24 January 2010

Sunday Quote 12410

My pastor is fond of saying that church is more than just the grey chairs.  It's more than just Sunday morning.  This is from his book, Jesus Wants to Save Christians:

"The measure of a sermon is not whether it affirms what you already believe.  A sermon is not a product to be consumed and then evaluated according to who good it was or whether it was pleasing or enjoyable.

If a sermon can be resolved in the time it took to deliver it, then it misses something central to what a sermon even is, which is connected with what the Eucharist is.  The gathering of the church, in a service or worship or teaching setting, is to remind, instruct, and inspire people about being the Eucharist for the worlds they find themselves in.  It's written in the letter to the Hebrews that they shouldn't give up meeting together because they should "consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."

The phrase "good deeds" comes from the Hebrew word mitzvot, which refers to actions taken to heal and repair the world.  It's a concept rich with significance in the Jewish tradition.  For the writer of Hebrews, the church gathers so that the body will spur one another on to live a particular way day in and day out.

These gatherings aren't the end; they're the beginning.  They're the start.  They put things into perspective, they remind, they provoke, they comfort, they inspire, they challenge, but ultimately they are about the Eucharist.  About these people in this place at this time being equipped to be a Eucharist.

The sermon is about starting the discussion.  The sermon is about having the first word.  The sermon is a catalyst that inspires people into whole new ways of seeing their lives.

The Eucharist is ultimately about what we do out there, in the flow of everyday life."

Rob Bell and Don Golden, Jesus Wants to Save Christians pp159,160


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