03/27/2016 – Luke 24:1-12 – “Does It Still Make You Wonder?”

Click here for the audio version.

Mark Wheeler

Luke 24:1-12

Does It Still Make You Wonder?

Resurrection Sunday, 03/27/2016

Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church

 

Three blondes died and are at the pearly gates of Heaven. St. Peter tells them that they can enter the gates if they can answer one simple question. 

St. Peter asks the first blonde, “What is Easter?” 

The blonde replies, “Oh, that’s easy! It’s the holiday in November when everyone gets together, eats turkey, and is thankful.”

“Wrong!” replies St. Peter, and proceeds to ask the second blonde the same question, “What is Easter?” 

The second blonde replies, “Easter is the holiday in December when we put up a nice tree, exchange presents, and celebrate the birth of Jesus.” 

St. Peter looks at the second blonde, shakes his head in disgust, tells her she’s wrong, and then peers over his glasses at the third blonde. He asks, “What is Easter?”

The third blonde smiles confidently and looks St. Peter in the eyes, “I know what Easter is.”

“Oh?” says St. Peter, incredulously. 

“Easter is the Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Jesus and his disciples were eating at the last supper and Jesus was later deceived and turned over to the Romans by one of his disciples. The Romans took him to be crucified and he was stabbed in the side, made to wear a crown of thorns, and was hung on a cross with nails through his hands. He was buried in a nearby cave which was sealed off by a large boulder.”

St. Peter smiles broadly with delight. 

The third blonde continues, “Every year the boulder is moved aside so that Jesus can come out… and, if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.”

 

Most of us gathered here today could quickly and correctly answer St. Peter’s question. LPC used to have a very active member whose husband came to church every Christmas and every Easter. Finally, one year the pastor asked him why he doesn’t attend a worship service at any other time, and his answer was classic: “Why would I come more than just the twice a year – the preacher always preaches the same sermon and the we always sing the same songs! Twice-a-year is enough of that for me!

 

Let’s hear this same old Easter story, once again, for the first time – and remember the truth it tells and the hope it offers and the fears that it calms. Does this story still make you wonder? I am reading from Luke 24:1-12, from the NIV.

Listen to the Word of God …. —-

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

 

A group of women, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and some others known to the main group of 12 Apostles, went to the tomb as early on the day after the Passover as possible – this was their first opportunityto finish the EMBALMING process. So they brought their spices and they mustered their gusto, and they made the trip from their homes and hotel rooms, through the Path of Sorrows that Jesus had walked on Friday, all the way outside the city walls to the tomb that Joseph of Arimathea had reserved/given for Jesus’ burial.

They had a job to do, and they fully planned to get their job done, even if it meant forcing the guards to push the stone away from the entrance to the tomb so they could do it!

But they were utterly shocked, surprised beyond words, because the tomb was already opened! So they went in, and there was no body there! Their friend, leader, and teacher and Lord was gone! In John’s Gospel Mary asks one whom she thought was the gardener where he might have moved the body….

Instead they find some dudes dressed in lightning white clothes which, of course, scared them to their knees.

 

But listen again to how they address these women: “Why,” they asked, “do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here! He has risen!

Then these men challenge the women, “Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” And that’s when they did remember!

Their first reaction was to WONDER about all this. But their wondering was stilled when they remembered what He had told them.

 

However, the women were not alone in their wondering. It looks like they wasted no time in gathering themselves together and hurrying back to the Apostles to tell them the Good News! But the Apostles did not believe the women, Luke tells us, because it all sounded like so much NONSENSE!

 

Does any of that describe you? Do you ever wonder if any of this could possibly be true? Do you think, as St Paul tells us will happen, that this is just all foolish nonsense. Is it as make-believe as “Vernal Rodents concealing unfertilized aviary embryos for young offspring to recover every Paschal holiday season” (I hope you saw what I did there….)?

 

These women told the terrifying, awe-inspiring, inexplicable truth that Jesus lives – and that makes all the difference in the world for these women, and for the Apostles, and for us. Skeptics are out there, maybe they’re also in here this morning. Is it possible that our witness, our testimony, our proclamation will help motivate them to be like Peter, and go and look for themselves? They may well be amazed even if they do not yet believe.

That’s what happened to some of the greatest defenders of the Christian faith in the previous century: GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, Lee Strobelall of them were out to reveal the fallacy of the resurrection of Jesus and all of them were convinced of its truth as they went and looked for themselves.

