Preaching to the Choir

These are some sermons, but mostly lectionary discussions. It also has prayers for some Sundays.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Part 3 of the sermon Greed

We the church ought to be the place where people can come and realize hey you can get off that merry go round, you don’t have to have more and more. There is another way of living and being. There is relief from that burden its put on you, you can be free of debt. You don’t have to worship at the temple of Donald Trump or Martha Stewart.

But sadly too many churches are not witnessing to the power of the resurrection over sins in our lives especially sins of greed. We do look like the outside world, and send a message, you got to have more if you are going to belong here. And more and more people are walking away from the church giving up on the church. There is a church in Columbus Georgia that in order to join that church you have to show your income to, and you have to be making a certain amount to join. Now can you imagine that? They probably would turn me down.

Well, I don’t want to belong to the temple of Donald Trump or Martha Stewart or a church like that. I want a church that is representing the kingdom of God, that does live in the resurrection power, where people are being healed, set free of addictions, problems, that is of one heart and mind, where God’s grace is upon everyone. We can’t imitate the early church. We are not meant to. But we are meant to be like Christ little Christs and that the early tried to do. Sadly we have gotten away from that. I believe that God is calling us to become the church he meant us to be in the first place. The one that Jesus gave his life for, and that his resurrection gave life to. In verse 11 it is the first time the word church is used. That was important then and important now. Because God was speaking through this even to the early church about how Greed can even destroy its community. And He is speaking to us now that the same thing can happen.

Think about how many church fights have been over money issues. Think about how many families have been wrecked by the greed train. God knew then and God knows now that it is a train wreck waiting to happen. When couples come to counseling often they’ll talk about every issue in the book, even sex, mother in law issues, drinking, who disciplines, who takes out the trash, but they will not talk about the financial problems and how they handle money, and what it is or is not doing to them. But Greed is ruining families. And churches need to be a place where families can be healed of the effects of greed, the problems it brings on, the debt issues, the loneliness and isolation, and where they can come out from hiding to the light of truth. Because Jesus said I am what, the light of the world, and the truth that shall set you free.

Not all churches are mimicking the world. Many have realized that this is a big problem, and have begun to address with seminars on getting free from debt, or having consumer counselors on staff. But and this is but if those same programs don’t address the deeper issue of the sin of greed then those people seeking the help will fall right back into the same cycle of greed and debt all over again. And then go into hiding over the shame of it.
Well, lets be a church where people don’t have to hide and be ashamed that they can come and be healed and confront their problems and be set free from the sin of greed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Lets be the church where God is at work in all of us pouring out his grace on all of us, that it doesn’t matter what you wear, what you drive, what kind of house or trailer you live in, what kind of jewelry you wear or don’t wear. Lets be the church where all believers are one in heart and mind, and no one claims that any of his possessions are his or her own. Because you see all possessions are God’s anyway, we are just minding the store.

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