Sermon Notes

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Sermon Series- Promises #2

Exodus 32:1-14, Psalm 106 and Philippians 4:1-9

“Are we Ready for a Spiritual Intervention?”

 

How many of us would have loved to eavesdrop on the conversation between God and Moses?  God is angry, frustrated, disappointed and heartbroken by the actions of the people of Israel.  How could they have forgotten the promises of God so quickly?  Were they afraid that Moses wouldn’t come back?  As I read this passage, I immediately remembered the passage in Matthew 26:40 where Jesus was at Gethsemane to pray and the disciples kept falling asleep.  Perhaps both passges are inviting us to allow God to do a spiritual intervention within our lives. 

 

As we connect our Old and New Testament passages, I wonder if we are being invited to a place where we are hesitant to go, “The Dark Night of the Soul”?  Every human life is made up of the light and the dark, the happy and the sad.  Paul in particular invites the church in Philippi and each one of us to open hearts to a mystery that is as natural as the sun, the moon, day, night, summer and winter. 

 

Spanish mystic and poet John of the Cross writes about the night of the senses and the night of the spirit.  His work is used for people who want to cultivate a spiritual life through community, meditation  and various forms of service.  Whether we identify it as a “The Dark Night of the Soul” or living in the liminal season, we are tempted to created “golden calves”, just like Isralites, to bring material comfort or to use as a sign in the season of  the already and not yet.

 

Paul reminds us that we have to be careful in what we allow to consume our minds.  Our thinking and our actions are closely linked together.  Paul had every right to write a negative letter to many of the churches he founded, but he didn’t.  His letters were filled with joy, and promise.  Paul’s letters offer us a great prescription for living out our faith, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me, everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.”

 

Hope to see everyone in worship, either on-line or in-person.

 

Blessings,

 

 

Pastor Tom


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Encountering God’s Word through Images

    

As we encounter our passages this week, let us pray for the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit as we experience God’s Word through the process of Visio Divina.  Visio Divina is a method of sacred seeing and about asking ourselves, “What is God trying to say to me through an image?”  This particular spiritual discipline often helps guide people of faith through dark times.  Throughout scripture, images have been an important part of God’s way of communication. 

 

  • Proclaim. Read this week’s passages aloud. Close your eyes and picture yourself somewhere in the narrative.  
  • Ponder.  What insight is gained about us, God and neighbor?  Meditate on this and write it down.
  • Practice.  What action of grace is present in this passage? What action is God calling us to take in response?  Meditate on this and write it down.