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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Today at Church

Today’s sermon by David Miller came from Acts Chapter One.  The subject was witnessing.  The second point of his sermon was a novel idea to me.  When we witness, we should not worry about selling the gospel.  It is up to the Holy Spirit to empower the word and change the heart.  What a freeing concept this is.  We do not need to be masters of persuasion.  We should not worry about tricky questions of a religious sort that are not essential to the Gospel’s impact on us.  This is almost like being a good witness in court.  We are not to embellish, but stick to the facts.  We are to believe in the radical idea that our candid witness is all that’s asked for.

Sunday school as usual was based on devotions and scripture from the Upper Room. Kunte brought up that his training in music calls for great effort and discipline.  Mitch stressed the importance of “the now” in working towards a distant goal like being a rock star.  He advised us not to be like those who dream constantly of retirement—only to find when it arrives that it is empty.  Instead of finding happiness, they find boredom and regret.  Rather, we should focus on those disciplines that bring us joy, happiness, and an outlet for our passions in the here and now.  I mentioned that I think Kunte feels he has a destiny (like I do).  We feel we have a positive contribution to make. Mitch said that was good, observing that many non-productive behaviors result from people feeling they have no destiny.  A feeling of destiny is different from a feeling of obligation, such as when we feel we “owe something” to our parents.  Such feelings and addictions to a legacy of burden can be destructive rather than guiding us to a healthy employment of our own talents and passions.

After one devotion, the question was raised are we to view everything in life in the light of faith?  Mitch pointed out that it depends on what we mean by faith.  If it means a deep belief in the power and necessity of the disciplines of love, then it would seem to be widely applicable in all areas.  As Viney pointed out, if by faith one means some sort of magic, then when we go to the dentist we would probably prefer that the dentist administer Novocain rather than faith.

I mentioned a dream I had last night.  I was reading an article in the newspaper that precisely, beautifully and masterfully described our Christian faith.  It was on the editorial pages.  As Mark Twain mentioned, mankind is good at finding true religion—in fact he has found several of them.  In the foreseeable future, fortunately or unfortunately, religion remains in the editorial section.

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