This week I will be starting a new Sermon Series entitled “Moving out of Scare City”. You can probably hear the play on words here. On Sunday, I extended the play on words to “Moving out of Scare City and to Genera City” (say it fast and you should get it). I have just completed finding the texts I will be using for this four week venture.
Our theme verse for all four weeks is:
Philippians 4:4-9 with the key verses being 6 and 7. – Paul, writing to the church in Philippi, starts this passage by reminding the people to “Rejoice in the Lord always.” What a wonderful reminder that even in our struggles through the difficult times in life we are to rejoice in the Lord. Paul also encourages us not to worry but to make our requests to God with thanksgiving. What does it mean to ask with thanksgiving? Our hearts and minds will then be guarded by God’s peace. Paul also reminds us that we are to keep on doing the things we have learned from him.
The other passages for this week are:
Genesis 11:1-9 – The tower that leads to babbling tongues. Humanity has grown greedy, arrogant and evil, twice. The first time lead to the flood in Genesis 7 and 8 and the second time humans decide to invade the province of God by building a tower. God says, “Not so fast” and confused the languages of humanity. The place of the tower became known as Babel, which is close to the Hebrew word “balal”, meaning “confuse”, according to a footnote in my Bible. Do you know someone who, when they are confused, babbles on and on. Is this simply a story on the origins of languages or is there more behind the story then initially meets the eyes?
Luke 18:18-30 – Joke: How do you get a camel through the eye of a needle? You need a really good blender and a good funnel. In this context, it is harder for us with wealth to get into heaven the it is for that poor proverbial camel to go through the tiny needle eye. That statement by Jesus comes after he tells a very rich ruler to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor. So, everyone asks, who can be saved? Good Question. Read the passage for the answer.
The Lectionary Texts, with minimal comment, are:
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 – The prophet complains about the violence he sees all around and God replies.
Isaiah 1:10-18 – Listen to the Word of the Lord: What do your bloodbath of sacrifices accomplish? Nothing!
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 – Paul’s second letter to the church in Thessalonica.
Luke 19:1-10 – I hate missing this one. It is the story of Zacchaeus, the tax collector.
May the Lord bless you in all your ways of serving.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor