The Once and Future Church (3): Letting Go, Pressing On


2015/11/22 Christ Church, Mountain Top
Call to Worship, Psalm 145.8-21
Children, 2 Chronicles 20 – switch to Genesis 12, Abe’s call?
Message, Philippians 3.4-14

Our message series:
Story telling as those delivered from slavery, the context of generosity (PAST) – Deuteronomy, offerings upon entering the land
Story telling as those who are alert to what God is doing NOW, the context of gratitude (PRESENT) – promise of God’s “new thing” attended to in the present
Story telling as those dreaming of God’s best, the context of faith (FUTURE) – letting go and pressing on

            Jeremiah 29.11 – future with hope

Paul – giving up on success

Philippians 3:8-9  I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.

      Trust in God instead of my pedigree, my goodness, my will
      We never can, never do, deserve grace or earn forgiveness – a gift
      Personal transformation narrative: If I decide to change, I’ll change
            Change the way we think, feel, act
            Mindfulness
      Nothing changes a human being like Jesus

Abraham – no home but the promise of God

Hebrews 11:8-16  By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.  9 By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God... 13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth,  14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.  15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return.  16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

      Trust in God despite evidence to the contrary
      Journey as metaphor of       personal transformation
            Luke Skywalker to Dagobah
            Abraham never got to the “destination”
            More about obedient submission than about transformation

Abe: Departure, arrival (incomplete)
Paul: Letting go, pressing on (unattained)

Me – past and future
      It is not about ourself at the center, but about God at the center
      Discernment is called for, along with faith
            Giving up on success
            Becoming homeless, except for the promise of God
     
1955 Nov 6, vote to merge
      Giving up the stained glass windows
Those called out from us to pastoral ministry:
      Jim Slapinski, Jan Tiebert, Ken Brown, J.-P. Duncan, Mark Dodson
      Leaving home for an uncertain future

Old dreams:
      Expanded building
      SS class for kids with special needs

Recent dreams:
      Care ministry
      ActionChurch
      Contemporary worship

Hopes and dreams:
      Gym, multipurpose space
      Music and arts academy – YOMAMA
            Youth Orchestra & Mountaintop Area Music Academy
      Sponsor a Syrian refugee family
            God has not given us a spirit of fear but of LOVE (2 Tim 1.7)
      Prayerfulness, love of Scripture
      Pay off mortgage
      Small group ministry
      Children’s drama & music
      Young adult ministry/group
      No child goes to bed hungry
      Children most at risk are surrounded with love and opportunity –
            Sherman’s Hills

What are your hopes and dreams for Christ Church, or for your own life?
      (Music – Here I Am, Lord)
      Prayer
      Writing down our hopes and dreams

      Singing, bringing our dreams forward to post at the front

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