If today's message is true, it won't make us simply ask, "What do I believe" but rather make us boldly declare as we come to this table, "I know in whom I have believed."