 

It took time, but finally, the women and the Apostles and many other disciples REMEMBERED what they had been told – they remembered what they once knew – and their lives were renewed, their hopes were revived, their fears were removed!

 

Are you in a place this morning where you wonder if any if this really matters? Are you sitting here this morning feeling hopeless? Are your bills so much more than your income that you are buried in debt? Did your last doctor appointment discourage you beyond the end of whatever hope you used to have? Are you alone or lost or afraid of what tomorrow might bring?

Let me ask the rhetorical question asked of Mary and Mary and Joanna: Do you remember? Can you remember what Jesus told you last year? Or 40 years ago? Do you remember the stories your Sunday School teachers told you? Or the ones you learned in Confirmation or VBS? Do you remember the Scripture read at your wedding or maybe the ones your Mom asked to have read at her memorial service? Do you remember the Lord’s Prayer, or the songJesus Loves Me”, or the 23rd Psalm? Do you remember the promises made when your child was baptized? Do you remember?

Let me ask the very real question we must ask every day: Why do you look for the living among the dead? Why do we refuse to leave the graveyard when God is calling us to places of new life? Why are we anticipating endings when God is offering radical, new beginnings? Why are we looking for the dead among the living, writing off, throwing away so much of what God is working on? Why do we think reconciliation is absolutely impossible? Forgiveness improbable? Scarcity, hostility, and war inevitable?

 

What might Jesus’ resurrection have to say about these things? With God nothing is impossible! Victory over death! Eternity over death. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?

 

So often we are not only hanging out in the cemetery looking for the living among the dead, we are going through life looking for the dead among the living. Easter should turn both those expectations upside down and inside out.

Remember? Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Jesus is living water, the bread of heaven. Jesus came to save sinners, heal the sick, put people in their right minds and clothe them. Jesus came that we might have life and have it abundantly.

Even if you think these things are part of a fairy tale, I invite you to follow Peter’s lead to be intrigued enough to go and see for yourselves and be amazed at what you discover.

 

This Easter, this Resurrection Sunday, today, celebrate this Christian holiday that coincides with the Jewish celebration of Passover. This Christian holiday when Jesus and his disciples were eating at the last supper and Jesus was later deceived and turned over to the Romans by one of his disciples. This Christian holiday when the Romans took him to be crucified and he was stabbed in the side, made to wear a crown of thorns, and was hung on a cross with nails through his hands. This Christian holiday when He was buried in a nearby cave which was sealed off by a large boulder.

This Easter, this Resurrection Sunday, today, celebrate this Christian holiday when Jesus was victorious over deathHis death and ours; this Christian holiday when Jesus offers us all the truth it tells and all the hope to overcome any desperation and all the calm over every fear.

 

What do you remember? Does is still make you wonder?   Happy Easter! Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed!

 

Resources:

Duffield, Jill; The Preaching Pressure of Easter Is Real; The Fellowship Community; March 2016.

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03/13/2016 – Ephesians 2:1-10 – “Treasuring the Gift”

Click here for the audio link.

Mark Wheeler

Ephesians 2:4-10

Who Are We as a Church? “Treasuring a Gift”

5th Sunday in Lent, 03/13/2016

Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church

 

Heavenly Father, on this 5th Sunday in the season leading up to Resurrection Sunday – the day we celebrate Christ’s victory over death – we confess our own self-centered agendas. As we move through this season of special attention to our own wanderings from Your Word, our own wayward walk-aways from Your path, our own seemingly perpetual propensity for sin and self-centered decisions – help us, as Your Church, Your people, to move closer to what You want for us. Draw us closer to our Lord and Savior, in His name we pray, Amen.

 

During the French Revolution, there were three Christians who were sentenced to die by the guillotine.  One Christian had the gift of faith, another had the gift of prophecy, the other had the gift of helps.

The Christian with the gift of faith was to be executed first.  He was asked if he wanted to wear a hood over his head.  He declined and said he was not afraid to die.  “I have faith that God will deliver me!” he shouted bravely.  His head was positioned under the guillotine, with his neck on the chopping block.  He looked up at the sharp blade, said a short prayer and waited confidently.  The rope was pulled, but nothing happened. His executioners were amazed and, believing that this must have been an act of God, they freed the man.

The Christian with the gift of prophecy was next.  His head was positioned under the guillotine blade and he too was asked if he wanted the hood.

“No,” he said, “I am not afraid to die.  However, I predict that God will deliver me from this guillotine!” At that, the rope was pulled and again, nothing happened.  Once, again the puzzled executioners assumed this must be a miracle of God, and they freed the man.

