Today we continue with Part 3 of our Pal Sunday sermon from Cornerstone Church.
If you want to hear the service in its entirety you can click HERE.
Now here are today’s thoughts:
I don’t know about you but for myself I do not mind having people disagree with me about little things like the color of my socks, but on things that are really important I do not want to cause a kerfuffle with the community around me. I want to be seen as nice and wonderful and totally acceptable. When it comes to the important things in life I am more liable to just keep a low profile so as not to make waves.
Unfortunately, that is not how Jesus works. That is not how Christianity works. Wherever God goes He makes a palpable difference. Even if people do not realize it right up front God always makes a splash, a change, a tectonic shift. His church is no different. God’s church should be an agent of change in a community.
Here are some of the things people said about Jesus church in the first century:
“A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in a lot of business for the craftsmen there. 25He called them together, along with the workers in related trades, and said: “You know, my friends, that we receive a good income from this business. 26And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that gods made by human hands are no gods at all. 27There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited; and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty.”
In another place it says this:
“Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying,“This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas.
Assault on Jason’s House
5 But the Jews [a]who were not persuaded, [b]becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. 6 But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Acts 17:1-6
We are about to start drawing lines that matter in the sand. When we do it may very well turn the world upside down because the healing message of Jesus is not a subculture of our current culture. It is a counter culture to our current culture. We preach Christ crucified, risen and coming again to judge the living and the dead and the world says, “There is no God except the ones we make with our own hands and minds and God serves us. We are the real gods.”
Yesterday I began publishing by degrees the transcript of my sermon from Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA. This was our Palm Sunday service at Cornerstone and I believe it is a prophetic message to our church about the season we are in. Perhaps, though, it will also resonate with you.
To hear the whole service you can click HERE.
To see yesterday’s portion of the transcript you can click HERE.
Now on to today’s portion of the message:
Over the course of my 20 odd years here as a Pastor several of you in the congregation have taken note of my exquisite fashion sense. Among the more commented fashion choices I make is the fact that I often…OK…almost always wear white socks with dress pants, and yes sometimes in the summer I wear white socks with sandals and dress pants. This has been a sermon mention from the pulpit almost as many times as my love of Moxie and in fact more than one lady in the congregation has gifted me dress socks at Christmas (and even other occasions) so that I would have something appropriate to wear. One dear woman even gave me a pair of black socks, and instructed me to put them away for her funeral because there was no way she was allowing the preacher at her funeral to wear white socks with his black suit.
Pastor Jen asked me a few weeks after she and Pastor Dan arrived why I chose to wear my white socks with dress pants.
I told her “Pastor Jen this is my way of stickin it to the man.”
In other words this is my way of resisting the status quo. It is my way of setting myself apart. It is my line in the sand.
Now in the grand scheme of things my wearing white socks is not much of a line in the sand. It certainly does not come up to the level of Jesus riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey and by that act proclaiming Himself King of the World. Do my white socks offend you? Well hold on because as a Christian I haven’t even really gotten started drawing my line in the sand.
You know, we all have our own versions of white socks with dress pants which we use to make us stand out from the crowd. They are those things that cause the crowds in little and big ways to stand up and take notice of us.
Does your version of white socks with dress pants offend some people? Well hold on Christian because you haven’t even really begun drawing your line in the sand like Jesus did. But you are going to, if you hang around this thing called Christianity much longer. That is because God is bringing our church, this church called Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA, to a place where we are going to stop drawing little tiny lines in the sand saying “there that is my uniqueness.” He is going to bring us to a place where we stop calling little choices big choices and where we start getting down to brass tax like Jesus did on Palm Sunday all those years ago. We are about to begin making some big and bold statements about who our God is in this land and about who we are as the children of God. We are going to begin drawing some lines in the sand. We are going to start having triumphal entries of our own. That is going to make the world sit up and take notice of us and more importantly of the God we serve.
Christian if you hang around here much longer you are going to become a person who lives by faith and who steps out of the shadows so that the Jesus inside of you can be clearly seen by men as the Savior of mankind!
So let me ask are you going to stick it out?
Well today brings us to the final post in answering Rory’s 10 Thought Provokers. You can click that underlined link to see all ten questions together.
I am not exactly sure what list of questions I will tackle next, probably Melanie’s questions over at Share Your World.
But for now I am focused on this one question coming from Rory.
Do you own your things or do your things own you?
I come from a family of collectors. Being a collector is different than being a hoarder but only by degree. So I would say I go through bouts of my things owning me. But when I was married I learned how to throw things…everything…away. We lived by a pretty strict rule that said. If you don’t use it you throw it. Today I am confortable giving most things away except for books. I never learned how to let go of books.
Well here I am at last at question number nine which for some reason I have been thinking was the last question to be answered. I just realized that there are 10 questions! Arggh! Oh well! You can see all of Rory’s Questions By Clicking Here.
It has taken me so much longer to get to all of these questions than I originally thought it would, but as I said in an earlier question…”I am immortal so I guess there is no need to rush.” 🙂
Here is question # 9 and my answer.
Which is more real; perfection, happiness or beauty and why do you think the way you do?
I think all three of those things are real, but only two of them exist in this world. Happiness and beauty are a part of this world and they share an intrinsic quality with this world; They are things that fade. Just like the seasons, happiness and beauty come and go.
Perfection though is not something fixed to a cycle. It is one of the qualities of eternity and therefore while it is known to our hearts, just like eternity is (Ecclesiates 3:11), it cannot be experienced on this side of the vale.
I had the privilege of preaching the Palm Sunday Message at Cornerstone Church in Winchendon MA last weekend. Below you will find part 1 of the Transcript of the sermon. To see a video of the whole service you can CLICK HERE.
DO MY WHITE SOCKS OFFEND YOU?
Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. That is the day the Christian Church celebrates one of the most controversial moves Jesus made in his entire ministry, the triumphal Entry into the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. The triumphal entry was bigger than Jesus healing people on Saturdays (for which he almost got stoned). It was bigger than rebuking the Pharisees and Saducees together ( that would be like taking on both the Democrats and Republicans in Congress and telling them they all smoke crack). It was more important than Jesus feeding 5,000 people with two loaves of bread and a few small fish or his walking on water. It was even bigger than His raising of Lazarus from the dead. This one act was more important than the sermon on the Mount, or His teaching about the last days of mankind. This one act was Jesus line in the sand moment where He made a stand about who and what He was.
By this act, He was stating to all the Jews and by extension all the world, “ I am not just a teacher. I am not just a prophet. I am not just a healer. I am the Messiah, the Savior of mankind. I am the One promised to Eve at the beginning of time, the One who has come to crush the serpent, the Devil, the ancient enemy of God and all mankind. I am the One promised to Moses. I am the Son of David the One destined to sit on the throne of the world forever and set all things right. I am the One promised to all the prophets that was coming to take away the sin of the world and bring light to all mankind.”
Oh, Jesus said that He was the Messiah to small groups of people throughout the course of His three year ministry, but never had He given the nation and the whole world a clear cut sign that He was laying claim the throne of David. That is until this day.
Let’s read it in the Scripture
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”