With the passing of Reformation Sunday and All Saints Day, I wanted to highlight two beautifully simple statements we have been reflecting upon in our gatherings. These two quotes reflect the desire to focus on the core agreements in the Christian tradition in the name of unity in the Church.
“The faith preached by the Apostles, attested by the Martyrs, embodied in the Creeds, expounded by the Fathers.” -C.S. Lewis
"In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, love" -Augustine (354-430 AD)
This sermon is on Matthew 21:33-46, it looks at the biblical image of "The Stone" that Jesus referenced in the vineyard parable: (vs43)"The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing, and it is amazing in our eyes'?. It's a rich image with roots deep into the Old Testament anticipation of the coming Messiah. But as usual Jesus throws an unexpected spin on the way it had been interpreted and the implications are important for us to understand.
John the baptist said there was One coming after him that would baptize not with water but fire. Jesus is often presented as a sedated version of the prophet the people experienced. Sure he was more than a prophet but let's never dull the impact of his words and ways by trying to normalize him. This message presents some of the most provocative moments at the end of Jesus's ministry that provoked the religious leaders to finally find a way to kill him.
A message that explores the challenges when our heart and God's will don't want the same thing. Paul: It is better for me to live than to die (Phil 1:24). Jonah: It is better for me to die than to live (Jonah 3:3).