Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Church: The Body of Christ

• Second Sunday after the Epiphany.
with Romans 12:4-5  and  1 Corinthians 12:27    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
A video of the worship service was posted on Facebook 1/20/19

This is not your traditional “Body of Christ” message
• Consider the Church, the Body of Christ
from Christ’s point of view.
• We read in Ephesians that Christ is the head of the body, and we are members of it. What is the head going to do? The head is going to RUN the body!
• The head is going to run the body as Christ sees fit. Thankfully.
I don’t have the wisdom to run the body.
If I were in such a position, move over and give Jesus the wheel!
• Christ is LORD of church/body. But not overlord. More servant than overlord.
Loves the church, gives himself for the church
as an artist pours self into creation, so Christ pours self into Church/body.
• Christ cleanses the body. Justifies it (makes it right) and sanctifies it.
To reflect the glory of God.
We tend towards Pigpen. But God’s Mr. Clean is stronger.
• Christ nourishes the body. We are fed with sacrament and other means of grace. Prayer, study, action, fellowship, worship, service fill our souls.
• Christ and the body are inseparable.
It’s easy to think of Christ as distinct and separate
but (and I daresay on purpose) the body is vital to the head.
Christ has body for a reason.
Creation and salvation.
• Teresa of Avila (1515–1582)
Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

• Hymn 558 I am the Church

Romans 12:4-5 (NRSV)
4 For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another. ò

1 Corinthians 12:27 (NRSV)
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. ò

Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Church: The People of God

• First Sunday after the Epiphany.
with 1 Peter 2:9-12  and  John 1:35-42    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
A video of the worship service was posted on Facebook 1/13/19

• We’ve been celebrating Jesus’ birth and baptism, God’s gift of light to the world.
Jesus’ purpose and endgoal: to build a church. To make disciples that make disciples. Disciples that live the gospel, tell the gospel that there is new life there is hope there is light.
To make disciples that go and do. Relief and mission and outreach.
To make disciples that worship and pray.
• The church is not a building or a place.
Today’s reading: the church is a people.
1 Peter, written in the latter third or quarter of the first century to clusters of the faithful scattered throughout Asia Minor, strongly names / identifies those believers as the new Israel, covenant people, heirs of the ancient covenant of
Abraham Isaac Jacob Joseph Moses Ruth Samuel Elijah and the King, David.
• You are a chosen race. Not a compliment but a commission.
1st covenant with Abraham to be a chosen race set aside to be a blessing.
1st Peter written long after great commission and Pentecost power.
We are part of the new chosen race, bearers of the new covenant.
• You are a royal priesthood. Not compliment but commission.
Priests are connector to God, mediators. Offer sacrifices for, offer hope to.
Priesthood of all believers. It’s every disciple’s calling to represent God to others.
• You are a holy nation. Set apart. To be different, to be a light, a leader, a model.
To live by love and to be blameless in honor.
Who is our nation, and who is responsible for us living honorably?
• You are God’s own people. What do you think when you hear “my people”?
Transition period getting to know you. Shared values and vision. Association.
You look good I look good, and vice versa.
• SO THAT we may declare the works. (remember word of mouth).
SO THAT outsiders might be embraced (as we once were).
SO THAT those without mercy might receive mercy.
So that the nations may know.

• Hymn 548 In Christ there is no East and West

1 Peter 2:9-12 (NRSV)   
9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
10 Once you were not a people,
    but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
    but now you have received mercy.
11 Beloved, I urge you as aliens and exiles to abstain from the desires of the flesh that wage war against the soul. 12 Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles, so that, though they malign you as evildoers, they may see your honorable deeds and glorify God when he comes to judge. ò

John 1:35-42 (NRSV)
35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). ò