James 2: 8-26
Luke 6: 31-35
“When churches turn ____inward___________, using all resources for their
own survival and caring only for their own people, then
___spiritual____________ _____vitality__________ wanes.”
“Basic” or “ordinary” Christian service can take many forms, and it is
“the _____lifeblood__________ that gives a congregation its strength.”
Examples of service opportunities:
choir, money counters, ushers, liturgists, sunday school teachers
“Mission” refers to you and me putting our _hearts______________ and
_____hands__________ to work in order to help other persons in need in
ways that are __concrete_____________ and ___compassionate____________. Mission is
serving others “____hands___________-_____on__________” in order to
convey the ___love____________ and __help_____________, and
______hope_________ of Jesus Christ.
Examples of mission opportunities:
Working at VBS! Helping with the homeless shelter, Angel Tree Network, Mission trips
“Risk-taking” mission is how God pushes us out of our
____Comfort ___________ __zone_____________; it is how God encourages us to
______step_________ _____out__________ in faith in order for us to grow
_____numerically__________ and as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Gabcast! Sermons #8
World map at night
Light of the World
Shining the light out, not shining it in. Schnase 1
Nothing more basic to Discipleship than service to God. On every page of the bible, you’ll find someone serving God. It is the core of Christianity. Jesus boiled down all 613 expressions of Torah into the 2 from Leviticus: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. It isn’t the core of Christianity to have the right doctrines or belief about God. Those things took hundreds of years to come into alignment. The fundamental underlying component of being a Christian is the love and service of neighbor.
Belief in resurrection is shared with others by loving them. Jesus comes to Peter after the resurrection—“Do you Love me?” Then feed my sheep. Three times, to cover the three times when he had denied him while Jesus was in custody to be crucified. (Recount story if visitors.)
You see—Jesus doesn’t give him all the right ideas—he gives Peter all the right actions. feed my lambs, Tend my sheep, feed my lambs. He was telling Peter what he was to do to remember him and believe in him. We don’t just say we “believe” in God—anyone can believe in God. We say we “serve” God. The practice of Christianity is precisely that—a practice. We enact our faith, and as James, the brother of Jesus, wrote to the early church—a faith without works is dead.
It’s as if James is asking the early church,
“Where’s the Beef?” You remember that? Recount commercial. Faith without works is a bun with a tiny pattie! Who wants that? Who needs that? Not God! God doesn’t need our belief! God needs our faith—and faith is expressed belief. We think of it as a noun, but faith is less an object to hold than a verb to express. It is the presence of an active, dynamic Spirit who compels us to act on behalf of God.
Schnase 2 Law of God like a Spectrum. Every hue. Jesus takes that beam of many colored light and focuses it into pure white light. Love God and Love your Neighbor. The Holy Spirit then takes that light and splits it again.
Insert 3, 4,5
Though it may be easy to remember, it is not easy to put into practice. Jesus says in our gospel passage today—it isn’t good enough to love those who love us. 88 of schnase