Epiphany: Unraveling the Riddle of Readiness Sermon Audio Here
The current snowy weather has certainly changed how we prepare to begin a journey. What might have been a quick trip to the supermarket is starting to resemble something from Scott of the Antarctic…
How Do We Get Ready for Wisdom?
Don’t Get Stuck in the World ~ 1 Cor.3:1-4
- v1 follow up from 1 Cor 2:14-16, distinction between the person living according to the Spirit, or according to the world; Corinthians are living by the world’s standards
- v2 the world can’t digest God’s wisdom as a whole; if we are caught up in that system, we can’t either
- v3 indications one is caught in the flesh? They act like the world, with argumentative attitudes
- v4 They even take spiritual leaders and reduce them to rallying slogans
Focus On Who’s Really At Work ~ 1 Cor.3:5-9
- v5 simply, God does the spiritual work; we just help as God chooses
- v6/7 we do different tasks, but God gives the growth
- v8 God notices our specific help; we’ll be rewarded eventually (that’s another sermon)
- v9 notice that the Corinthians are not counted among the workers (they’re too worldly); they are the recipients of God’s work, not the co-laborers
Deut 30:19-20a ~ This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.
God chooses us for Salvation; We choose to live IN that Salvation, by responding to His Love, listening to His Word, and walking in His Way.
For a few years now, I have been planning my sermon schedules about a year in advance. I take a few days of retreat in October, and read a lot of Scripture to see what patterns might emerge, which I then hammer out into a schedule that takes me through the liturgical year.
This year, using the Revised Common Lectionary, we’re in “Year A”. The Lectionary texts are used all over the world on a three year cycle (A, B, C), and every other year, I use the RCL to select the texts I’ll be working with.
If you’re really interested, you can go to The Revised Common Lectionary at Vanderbilt to see what texts we’ll be using for the particular day.
Here are the themes and texts we’ll be using in 2017:
||Lectionary Year A
||Advent: Preparing for the Last Day
||Advent: Preparing for the Promise
||Advent: Preparing for the Presence
||Advent: Preparing for the Child
||Christmas Eve: Who Showed Up?
||Hebrews 1:1-4, (5-12)
||Christmas: What Did You Get?
||Epiphany: Understanding the Directions
||Epiphany: Unpacking the Equipment
||1 Corinthians 1:1-9
||Epiphany: Uniting In Leadership
||1 Corinthians 1:10-18
||Epiphany: Upside-down Power
||1 Corinthians 1:18-31
||Epiphany: Unction and Exercise
||1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16)
||Epiphany: Unraveling the Riddle of Readiness
||1 Corinthians 3:1-9
||Transfiguration: Seeing and Receiving
||2 Peter 1:16-21
||Lent: Our Need
||Lent: Our Credit
||Romans 4:1-5, 13-17
||Lent: Our Peace
||Lent: Our Light
||1 Samuel 16:1-13
||Lent: Our Struggle
||Lent: Our Reception
||Raised With Christ!
||Colossians 3:1-4 or Acts 10:34-43
||Posts from 1 Peter: Hope is Alive
||1 Peter 1:3-9
||Posts from 1 Peter: Faith is Precious
||1 Peter 1:17-23
||Posts from 1 Peter: Endurance is Trust
||1 Peter 2:19-25
||Posts from 1 Peter: Placed for Praise
||1 Peter 2:2-10
||Posts from 1 Peter: Reasons for Hope
||1 Peter 3:13-22
||Posts from 1 Peter: Resisting and Restoration
||1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
||Pentecost: The Breath of God
||1 Corinthians 12:3b-13 or Acts 2:1-21
||Trinity Sunday: An Ocean of Mystery
||Gems from Genesis: God Hears Our Laughter
||PULPIT SUPPLY (Annual Meeting)
||Gems from Genesis: God Sees Our Sacrifice
||Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Need
||Gems from Genesis: God Knows Our Attitudes
||Gems from Genesis: God Speaks to Our Hearts
||Gems from Genesis: God Watches Our Choices
||Gems from Genesis: God Is Willing To Wrestle
||Gems from Genesis: God Is Aware of Our Situation
||Gems from Genesis: God Reveals His Purpose
||Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32
||Roaming Through Romans: Humility Transformed
||Roaming Through Romans: Love Enacted
||Roaming Through Romans: Holiness Awakened
||Roaming Through Romans: Faith Accounted
||Pearls from Philippians: Continuing Conduct
||Pearls from Philippians: Conforming Comfort
||Pearls from Philippians: Considering Commitment
||Pearls from Philippians: Contending Companionship
||Thankfulness For Thessalonica
||1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
||Thinking About Thessalonica
||1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
||Thriving In Thessalonica
||1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
||Theory of Thanatos in Thessalonica
||1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
||A Thief in Thessalonica?
||1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
||Confidence in the Incomparable
I hope that’s helpful to you as you prepare to study God’s word!
