This Sunday we begin a sermon series on the Greatness of God. We will look at the greatness of God's mercy, grace, freedom, and hope.
This coming Sunday we will be looking at what our "dream job" might be as opposed to Paul's "dream job." When we read a resume such as Paul's we wonder how we could ever match up to his abilities as a leader of a new movement that was changing the world. And to put even more pressure on us to fulfill his kind of job, we need to consider the environment that Paul was leading this movement through. Sociologist, Rodney Stark, states that it is quite puzzling the rise of Christianity that took place during Paul's time in the Roman Empire's landscape. Stark says it was because of five words that Christianity defied the injustices and cultural disconnect of Paul's time: "For God so loved the world." For those in the Greco-Roman world they would be puzzled by the fact that "any god" would care how we treat one another.
As well, to the Greco-Roman world, "mercy was a character flaw; the ideal was justice," says Paul Galloway in his article, "How Jesus Won the West..." Stark would add that "since mercy involves providing unearned help or relief, it was contrary to justice. This was the moral climate in which Christianity taught that mercy is one of the primary virtues — that a merciful God requires humans to be merciful. Moreover, the corollary that because God loves humanity, Christians may not please God unless they love one another was something entirely new."
Oh, that is all we have to do — be merciful! Yeah, I believe I have a ways to go with that, and I am guessing that you may as well. So I hope you will join me in worship this week to see how the greatness of God's mercy can be extended to one like Paul, and to you and me.
Don't forget a lot is happening on Sunday as we begin our Fall season in the life of the church.
Taco & T-Shirt Sunday (Bring an appetite and wear your favorite T-Shirt.)
Our choir will be singing.
We will bless the backpacks of kids of all ages.
We will be commissioning our new Council leadership.
We will celebrate the Lord's Supper.