I love beginnings. They feel like fresh starts.
I love mornings, because it means that God has delivered a brand new day for me. New possibilities. New appointments. New opportunities. New mercies.
I love Monday mornings, because it means that now God has delivered a whole new week to me. I can forget the failures and shortcomings and difficulties of the past week, because a whole new week has just been delivered.
I love the first day of the month, for the same reason. It just means the scale has increased on the possibilities, appointments, opportunities. Oh..and when a new month begins on a Monday morning—it’s like all the stars of beginning have arrived!
We find ourselves now at the beginning of a new year. A fresh start. As good Americans programmed to follow calendars and the default mode of celebrating New Years—many of us even had the day off—we also tend to think of resolutions to be made. For how we want to begin the year, and hopefully maintain it throughout all those new days, and weeks, and months that will arrive, right on schedule.
Let’s take a different approach. I’d like you to look into the future. To a day that will mark the end of all your new mornings, weeks, months and years. It’s not a beginning, it’s an end.
It is your end. Your death. Are you there? Can you picture it in your mind? Do you see a coffin at the front of a sanctuary with a group of people quietly gathered in the pews to reflect on your passing?
With that image firmly in mind, here is what I’d like you to think about: at the end of your life, what do you hope people will say has been the impact of your life? The impact of all the mornings, and days, and weeks, and months, and years that you spent on the earth. What would you want people to say of you? Of how you have spent the priceless commodity of life.
OK…Do you have it? Do you know what you would want them to say?
Now—what will it take to get there, in all the mornings, weeks, months, and years until that day?
I invite you now to watch or listen to the sermon on Matthew, where I propose what I think we can learn from this portrait of Jesus about the purpose of your life, such that you can have a very clear idea what your life should be about, and how to get there.
If you’d like some additional resources on Matthew, head on over to the Bible Project page for this story. And finally, to prepare for this coming Sunday, be sure to read the book of Mark (it is 16 chapters and takes 1.5 hours to read) and study it further through these resources.
I look forward to worshiping the King with you on Sunday.
I had a class on preaching once, many years ago, from a pastor and a professor. And here is what he argued was the key question the preacher must ask of every text of Scripture:
2 Corinthians and The Whole Story
The reason that we began the Whole Story sermon series in January of last year was for the simple reason that we wanted to inspire you to read the Bible.
In the unsearchable counsel of God's will for the world, he has so designed that salvation will come through the church, that body of people gathered by the power of his Holy Spirit.
Why Should I Read The Bible?
Most days I love waking up, coffeeing up, praying up, and then gobbling up the Bible. But not every day. I’m just like you in that. I need reminding about why the Bible — God’s Whole Story — is an important part of my day, for every other part of my day.
One of the dangers of reading the stories of those followers of Jesus that we find in the Bible is we can treat them as if they are almost super-human.
Martin Luther warned that the people of the church are always in danger of their hearts straying from the truth of the good news of the kingdom of God found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
The Whole Story
On Sunday, January 7th, we will begin a year and a half exploration of the whole story of the whole Bible...
1 Corinthians (part two)
This last Sunday in our Gathering, we studied the book of 1 Corinthians together. The week of preparation leading up to that moment in the pulpit was deeply encouraging, as I sat at the feet of Paul, and watched him apply the reality of Jesus and the fullness of the Good News to four main issues in the lives of Christians in the church at Corinth. I discovered that each issue was a case study in the application of the good news to the very practical matters of our lives.