Showing posts from November, 2018

Spiritual Disciplines- Worship

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Revelation 1:4b-8;John 18:33-37
Today we are completing our series on the Spiritual Disciplines. And this morning we are dealing with the discipline of worship.

It is appropriate that today is also the feast of the Reign of Christ. This is the end of the church’s year. At the height of the church year, after we move through all the seasons, after we retell the story of Christ and his disciples, we reach this Sunday. This Sunday declares that Christ is King. As we read in Revelation 1:5, Jesus is the “ruler of the kings of the earth”. And all through our Gospel reading Jesus declares that he is a king and he has a kingdom. He is our king and we are his people. It is only appropriate that we are a worshiping people.

Worship is expressing the greatness, beauty, and goodness of God through words, music, rituals, and adoration. Through worship we enter into an encounter with God. Worship can be done individually and as a group. As Christians we should…

Spiritual Disciplines- Meditation

Joshua 1:1-9; Col 3:1-17; Matt 7:15-29
We continue this week with our sermon series on the Spiritual Disciplines. This week we are looking at the discipline of Meditation. We usually have an image that comes to mind when we think about meditation and it usually involves eastern religions and sitting in a certain position. But, meditation has always been a part of Christianity. Meditation is an umbrella word that houses a huge variety of mental activities. When Christians use the word “meditation” it is usually meant as a prayerful contemplation of God, Scripture, and the world God created.

We see meditation mentioned in our reading from the book of Joshua. Moses has died and Joshua is taking over as the leader of the Israelites. What we are reading are the instructions Joshua is receiving as he takes on this new role. That instruction includes this verse, “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to ac…

Spiritual Disciplines- Confession (Remembrance Day)

Ps 32; 1 John 1:5-10; Luke 5:27-32
Today we are continuing with our sermon series on the Spiritual Disciplines and it is also Remembrance Day. This is also a significant Remembrance Day in that it has been 100 years since the end of World War 1.

Confession is the practice of sharing our deepest weaknesses and failures with God and with others we trust. We do this to seek God’s forgiveness, and healing. We confess as individuals, but it is also appropriate for us to practice confession as a group.

I think communal confession is important for us to do on Remembrance Day. War is always a complicated thing to deal with as Christians. The plain understanding of the words of Jesus seem to speak against any act of violence on the part a Christian. For example, in Matthew ch 5 we read, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone want…

Spiritual Disciplines- Submission

Prov 1:8-19; James 4:1-10; Matt 26:36-46

The spiritual discipline we are looking at this week is submission. That is not necessarily one that would be on the top of the list for most of us. It is not one we are particularly drawn to. There is nothing trendy about it. We might even think it is a bad thing. We all know that authority can be abused, so when we think about submission we might think about cult leaders who demand complete submission on the part of their followers. … In a society suspicious of authority, we are taught to not submit. The idea of practicing submission, as if it is good for us, seems strange.

Christian submission is always a submission to Christ. And it usually happens in the context of community. Submission is not having to have things our own way. It is giving up our right for the benefit of someone else. … For example, say you like Christian heavy metal music, but you recognize that most people can’t relate to that on Sunday morning. You refrain from sending …

Spiritual Disciplines- Solitude and Silence

1 Kings 19:1-18; James 1:19-20; 3:1-12; Mark 1:29-39
The spiritual discipline we are looking at this week is Solitude, but we might also call this Silence. For the most part they go together. We go to them for a similar reason. They offer us the opportunity to receive a similar grace. The practice of solitude “calls us to pull away from life in the company of others for the purpose of giving our full and undivided attention to God” (Ruth Haley Barton in the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality). Silence is a way to cease using our voice to manipulate our environment. It is also a way to still the voices that try to manipulate us.

Through both solitude and silence we quiet the noise outside us so that we can still the noise within us. … We are constantly being bombarded by stimulation- radio, Tv, podcasts, books, advertisements, magazines, smart phones, facebook, instagarm, email … not to mention face to face conversations, and the excitement of community and driving. … In our socie…