Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sacramental Living

Second Sunday after Pentecost

Today we celebrate the baptism of Aaron (11yrs) and Brooke (9yrs)
and we celebrate Holy Communion

Acts 8:26-40 - Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

• I love how this passage illustrates guy’s response to learning of salvation.

• But before that, we have the faithful witness of a disciple, completely open to being used by God, even when called upon to reach out to a complete stranger in the desert (not a safe or comfortable place), a guy who ended up completely different from him in social status, race, gender.

Make yourself available without determining outcome before it happens. Philip didn’t say “I can’t” but instead eagerly ran up to the carriage.

• I love the Ethiopian eunuch’s response to Philip’s teaching.
        (you thought I was talking about his impromptu baptism, which IS a right beginning… Jesus baptized in Jordan river as way of saying 'Whoever would follow me, start here.' Jordan river significant because it was through the Jordan that the children of Israel received the promise of God. Would you follow Jesus? Would you receive promise of God? It starts in the water.)

• Eunuch’s response I’m talking about is verse 39: he went on his way rejoicing.

What kind of things do we celebrate? Bdays. Graduations. Achievements. Victories. Small things, mostly. Because we like to celebrate, we don’t need much of an excuse.

Ironically, thing we ought to celebrate without ceasing: salvation. Good news that kingdom of God is near and you’re invited. Time to party like it’s 1999! Celebrate Good Times, Come On!

• Celebrate baptism, let your joy be made clear. I saw my friend Sherry last night, she has 3 grandchildren now, and before you can finish saying “how are they?” what’s she doing? Getting her wallet out. Celebrating.

Celebrate baptism. Celebrate communion. Celebrate God's grace and salvation.

Infectious joy is beginning of sacramental living. 
God’s spirit in us, enthusiasm

• Day to day feeding, nurturing in breaking bread together, celebrating communion…

(Directly into service of Baptism)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Living in the Spirit

Trinity Sunday / Graduate Recognition Sunday
Romans 8:12-17, John 3:1-17

• Yesterday I volunteered at Hershey Park, cleaning the condiments stand at Nathan's on the boardwalk. I love people-watching. Especially love seeing couples holding hands. I got to hear the aquatic safety announcements quite a bit, too, including that they sometimes place mannequins in the water for lifeguard drills. It's important to practice skills, so that when you need them, they're there.

• I am a biker. I take a motorcycle class every year, including quick starts and stops and emergency swerves. I want to develop and maintain excellent riding skills, so that if I ever need them, they're there.

• Romans 8:13 If you put to death the actions of the body with the spirit you will live. Paul is talking not only about physical discipline for the glory of God, but mental discipline for the glory of God. We have physical habits to control, and spiritual habits as well.

• Brother Lawrence on prayer at work:
   I said to God with a son-like trust, ‘My God, since You are with me, and since it is Your will that I should apply my mind to these outward things, I pray that You will give me the grace to remain with You and keep company with You. But so that my work may be better, Lord, work with me; receive my work and possess all my affections. – Brother Lawrence. p. 37

• God gives us Spirit.

• Jesus to Nicodemus, you must be born from above: start fresh, blank page, abandon preconceptions.

• Living by Spirit is community natured (selfishness will lead to death)

• Alyssa to West Point. Zach to HACC for elem ed. Katie nursing degree. Meredith earned doctor of medicine in dentistry, beginning residency. Ryan officers field artillery.

Each of these graduates has to do and will have to do mundane things they don't like, but that will develop and maintain their skills and will lead them to the fruit they desire.

• Brainstorm ways you could put your Spirit into action (physical mental discipline, live in spirit, abandon preconception. Study, cultivate fruit of spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)). Become accountable to another.

• Hymn 59 I Sing the Mighty Power of God

Galatians 5:22-23 Fruit of Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control