KFJ – Ed
Epiphany: Unction and Exercise Sermon Audio Here
At the beginning of a new year, many people decide to embark on an exercise regime. It’s an admirable idea, but why do so many people give up on long-term implementation? Today we’ll talk about exercise… AND “unction”: an infrequently used word today which means anointed.
How Do You Know If You’ve Got “The Unction?”
Exercise of Spiritual Power ~ 1 Cor.2:1-5
- v1/2 super spirituality is not required (“I could never be like ___”)
- v3 Doesn’t everybody? This is GOD stuff we’re doing; we’re not worthy!
- v4/5 God demonstrates HIS power in us so that HE is noticed, not us
Understanding Spiritual Gifts ~ 1 Cor.2:6-12
- v6/7 we don’t need to worry about the rulers of “this age”; God’s wisdom will out
- v8/9 our natural mind isn’t going to deduce what God will do through us
- v10 Are we listening to the Spirit?
- v11/12 We have received the Spirit FOR understanding God’s gift
Isaiah 58:6-8~ “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.”
We don’t receive “unction” just as an indicator of our salvation. We’re intended to exercise this spiritual state: If we want to see God move in miraculous ways, we can’t NOT stand up for His cause.
Epiphany: Uniting In Leadership Sermon Audio Here
1 Corinthians 1:10-18
The Corinthian church faced a challenge: they wanted to define themselves by what leader they were willing to follow. But what if everyone didn’t pick the same leader…
What Shows The World That We Are ONE In Christ?
We Speak the Same Truth ~ 1 Cor.1:10-12
- v10 “all agree”=all speak the same;
- “may be perfectly united”=tricky combo verb: it means you SHOULD BE prepared TOGETHER
- v11/12 the quarrels undermine that goal; seeking leadership outside of Christ is NOT going to send the Gospel message to the watching world
We Show the Same Proof ~ 1 Cor.1:13-18
- v13/16 Paul deemphasizes baptism: it’s a rite of obedience, not an act of spiritual registration
- v17 the Gospel isn’t about the perfect words to say; it’s the power of the Cross to change a life: THAT is Good News!
- v18 Message of the Cross is DEATH TO SELF – of course that’s foolish to those who are dying– why would they want to speed up the process? But to those of us who have accepted Christ’s work in place of our own, our debts have been all canceled out – we have been set free by God’s power!
Isaiah 9:2 ~ “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”
We, who have seen the light of the Cross, must demonstrate what difference Christ has made in us. THAT is the unity that the dark world needs so desperately to see.
Epiphany: Unpacking the Equipment Sermon Audio Here
I’m married to a list-maker: when we’re preparing for a long trip, she (and many others like her) use lists to keep track of what is needed for the trip. Do you realize what’s on YOUR checklist already?
Your Checklist in Christ Includes:
What You Are ~ 1 Cor.1:1-3
- v2 you ARE sanctified (to make or declare holy);
- you ARE called (appointed, placed on purpose)
What You Have ~ 1 Cor.1:4-9
- v4 Grace (not generally to all, but specifically TO YOU)
- v5 Enrichment (in Christ)
- v6 Confirmation (stability)
- v7 Completeness (of spiritual gifts)
- v8 Blamelessness (no one has the right to impeach you)
- v9 Fellowship (partnership – you share in His work & benefits)
Isaiah 49:5~ And now the LORD says– he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength…
God has had plans for your life before you were born; He knows what He’s doing, giving you what you’ve been given to accomplish what He has in mind for you!
Epiphany: Understanding the Directions Sermon Audio Here
In the old days, before the ever-present use of satellite technology, to find one’s way around the world took careful research and a good map.
Finding Our Way Like the Magi Means:
Seeking Sets Up Wisdom ~ Matthew 2:1-2
- v1 magi=”oriental scientist”, observe/interpret world
- v2 looked for meaning; acted on it: cf. James 1:5 (ask God for it)
Refining Required for Wisdom ~ Matthew 2:3-6
- v3/4 disturbed; couldn’t be bothered to seek for himself
- v5/6 wisdom IS available for those who bother to actually seek: cf. Job 28 compares gaining wisdom with the process of mining: hard work which requires refinement
Practicing the Process of Wisdom ~ Matthew 2:7-12
- v7/8 Herod wants to subvert Magi’s seeking for his own agenda
- v9 went ahead: another miraculous overlay – not JUST looking for wisdom through observation, but now depending upon God’s direct intervention
- v10/12 response to direct intervention: joy, worship, fulfillment (they left differently).
This is still true: when we interact with God directly, we discover joy, enter into worship, and find fulfillment as God leads us in different directions.