Sunday, February 28, 2016

WHERE HAVE THOSE CALLING ALL TO COME GONE?: SCS 73


Sunday, February 28, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 73


PRAYER for Today:
Father, We know we are broken, but You are able to heal our hearts and souls of all of our brokenness and bring light to the darkness in our lives. Help us Father to accept your freely given grace that we might be reconciled to You. We ask that Your will be done and that we may act saintly towards our fellow sojourners who around the world are hurting so that they might see a little of You in our daily lives.  It is in Your Son’s name we pray. Amen.


SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  Matthew 11: 25-30 (NIV)
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”


SERMON for Today:


I am now a couple or so years over 65. My parents took me to church every Sunday when I was growing up.  I have heard a lot of sermons preached on Jesus saying, “Come to me.”  Jesus meant it, but the institutional church has never meant it and the people claiming His name today may not be so open.  Their arms may not be open to all of us even though Jesus said “all.”


When I was the young teenage preacher on the mission field in what was then Southern Rhodesia/Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), I was praised and told I would be the next Billy Graham.  When my mental illness became more of an embarrassment to my father than he wanted to tolerate he sent his problem home to one of his daughters to deal with.  Not to his oldest daughter who was married to a minister, but to his other daughter who was in her last semester of college.


I have never found a church home in my adult life that lasted past them finding out about my mental illness or me having a major episode and letting people down because I could not function and do what they needed.  My reception is usually great, but it does not last long.  I let people down or they let me down because of my labels.


I am not alone.  People are thrown away because of their economic status, sexual orientation, political views, weight, skin color, or any number of other reasons.  You have heard I am sure that Sunday is the most segregated day in America, but it is also the most separated. We let some in and push others out for all sorts of reasons and to paraphrase the Pope it is not Christian to act that way.


Just to watch major religious leaders falling over themselves to be seen next to clownish acting politicians is enough to make one wonder where the real body of Christ is at?  If you know where the people who truly are calling all to come have gone or are at, please let this and other hurting souls know.


May God Richly Bless Your Life This Week and For Evermore. Amen.


  
© Ed Cooper, February 28, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee
  All rights reserved


(Ed Cooper is an ordained Elder and minister in the Christian Church/Churches of Christ which are a part of the Restoration Movement started in Appalachia in the early 1800’s.  Ed started preaching as a teenager in the village churches around Mashoko Mission, Zimbabwe, Africa when he was a teenager there with his parents in the early 1960’s. Ed recognizes he is a flawed sinner needing God’s grace and your prayers.)

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