The third Christian, with the gift of helps, was next.  He was brought to the guillotine and likewise asked if he wanted to wear a hood.

“No,” he said, “I’m just as brave as those other two guys.” The executioners then positioned him face up under the guillotine and were about to pull the rope when the man stopped them.  “Hey wait a minute,” he said.  “I think I just found the problem with your guillotine.”

 

Some gifts are more easily “treasured” than other gifts.

 

These 6 or 7 weeks leading us up to Resurrection Sunday we have talked about how we in the church are to honor our differencesI Corinthians 12 illustrates this with the “Body of Christ” image; about what the Bible says about the Church being in unityJohn 17 gives us Jesus’ prayer for His Church being in unity; about how we are called into humble service togetherPhilippians 2:5-11 tells us to be of the same mind of Christ who humbly gave up His place in heaven to die on the cross for us; about why we need to be a people of prayer for our church leadersI Timothy 3 lists the required character traits, and boy is prayer ever needed! ; and about how to be a healthy church familyEphesians 5 & 6 tell us how to be family together.

That’s the question we are dealing with over this Season of Lent. Who Are We as the Church? Today we discover something about the true value of being in a Christ-centered, Spirit-filled Church together.

 

Let’s listen to the Word of God written from the Apostle Paul to the persecuted Turkish church in Ephesus, from Ephesians 2:1-10 …. —-

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

 

I was raised in a church-going family – we went to worship every Sunday, and the kids went to Sunday School as far back as I can remember. There was never a time when I didn’t have an understanding that God is real and that He loved me and that He is Almighty.

But it was my 7th Grade Group leader, a 55-year old man named Bud Cook, who opened that childhood belief into something alive and vital. Bud showed me a couple of verses in Romans, many of you know these verses, and maybe you also became a Christian after discovering their truth. Romans 3:23 says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, and Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death”. When Bud showed me those verses I realized how true they were for me! I was/am a sinner, and therefore deserving of death.

Thankfully Romans 6:23 isn’t done yet. Here’s how it finishes: “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!I/we deserve death, but God offers a completely free giftLife, eternal, through His Son Jesus! Today we are two weeks away from Resurrection Sunday, but that is the free gift we celebrate every Sundayevery day!

 

Paul writes in his letter to the Ephesian Church, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God!

 

When we repent of our sin and place our faith in Jesus Christ, we receive the gift of salvation! Verse after verse, story after story, line after line, the Bible speaks of this gift! And it is a gift! Not something we can earn. We cannot be good enough to deserve this reward! Free gift! Say that with me: “Free Gift”!

And when we receive the free gift of salvation we become a part of the body of Christ! In I Corinthians 12, immediately before Paul names some of the gifts of the Holy Spirit he says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. And God has placed these in the Church!” (I Cor 12:27-28)

 

Did you catch it?

When you first believed in Jesus, that He is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead, you received some amazing free gifts – gifts that carry more value than anything else here on earth. Gifts to be treasured and guarded and nurtured and developed. When you first believed, you received the gift of:

  • Eternal SALVATION (Ephesians 2:5 says that very clearly)
  • FORGIVENESS of sins (Romans 5:8, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!)
  • ADOPTION by God (Galatians 4:4-7 tells us that “God sent his Son,born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
  • HOLY SPIRIT indwelling (Acts 2:38 tells us that Peter addressed every new believer and said, “Repent and be baptized,every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • and, when we believe in Jesus we receive the gift of Church MEMBERSHIP (listen again to I Corinthians12:27-28: “Now you are the body of Christ, and individually members of it. And God has placed these in the Church!”

 

Church membership is truly a gift to be treasured!

Yeah – but which church? As a believer I am a member of the universal Church, and that is a gift to be treasured.

That is absolutely true! But I would add that belonging with a specific group of believers, a particular gathering of the Family of God, a particular branch of that Family Tree is a gift that helps us grow into the believer God intends us to be. What a privilege to be a part of a local church, a specific congregation, where you can thrive!

The vast majority of Paul’s Epistles were written to particular Churches; the book of Acts speaks of particular Church Families; in Revelation, Jesus writes to seven unique congregations.

 

What’s the point? The point has to do with the nature of treasured gifts.

When we receive a gift that we really do love, from a simple hand drawn hand-turkey from our preschooler to a glamorous diamond encrusted jewelry, from a homemade card from a friend to something that the giver sacrificed to give us – when we receive a gift that we truly treasure and appreciate, we respond to the giver!

