Sermons by Rev. Dr. Jeff Seaton
the paradox at the heart of our tradition, that our God is a merciful judge; that the one who preaches a way that is narrow has a love that reaches wide; the one who is all powerful walks each day beside us.
These stories are a wake-up call for us, a reminder to keep awake to what God has done.
This time of big change in our church is an opportunity for us to re-centre ourselves in the radical heart of our faith, this story of a powerful, saving, reconciling love that knows no limits.
Church is a holy mess. And it always has been. We come as patches of the quilt, willing to be formed into God’s beautiful tapestry.
This is part of that countercultural, alternative reality I keep talking about. How the church is very unlike the world.
Our opportunity today is to recover this sense of what the church is, an outpost of the kingdom of heaven, a community unlike any other, a place where God’s will is done on earth, as in heaven.
Here’s the thing to remember: God’s love is not mere sentiment; it’s much, much more than a sentiment.
I’ve come to believe that how we answer these two questions—Who is Jesus? and What is the purpose of the Church?—is of fundamental importance to us as a church.
It may seem scary at first, but we need to trust that it is also exciting. It can be exciting for us to rekindle our faith, and to see how knowing Jesus is transforming the lives of people who are new to us.
The challenge, the task for us is to find a way to retrieve or recover a healthy connection to the treasures of our tradition: the kinds of things that we do when we gather here each Sunday, through the prayers and the singing, the sacraments and Scripture, through an encounter with the Holy Spirit, the risen Christ, the living God.
Our calling is not to be popular. It is to be faithful stewards of the Gospel.
Our job is to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.
This is Good News for us because it means that God is with us wherever we go, that God joins us in every venture God calls us to, and that God indeed will provide.
The Pentecost story of speaking new languages is a reminder to us of how the Spirit gifts us and empowers us to do what we otherwise couldn’t do, or wouldn’t do.
Sharing our story is at the heart of what we are about as a Christian community.