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Showing posts from November, 2011

Sermon for November 27, 2011, Advent 1

What Are You Waiting For?

As we prepare our hearts for Advent, I invite you to listen to the Christmas Story.
“Once upon a time, a decree went out from Caesar, in August, that everyone should be taxed so that the deficit would not get too big. Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. Mary rode on a donkey named Rudolph, who was embarrassed to be seen carrying an unwed mother. He blushed so at the thought that his nose glowed red. Upon arriving at Bethlehem, they could not find a place to stay (It was, after all, the Christmas season, and the press of tourists was crushing). As they knocked at the door of the last inn in town, the innkeeper pushed back the shutter and threw up the sash. His figure appeared so nimble and quick. They knew in a moment his name must be Nick. Meanwhile in a field nearby, seven dwarfs who were shepherds were startled to hear a group of angels singing Handel's Messiah. At the end of the concert, they were told to stand up and to go to Bethlehem. So off they m…

Sermon for November 20, 2011, Thanksgiving Sunday

Is Your Cornucopia Half Empty or Half Full?

In economics, there are some people called Cornucopians. A Cornucopian believes that continued progress and provision of material items for humankind can be met by continuing advances in technology. In other words, a Cornucopian believes there is enough matter and energy and human innovation on the Earth to provide for the estimated peak population of about 9.2 billion in 2075. They are definitely the optimists of the economic world. We could say that when they look at the world, their cornucopia is half full.

There are other economists whose cornucopias are half empty. Consider Nobel Laureat economist John Cairns Jr. He thinks we’ve reached an ecological tipping point where the earth’s resources can no longer sustain the population. In his future world, Cairns assumes:
No major remedial measures will be taken to reduce greenhouse gases until climate change is beyond human control.The human population will not be stabilized by social action bu…

Sermon for November 13, 2011

Worship and Mission: Meeting Needs

As the believers rapidly multiplied, there were rumblings of discontent. The Greek-speaking believers complained about the Hebrew-speaking believers, saying that their widows were being discriminated against in the daily distribution of food. So the Twelve called a meeting of all the believers. They said, “We apostles should spend our time teaching the word of God, not running a food program. And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this responsibility. Then we apostles can spend our time in prayer and teaching the word.” [Everyone liked this idea, and they chose seven men, including Stephen (a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit).] These seven were presented to the apostles, who prayed for them as they laid their hands on them. So God’s message continued to spread. The number of believers greatly increased in Jerusalem, and many of the Jewish priests were converted, too. Acts…

Sermon for November 6, 2011

Worship and Mission: A Vision

A man named Carl Bates wrote the following words: There came a time in my life when I earnestly prayed: “God, I want your power.” Time wore on and the power did not come. One day the burden was more than I could bear. “God,” I asked, “Why haven’t you answered that prayer?” God seemed to whisper back this simply reply: “With plans no bigger than yours, you don’t need my power.”

How would you measure our congregation’s spiritual impact? Do we clearly demonstrate our church covenants in compelling ways? Is there an irresistible quality about us? Sometimes I think we have low expectations of what we can be spiritually. Sometimes we forget that there is are God-sized plans for us.

I hope you are sensing a new wind blowing at CCC. I’m getting that sense that some of you who’ve been coming here for years want more out of church than a place of Sunday morning worship and education with a whole bunch of church board meetings in between. It’s not so much dissatisfac…