That’s the point. Who gives us Church membership? Who gives us the Holy Spirit? Who gives us a real relationship with God as Father? Who offers forgives of our sin? From whom did we receive eternal salvation when we least deserved it?

How do we respond to this Giver of the most treasured Gifts of all time?

Service to God?

Service to others in our Church Family?

Service to those who might still be adopted into our Family one day?

Humility?

Generosity?

Kindness?

Joy???

 

These are the responses of people who recognize the gift of Church membership.

 

Each week during this Lenten Season our Sermon Notes Page has included a pledge for us to read, sign, and tear out, and use to remind us of the gift of being members of a church that wants to live like we believe what we say we believe.

 

Our sixth Church Member Pledge – this is not just for those who are actually on the roles of this particular church, but this is for any who claim to be followers of Jesus and saved by grace through faith – our sixth Church Member Pledge that we invite you to read, sign and tear from your bulletins so you can use it as a Bible bookmark, tape it to your TV screen, or fold it over your diary cover, reads as follows:

Church membership is a gift. When I received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, I became a part of the body of Christ. I soon thereafter identified with a particular church and was baptized (or had my baptism confirmed). And now I am humbled and honored to serve and to love others in our church. I pray that I will never take my membership for granted, but see it as a gift and an opportunity to serve others and to be a part of something so much greater than any one person or member. I treasure my relationship with Jesus beyond what words can say, and I treasure this church family.

 

Read – sign – tear from your bulletins.

Let’s be the Church of Jesus Christtreasuring the giftwell – to the glory of God. Amen.

 

Resources:

Nyquist, J. Paul & Carson Nyquist; The Post-Church Christian; Moody; Chicago, IL; 2013.

 

Rainer, Thom S.; I Am a Church Member; B&H Pub. Grp.; Nashville, TN; 2013; Pp. 66-75.

03/06/2016 – Ephesians 5:22-6:4 – Being Family

Click here for an audio link to this message.

Mark Wheeler

Ephesians 5:22-6:4

Who Are We as a Church? “Being Family”

4th Sunday in Lent, 03/06/2016

Lidgerwood Presbyterian Church

 

Heavenly Father, on this 4th Sunday in the season leading up to Resurrection Sunday – the day we celebrate Christ’s victory over death – we confess our own self-centered agendas. As we enter into this season of special attention to our own wanderings from Your Word, our wayward walk-aways from Your path, our seemingly perpetual propensity for sin and self-centered decisions – help us, as Your Church, Your people, to move closer to what You want for us. Draw us closer to our Lord and Savior, in His name we pray, Amen.

 

An elderly man in Spokane calls his son Stan in Seattle and says, “I hate to ruin your day, but your mother and I are divorcing. Forty-five years of misery is enough! I’m sick of her, and I’m sick of talking about this, so call your sister in Portland and tell her,” and then hangs up.

The son frantically calls his sister, who goes nuts upon hearing the news.

She calls her father and yells, “You are not getting a divorce! Stan and I will be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a single thing, do you hear me?!”

The father hangs up the phone, turns to his wife, and says, “It worked! The kids are coming for a visit, and they’re paying their own way!”

 

When you think of “church” metaphors, words which describe what “church” means, what images come to mind? [Church building, Body of Christ, Bride of Christ, … most of us eventually get to Church Family. “LPC is my Church Family.”] (Here is the church; here is the steeple; open the doors and see all the peoplethose people are our Church Family – our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, with God as our Heavenly Father….) Thankfully, our weekly “Family Reunionsdon’t usually require a conniving scheme or deceitful incentive.

 

This Lent Season we have talked about how we honor our differencesI Corinthians 12 illustrates this with the “Body of Christ” image; about what the Bible says about the Church being in unityJohn 17 gives us Jesus’ prayer for His Church being in unity; about how we are called into humble service togetherPhilippians 2:5-11 tells us to be of the same mind of Christ who humbly gave up His place in heaven to die on the cross for us; about why we need to be a people of prayer for our church leadersI Timothy 3 lists the required character traits, and boy is prayer ever needed!

That’s the question we are dealing with over this Season of Lent. Who Are We as the Church? Today we look at what it means to Be Family together.

 

Let’s listen to the Word of God written from the Apostle Paul to the troubled Turkish church of Ephesus, from Ephesians 5:22-6:4…. —-

“5 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body. 31 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’—which is the first commandment with a promise— ‘so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

 

Did anybody cringe at any of that passage? There are some words that definitely require some attention, aren’t there? And we could spend considerable timedefending” this as God’s Word, and therefore in need of no explanation – but today we’re simply going to concentrate on the overarching theme of these verses. During the Fellowship Time downstairs, when everyone is armed with hot coffee, let’s talk about your questions and concerns.

