That was the title of yesterday’s sermon, given by a guest speaker.
He referenced Max Lucado’s new book, Outlive Your Life.
We even watched the trailer:
The line that stuck out to me was “There is no such thing as an insignificant person.”
That was kind of what the sermon was about, how everything we do matters, basically.
He opened with a story about Cicely Saunders, the woman who started what is now called Hospice.
What Wikipedia fails to point out is that while at Oxford, Cicely took classes from CS Lewis, and through encounters with him, she became a Christian.
She left Oxford for nursing school and got a job in a cancer ward, where she noticed that patients classified as terminall ill were receiving no visitors in their last days. She tried to get someone to do something about it (allow family and friends to visit), but no one would. Determined to change things, Cicely went to five more years of school to become a doctor and eventually started the Hospice program.
Apparently CS Lewis had a hand in the Hospice program. Awesome!
Our speaker continued his message by bringing up the Great Commission, a clear directive, a missional charge, to Christians around the world.
He said that this was the mission of the Trinity: that God sent His Son to carry out the mission of love; and then Father and Son sent the Holy Spirit to continue the mission; and now the Spirit is to send the church to continue to carry out the mission.
He challenged us to discern God’s mission in our context—as in, what’s our part in the mission?
Then he brought up 2 Corinthians 2:14-15, and how we are to manifest the aroma of Christ, a fragrance of hope and love and peace and forgiveness.
Then he brought up Acts 2:47, and how the early church found favor and God added daily to their numbers; and Isaiah 58, about injustice.
He made a comment about how the radical faith of a few sold-out Christians won hearts.
(My first thought when he said “sold-out” was “SOULED OUT,” lol!)
He asked how this applies to us today, and brought up a survey from one of George Hunter’s books about how non-Christians view Christians. There were three general answers:
they don’t actually believe what they say
they believe but don’t live it out
they believe it and live it, but it’s irrelevant to my life
He brought up Matthew 5:16, about light.
That reminded me of this:
He concluded the sermon with the idea that the Bible is the inscrupturated word of God and teaches us the recipe for life, but we can’t smell it—the freshly-baked bread (Jesus). We can be recipe knowers, carriers, and memorizers, but we have to use the recipe for it to actually work.
It has to go beyond Minnesotan niceness; has to be obedience.
Matthew 22:35-39 ; reclaim or renew commitment
And then these four values:
1. Good deeds and good news are not to be separated. (Believe, belong, and bless)
2. You are vital to the health and well-being of the community. (Jeremiah 29)
3. Ministry and service shoud be considered normal in the church.
4. Embrace your commitment, pray, and expect results.
He finished up his time with an invitation or challenge to us to pray for open eyes, ears, and hearts, and to live with expectation.
What I thought was interesting was that he quoted Lucado talking about how the Disciples were common people (duh), but they were also unpredictable. Jesus chose them simply because they said “Yes” to “Follow me.”
He asked us what would happen here, in our town, if we said “Yes, I will follow You.”
And that was pretty much it.
During the offering time, our youth pastor and BG (music leader in town) sang (and she played piano) this song, with my BFF K accompanying them on flute.
I’ve heard this song before and love it. I knew they were singing it on Saturday night when some of us went to the youth pastor’s house to hang out (which he referenced in his follow-up to the sermon). I was super-excited to hear them sing it.
Also, about Saturday…
I felt so. loved.
My sister had her senior pictures taken that afternoon by a friend from church who came into town for the weekend.
After supper, my sister disappeared on us (went out with friends) and my parents went to a baseball game.
The two gals who came in for the weekend (the photographer and her sister, who came to help) plus one of my coworkers who had a birthday Saturday were getting ready to go swimming, and they invited me to go with them.
“Umm… Well, I guess I’m invited now, huh?”
“Yes. Come with!”
“Okay! I have nothing else to do tonight.”
So I put on my swimming suit, left my parents a note, and went over to the same house I was at on Tuesday night to go swimming.
We laughed a lot and played some volleyaball in the pool (kind of).
Then we went to the youth pastor’s house, where BG was already hanging out. One other guy showed up, and they played a game while the photographer and I tried to watch a movie.
It was fun.
I felt wanted and loved and included.
I usually spend my Saturday nights at home on the internet or watching TV or something. It’s usually pretty boring.
So to be asked completely randomly to go swimming with someone I don’t see much…
I was thinking about it after I went to bed and I started crying because I was so thankful that they’d included me.
So that was my weekend. Unexpected invitation, and a good Sunday. 🙂