connecting people to the gospel
Sermons from Springwood Presbyterian Church
Springwood Presbyterian Church
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Total Sermons: 57
Places like Great Lakes Crossing, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota and perhaps our own Tanger Outlets can be presented as sacred sites in our society. Certainly their proportions are impressive, monumental, designed to welcome the visitor. They can be seen as one vast temple of consumerism and entertainment under the direction of a large and efficient hierarchy. Think about it- the response of the opening day crowds had elements similar to religious devotion: pilgrimage from distant points, eager longing, the willingness to undergo hardship for some great good, losing oneself in a mystery that offers significance and salvation. In the days of Jesus the Jerusalem temple was where a religion became an economy. Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the day will come when not one stone will be left upon another, all will be thrown down.”
On the other side of all our questions there are not always answers, but the living God who provides grace and who is more wonderful and hopeful than we could ever have imagined. I hope and pray that as your pastor and friend we can tackle these questions and others you ponder together as a community of faith. Jesus didn’t answer the Sadducees directly nor does he always answer our questions. But what Jesus DOES is point us to a God whose faithfulness is immeasurable and inexhaustible, and in that faithfulness we find enough to endure all that life and death will ask of us.
Good works, in and of themselves, can be done by any good-hearted person, whether Christian or not. Christians have the special work, in this wounded world, to do these acts of compassion for Jesus’ sake, that they may build up the body of Christ and bring people together in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Unity is given to us by God, in Christ, but the church must accept this gift, unwrap it, and use it to build the body of Christ in the world.
Jesus said, if you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. (John 8: 31-32) We don’t have to stand by helplessly and watch our personal lives and our nation suffer a meltdown. Each of us can be agents for change, speaking truthfully, living honestly, encouraging and supporting truth-telling in others, calling to account those who disregard it, cultivating forgiveness of ourselves and of others when we backslide, and finding joy in healed relationships. God does call us to account for our actions, but, at the same time, calls us to the mercy seat to be healed, saying through Jeremiah (30: 17): I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal.
God our creator is in control of the world. God has a plan, a vision for how the world should be, and how we should be. At the same time, God has allowed human clay the freedom to choose to be molded by God’s vision—or to choose to resist it. God’s plan for the world will be worked out, with our help or despite our resistance, but it’s clear that God very much wants us to be part of the plan