I realize that this post is early for Mother's Day, but I found it necessary to post this to have a catharsis of some of my sermonizing thoughts from this week.
I was thinking about how I can incorporate Mother's Day into my sermon. As a vicar, I'll never hear the end of it if I don't. However, the tragedy of sin in the world prevents me from preaching the happiness of motherhood superficially in my sermon, while still concentrating on another main point of the text. The reality that motherhood is tarnished by sin and Christ's redemption of motherhood is a whole sermon in itself. If you're going to touch upon mothers on Mother's Day: don't. You'll do injustice unless you devote sometime to it.
The problem lies in, as I mentioned, sin. Yes, motherhood is joyful. It is a wonderful blessing to be a mother. But you cannot simply talk about the joys of motherhood. What about all the women who are infertile, and unable to conceive? If you preach only the blissfulness of mother, you inevitably take a John Henry hammer to the railroad spike already driven into the heart of that sin-stricken woman. A broken family, a motherless child, a mother whose child has died, the loss of the familial matriarch - there are so many who, if we do not recognize the effects of sin in the world, will be utterly crushed by taking Mother's Day as the commercialized feel good day it is urged to be.
I'll say it again, motherhood is joyful. We should rejoice in this amazing economy of God and this vocation by which He cares for and brings children to adulthood.
So if you're going to preach on motherhood, preach it all. But most importantly, preach Jesus. For in His death, there is life: life for the barren, life for the dead, and life for the separated. By that forgiveness in Christ Jesus, He makes all things new. Perhaps now, perhaps not now, but certainly He promises it in eternity. Take your joy and your comfort in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Monday, May 3, 2010
As I was working on a sermon for Sunday, I began to think of the freedom we have as Christians.
Before conversion our souls are bound to Satan, and afterward we are bound to God in Christ Jesus. Yet, now as Christians because God is our Lord and Master, when presented with a decision between two choices, we have the freedom to choose either. So long as both are good and Godly, reason may decide the choice because each are good choices and God can work through you despite the choice you make.
First there is bondage, then there is freedom!
Yet, when I began to think about other "Christian" theologies, the role seems to be reversed. In this particular theology, it is supposed that there is freedom of the will before conversion. One can make a choice for God. Yet, afterward when they are Christians, they try to bind themselves to deciphering God's will - I must discern God's will for my life, for my church, and for my ______. For them, when presented with two decisions which are equally Godly and good, there IS a wrong choice and therefore they must try to bind themselves to what they think is God's will and they fret and worry and despair.
First there is freedom, then there is bondage!
What a joy to have the Gospel ringing in my ears telling me: Jay, the Lord is with you. Make your choices, I am still with you. By the blood of my Son, Jesus Christ, I am always with you. Boldly make your choices, and I will produce good fruit whatever you choose.