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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Jun 21, 2011

Focus reading: Matthew10:40-42 

When we talk about the church being involved in mission we are often inclined to think about the programs that we offer. We also sometimes think about the ways we can atract people to our church or our activity. Today I’m asking you to make a shift in your thinking. Instead of inviting people to join us Jesus is saying that we should go out and join them. That is his picture of mission.

                Today’s passage tells that us whenever we do anything in Jesus name and give our non Christian neighbours the opportunity to welcome us and invite us to join with them, then they are welcoming Christ, and they are welcoming God the Father who sent him.

 

Questions for thought or discussion.

What do you think of the idea that when someone welcomes you as a Christian they also welcome Jesus and God (the Father)?

What non church relationships or groups or places are you invited into where you could be a provocative guest?

What could you do in those settings?


Andrew Gillies
eight and a half years ago

SERMON NOTES
We receive Jesus and the Father
when we receive the messengers of Jesus.
“Whoever welcomes you welcomes me”
Not just the Apostles - Anyone sent by God...
This is really weird if you think about it. Apostles make sense... but as we will see even the least. Anyone sent by God.
So welcoming me - cup of coffee etc. = welcoming Jesus.... Makes some kind of sense...
Welcoming Elder, any Christian servant, even the least!!
It get’s weirder - “Whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me”
When we welcome Jesus’ messengers we also welcome God the Father as well.
If we welcome the message and the messengers into our homes we are included in a new family. Father, Son, us... (brothers & sisters)... Heirs of the Father... His Spirit testifies...
Our old families might be uncomfortable with our faith - but we have a new family - the church.
Have you received the message and the messengers?


The messengers bring God.
We are all sent by Jesus even the least of us. (Great commission - Matt 28:18-20)
Focus of this passage is mission not on us - on those we go to in Jesus’ name. If we go the start of the chapter we learn (Sending of the 12)
Jesus is saying that whoever is welcomed who bears his name who is doing what they do consciously for him from the greatest to the least...
He starts with the prophets... Prophets/God’s messenger - The ones who bring the message from God - OT & NT - not clairvoyants/ future tellers. (Ministers, preachers, Sunday School teachers anyone who speaks God’s message... but often with a special calling...)
A good man/ righteous person
- Jesus - the only truly good person/ righteous person
- someone declared right by God because of the righteous one - Jesus - in whose name they come. (Church members or maybe leaders??)
The least/little ones - children/ humble followers/ church members.

What this passage is saying is that when we go we take Jesus with us.
Not just the Apostles, not just the ministers and teachers, but every-one of us even the least. Young or old, clever or not so clever, brave or timid, strong or weak - all of us bring the presence of Jesus. When we do what we do and share what we share in Jesus’ Name...

Do we see our community service as Christian service?
Meals on wheels; contribution to sporting groups; working for other community organisations; supporting a friend; being a member of Rotary or even the Caladonian Society...
Easy- commit it to God in prayer.

More difficult. ... Do we take opportunities to share the Gospel? UC worst at sharing their faith...
Reflect with people about faith/ Spiritual issues. Tell people that Jesus brings hope, forgiveness, new life, renewal and transformation?
Share how Jesus has changed our lives?
It is difficult particularly if we fail to see our whole lives ...

What we tend to do is create programs or stuff...

What we need to do instead is be provocative guests...

A very simple example

Perhaps a bit easier... Offer to pray. If asked why you help - explain that it’s (at least partly) because of the gift God gives us in Jesus.

As a church... Need to see our interaction with others in their place as mission...
in the mean time, from the craft group... to our community work... to our interaction with how we treat our family and neighbours... all of this has to be seen as mission...

For as today’s passage reminds us whenever we do anything in Jesus name and give our non Christian neighbours... the opportunity to welcome, whenever they invite us to join with them, then they are welcoming Christ, and they are welcoming God the Father, God the source...