I read this story the other day** about a man and his grown son who were out looking at possible houses for the son to buy. When the owner came to the door, she immediately recognized the father as an old friend. “Larry?” she asked? The father responded with a blank look on his face. “Larry, it’s me, Elaine. We went to school together!” The father still did not recognize her. “How could you not recognize me?” she said jokingly. She invited them in; and while the son was looking around the house, she went to grab her old high school yearbook. She showed the father her senior picture, but still he had no recollection of who she was. “Let’s look at your picture,” she said and quickly flipped the pages until she came to his picture. Under his photo, he had written, “Elaine, I will never forget you.” Real
Back in the good old days of the Black Death (aka, the Plague, the Magna Mortalitas, and the Pestilencia), cities faced an excruciating decision, sever all ties with the world or die. They chose, not unsurprisingly, to sever all connections to the rest of the world and to cut themselves off from all other cities, tourists and wayfaring strangers. But then came the town of Ragusa (now Dubrovnik, Croatia). In 1377, Ragusa was a very popular and busy sea port on the Adriatic. For them to cut themselves off from the world meant certain death. But to open their doors and let everyone in also meant certain death. Their solution: they legislated a trentino! Instead of sending merchant ships loaded with food and products away, they detained the whole ship and crew on a small island off the coast for 30 days. If they didn’t show any signs of the
Right off the bat, let me say, I am all for rights. I was there in spirit on April 19, 1775, when embattled farmers stood against British tyranny and fought for their rights. I was also there on April 19, 1975, where we used our rights to gather lawfully to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of that important event, to gawk at President Ford in person, and to protest the war in Vietnam. Three rights in one day! (My best memory of that day was watching a protestor who may not have been in his right mind, step right up, break through the security line, and get gang-tackled by three secret service agents who had him dead to rights before he’d gone ten feet). And I could go on to substantiate my claim that I am all in favor of rights, and it would serve you right to have to read
This sermon is based on 1 Peter 2:9-12. SERIES OVERVIEW: Once upon a time there was a church that changed the world, but that was a long time ago. It was a church characterized by love, by unity, by compassion, by prayer and by social engagement. It was the place where God’s grace was always on display and quite tangible. Today, church is different. Shane Claiborne once said, “The church is like Noah’s ark. It stinks; but if you get out of it, you’ll drown.” I think many people would agree. We need the church, but it’s hard to love the church. How did we get so far off track? More importantly, how can we rediscover those principles that made the New Testament church so vibrant and alive? REthinking Church asks us as a church to evaluate our spiritual health and hopefully will give us a vision to hear God’s call anew to be his people, his church in our
The Bible tells us we have been made new in Christ, and this means we now have a new way of serving others. This sermon is based on Romans 7:4-6.