Sunday, August 12th, 2018 ~ 12th Sunday after Pentecost
The trouble is, as Christians, we aren’t supposed to imitate the world. We are, as verse one (Ephesians 5:1) says, “to be imitators of God” but we live in a broken world. We are a broken people. Our hearts are much more inclined to sin then they are to God. Despite our brokenness, God loves us, has forgiven us, and sealed us with the Holy Spirit.
Sunday, August 5th, 2018 ~ 11th Sunday after Pentecost
In a society where the “self” predominates and insults are becoming increasingly accepted as acceptable, people cannot move beyond destructive individualism and selfishness. As Christians -followers of the risen Lord – we are called to illuminate a different path, a different way.
Routines can be very helpful in day-to-day life, but they can cause us to miss what is right in front of us. We, often, follow the same sequence of actions come Sunday morning. We park in the same spot, enter the same door, sit in the same place, we look at the same stain glass windows. Because of our Sunday morning routines, we can end up going through the motions of “church” without being fully present. Being on Sunday morning autopilot, we can miss some truly important things, reminders of who Jesus is and what he has done. Routines can prevent us from listening to the Holy Spirit to guide our actions. They can also prevent us from checking in with God or prevent us from helping someone in need.
Sunday, July 15th, 2018 ~ 8th Sunday after Pentecost, 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
So, who do you think you are? Who do you think First Federated Church is? Well, I’ll tell you the answer revealed in the baptismal font; you – we – are chosen before the foundation of the world to be both holy and blameless. We are called to embrace this gift called Life and to live it to the glory of God all of our days whether they belong or brief.
Sunday, July 8th, 2018 ~ 7th Sunday After Pentecost
Jesus has also called us to go fast and light in the environments in which we live, and sharing the truth: Jesus has come to save the world. Telling the world about this truth is a large responsibility.
July 1st, 2018 ~ 6th Sunday in Pentecost & 13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The baptismal font and the Lord’s Table are visible signs of an invisible truth – that the cost of membership into the Body of Christ, the Church has been paid. So a more appropriate question would be the one that the Old Testament prophet Micah asked nearly a century before Christ: With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high?
But we, like David, must remember who we are; baptized, adopted children of the Creator of the Universe, of all that Was and Is and Will Be. We need to put on the big boy and big girl pants of our baptism and meet Today’s challenges as bravely and as boldly as David met Goliath thousands of years ago. We are called to use the gray matter between our ears and remind ourselves that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but has given us a spirit of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control].”
Special Music: Jazz Worship Service Special Guests: Musicians from the Central Illinois Jazz Society House Band ~ Larry Harms, bandleader, Andy Crawford, bass, Scott Anderson, guitar, and Jeremy Clark, drums.
There is no problem with questioning God, lots of people in the Bible did it, the church has done it for centuries, but when questions turn to doubt we often forget what God has already done for us. Just as God freed the Israelites from slavery, God has freed us too. The slavery from which we have been freed isn’t so much a physical thing, although it can be, as much as it is a freedom from sin. We are no longer bound to it. Those chains have been broken. In God, we are a new people. The old life has gone and the new life has begun. God has freed us.