WORSHIP WITH US!
8:30AM, 9:45AM in the hall, or 11AM

Location:
7150 Pines Blvd
Pembroke Pines, FL 33024
The SE corner of Pines Blvd and 72nd Ave
Across the street from Broward college South Campus lake
(954) 989-1903
tlcppines@gmail.com


Join Us For Worship!

Join Us For Worship!
Sundays at 8:30AM, 9:45AM, and 11AM

Saturday, May 21, 2011

May 22 SERMON on THE Second Reading:
1 Peter 2:2–10

Ask not what your church will do for you, but what you are ready to do for God.
Because God has promised to meet us here.
In the proclamation of God’s word.
In the bread and wine of the Lord’s Holy Supper.
In the waters of Baptism
In the community formed by the gathering of two or more in God’s holy and life-giving Name.

 Ask not what your church will do for you, but what you are ready to do for God.

The writer of 1st Peter tells us:
“Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

So, ask not what your church will do for you, but what you are ready to do for God.
Because God has expectations of us and for us.

Some people complain that churches today have no expectations – they make no demands, ask no commitments of any sort, not for those who view themselves as members and as far as visitors go – congregations have this habit of just opening their arms wide and smile with gratitude. They see a visitor and do a happy dance.
We had a visitor! We had a visitor!
They give them stuff. My parents when they moved to Florida visited some churches and they received a plant, a card, maybe some cookies – it was like the churches were all competing for them. Like the one that gave away something like 15,000 Starbuck’s gift cards a few Easter ago. It’s a wonder that someone doesn’t publish a webpage that lists which congregations give away the coolest stuff.

 “Like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Ask not what your church will do for you, but what you are ready to do for God.
Because God has expectations.
And so do we.
Of ourselves as a faith community.
If God has expectations of us, shouldn’t we have expectations of ourselves?

 As compared to many faith communities, the Elks have higher expectations. And the Moose Lodge. Even the Girl scouts and Cub Scouts have expectations.
Even the ballroom dance instructor who teaches the class that Piper and I take expects us to sign in upon arrival and to watch first as he demonstrates the moves, and then and only then, to imitate him. He also expects us to practice and it is obvious when we don't. Which is, sad to say, often the case.
Try leading with your left foot when you should be leading with your right or watching your feet instead of your partner. He is always keeping an eye on us on the dance floor and misses nothing. Nothing! He demands proper execution of the steps. For the most part, anyway. Truth be told, I think that he is mellowing with age.
Our dance instructor may have less expectations of us now than he once did – but God has more.

God has high and growing expectations because of who we are: God's own people. And as God’s own people, God expects us to proclaim the mighty acts of the one who called [us] out of darkness into God’s marvelous light

 The writer of 1st Peters puts it bluntly:
Once you were not a people,
but now you are God's people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.

 To follow Christ is to be a disciple. And the life of a disciple is called discipleship – and that is not a word that we need to be afraid of, is it?
If someone shouts “SNAKE” or “disciple!” I would grab a shovel for the snake and offer the disciple some bread.

The word “Disciple” should not scare us – it is who were are as God’s people –followers of Jesus who proclaim and embody the Good News  -the might acts of God  which the writer of First Peter is telling us about.

Discipleship isn't about just showing up, but it might begin there. It does for a lot of people. They show up. They show up and God meets them. Welcomes them. throws a party in heaven for them. Since they are "home." And when people come home that’s what God does. 

Discipleship isn't about just showing up, but it might begin there.
And there, one hopes, one discovers through the work of the Holy Spirit and
the humble and profound love of the community (in other words, our love for them) who we really are. 

 Listen:
 you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light

 And as disciples, we should not be asking what our church will do for us, but what we are ready to do for God.
Because God has expectations.
And so do we.

Last week I asked you to write down the name of someone who has wandered away from a faith community or even sought to wander away from God.
I asked you to pray for their return.
And then, with all boldness I asked you to enact that prayer on behalf of God. To embody it - to move from prayer to action – to be the instrument of God’s answer. To be a little shepherd at work empowered by the Holy Spirit on behalf of the Shepherd of us all.
I would like you now to take out the worship insert and find the prayer list and write one word at the bottom of it – the word is for you. I’ll give you three to choose from. “Pray” “Ask” or “Ask Again” and write the name of the person who God is calling you to reach out to – the one sheep that Jesus is willing to leave the 99 to go find. The word and the name are for you. Be God’s instrument through which God will the answer the prayer.
And as disciples, we should not be asking what our church will do for us, but what we are ready to do for God.

Amen.




No comments: