Sermon Summary 4/7/19, “Practices” (Mt 26:34-36; 2 Cor 9:6-7; Acts 20:32-35)
We’ve been in a series talking about those practices that we as a congregation and as individuals must perform in an exemplary manner or our ability to perform our mission will be diminished. Why “practices,” why do we call them “practices”? Practices are those exercises skilled artists from musicians to athletes do at every level of achievement or they will fail to perform. Musicians do scales whether novices or concert level, baseball players take infield and batting practice whether T-ball or major league. Christians practice Radical Hospitality whether day 1 or millennium 1.
Radical Hospitality. Last week, the District Superintendent, Rev. Mi Hyeon Lee, visited. We went to lunch at G&D Steakhouse (I wanted to her Radical Hospitality). I asked Elly to come to our table. In short order, she asked Mi Hyeon where she was from? South Korea. “Oh, I have rentals, Mr. Kim and Mr. Sin. You may want to invite them to church.” In a few minutes, Elly was back with her phone and handed it to Mi Hyeon. “Here is Mr. Sin. Talk to him.” We should be so anxious to make connections. Elly practices.
Passionate Worship. Something we do each week, but I’d like you to memorize Psalm 9:1-2, so that you can praise God in an instant at the realization of a sunrise or a baby’s smile: “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart. I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in You. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.” If I continually give thanks, I cannot but believe and hope. (Stay tuned for Easter: “Easter Changes Everything.”)
Intentional Faith Development. We are better together. We are better in circles than we are in rows. After Margot’s gathering last Sunday night, I thought maybe we needed to form a Tractor Club. A small group based on the Gospel of John….Deere. We could all gather around and take turns spinning the fly-wheel. We are better together.
Today, the last two practices. First, Risk-taking Missions and Service. Another verse we should have on our lips is the Great Compassion of Jesus, Matthew 25, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.”
Here’s a question for us. What is it that defines us as a church? What service do we perform or can we perform that draws those around us to serve also? We could be the “reading church,” or the “mentoring church,” or the “Quality of Life” Church. What do you think we should be known for?
The last practice is Extravagant Generosity. Jesus said, “It is better to give than receive.” Simply watch this video: http://tiny.cc/youtubegift. So may we experience the same joy in giving. Amen.