 

Paul writes some straightforward instructions for wives, followed by some very strong directives for husbands. But look at chapter 5, verses 32-33, “32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

And then he describes healthy relationships between parents and children.

Don’t these verses remind us that, just as we are supposed to sacrifice for and love our families unconditionally, so are we to love those churches where God has placed us?! Our family members aren’t perfect, and neither are our churchfamily members. We are called to find joy in serving both our imperfect families and our imperfect churches!

Last week we listened to Paul’s invitation to pray for our church leaders. That’s a wonderful way to love our church family! When we feel a gripe coming on, or hear someone else starting to complain, stop and pray for those involved in your criticism. Pray for their hearts and minds, for their families, for their stressors, for their faith. And pray for Holy Spirit help to love them! Just maybe God will change our hearts for the better!

 

I met a retired Presbyterian Pastor a month ago who now runs a ministry called Christian Business Leaders Network; his name is Randy Simon. Randy asked me what image I compared my role as a pastor to. And I said that I think of myself as a sheepdog. That’s not a very biblical image, but hear me out. The titlepastor” means something akin to shepherd (and we sometimes speak of pastors as shepherds and their churches as their flocks); but Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd.

There’s at least one parable where Jesus says that “when the wolf comes, the hired hand runs away, but the Good Shepherd stays to take care of His sheep. (John 10:11-13)” Well, I don’t want to be one of those “hired hands”.

There are no sheep dog parables, but maybe you’ve seen the sheep dog contests on TV? Sheep dogs are awesome! They’re perfectly obedient to their Shepherd; they never really take their eyes off the Shepherd; and they keep their ears tuned into the Shepherd’s voice. And their job is to move the sheep from here to there, to keep them safe, and to help them grow.

I’m a long way from being a really good sheep dog – but that’s what I aspire to.

Then Randy told me that he considers his pastoral ministry as the one who is left in charge of taking care of the Bridegroom’s Bride. To help her be ready for when the Bridegroom returns. Isn’t that beautiful?

 

As church members, we are not merely to like our church or even to serve our church well. We are to fall deeply in love with our church. Christ is the Bridegroom, and the Church is His Bride. Our commitment needs to be to love that Bride with an unwavering, unconditional love.

That means we will continue to fall more deeply in love with that Bride. It means our love for the Church will grow even as we may disagree with something or encounter disagreeable people.

And as we grow more deeply in love with the Church, we’ll bring others with us! Yesterday Caitlin and I were walking home from The Service Station, about 1-1/2 miles. At the corner of Hawthorne and Hwy 2 a gentleman about 65 years old, mostly toothless, almost skipped to us and started telling us how he won’t be living in this neighborhood much long. They found a cute 2-bedroom apt for him overlooking the river. We congratulated him, then we all went our respective ways. Caitlin and looked at each other and said, “I guess when you have good news, you just have to tell someone!” As we grow more deeply in love with the Church, we’ll bring others with us!

We’ll pray for our Church together. We’ll worship together. And we’ll serve together.

 

We’ve probably all heard the quip that we get to choose our friends, but we’re stuck with our families. Ready for the gift God gives us? We get to choose to be stuck with our Church Family!

 

Each week during this Lenten Season our Sermon Notes Page has included a pledge for us to read, sign, and tear out, and use to remind us of our responsibilities as members of a church that wants to live like we believe what we say we believe.

 

Our fifth Church Member Pledge – this is not just for those who are actually on the roles of this particular church, but this is for any who claim to be followers of Jesus and saved by grace through faith – our fifth Church Member Pledge that we invite you to read, sign and tear from your bulletins so you can use it as a Bible bookmark, hang it on your prayer-closet wall, or attach it to your desk calendar, reads as follows:

I will lead my family to be good members of His Church. We will pray together in our church. We will serve together in our church. And we will ask Christ to help us fall deeper in love with His Church because He gave His life for her.

 

Read – sign – tear from your bulletins.

Let’s be the Church of Jesus Christ – may we start being familywell – to the glory of God. Amen.

 

Resources:

Nyquist, J. Paul & Carson Nyquist; The Post-Church Christian; Moody; Chicago, IL; 2013.

 

Rainer, Thom S.; I Am a Church Member; B&H Pub. Grp.; Nashville, TN; 2013; Pp. 55-65.