I’m a rule follower….a few years ago when Jim and Jan were living across from Killams on corner of Telegraph and Morgan, I could not believe how often people would blast through the stop sign on the Morgan without slowing down. If I did that, I’d lose a week of sleep from the guilt, the “what if’s.…
I’m a rule follower… student… rules of road... taxes… it’s my personality. Some of you are more rebellious by nature… make your own rules, challenge authorities… we start with a basic character traits, molded by experiences… Maybe the perfect person finds a balance between selectively challenging the rules but following the norms of society when possible. There are times I should get more angry/pro-active at injustices…
Intro to scripture: “rent” was not money in those days, it was a set amount of produce or a percentage of the produce of the land. The owner of the vineyard sends servants/son to collect a portion of the crop, i.e. the rent. Suppose Marcy rents land from Killams and grows corn… if she dumps a truck of corn in Killams front yard, she’s just paying her rent…READ SCRIPTURE.
“He went on to tell the people this parable…” this is a continuation of last week’s message: Jesus is the ultimate authority…a parable is a story with a common setting that has a deeper meaning intended for the hearers to ponder… this is a story of the owner of a vineyard that rents the land ~ when he sends servants/son, they refuse to pay what is owed the owner… they kill the son. Why? Because they want it all, the harvest and the land itself: “Let’s kill [the son] and the inheritance will be ours.”
AUTHORITY! Do you bristle at the word? a feeling of Constraint? Many people don’t like being told what to do or how to live! Isn’t that a major criticism of Christianity, too many rules! Everyone must come to grips with the idea of authority! It doesn’t work to try and live your life without authority because that always ends in confusion or rebellion/ fleeing like Jonah who ran from the call of God. Run from authority, and the fish will swallow you too…. It may feel good to rebel against authority, but you will crash….I like this classic story told by Max Lucado, the Laws of the Lighthouse (found in In U.S. Navel Institute Proceedings by Frank Koch.)
Lydia is a strong women! Admirable. Open. Hospitable. As we consider the story of Lydia, lessons from her life/character emerge: she listens for God’s voice, she does it with a spirit of Joy, and her goal is to be a servant.
Ray Deck III, Director of Skookum Kids, "Forgiveness" Matt. 18:21-35 ~ begins with update of Skookum Kids
So good to have guest speaker Ray Deck III. May is Mission month at SACC. One of the local missions we support is Skookum Kids, a ministry to Foster Kids in Whatcom County. The message begins with an overview of Skookum Kids, and then Ray speaks on forgiveness from Matt. 18.
Blood, Sweat and Tears sang the song, Spinning Wheel. It starts, “what goes up must come down.” In the world of Jesus Christ, as is often the case, the opposite is the more profound truth, “What comes down must go up…” Jesus came down to earth as a man, he died for our sins, he was resurrected to life, and then he ascended to God the Father ……
The Ascension of Jesus Christ is a key truth to unlocking what it means to be a Christian today/ live and love as a Christian. Jesus Christ is ascended on high. He is not walking on this earth but he is reigning above… He lived, he died, he was resurrected and he ascended to heaven…
Riddle: I am weak with no power, yet everyday millions listen to me and obey. What am I? [a stop sign].
The shape, color and word “STOP” of a stop sign tell you that you must stop, but the stop sign itself has no power to make you stop, its what the symbol represents that gives it the power…The cross is a symbol... a symbol with multiple meanings. The cross on our wall is wood, made by Andy Anderson out of the posts of an old sign outside…
The Christian cross has always been controversial. In the wreckage of the World Trade Center of 911 a worker found two intersecting beams…. The Ground Zero Cross, as it became known, was erected on a mound of rubble and sprinkled with holy water by a Catholic priest. The cross attracted devout pilgrims and curious tourists without controversy. Only when it was brought into the National Sept. 11 Museum the lawsuits began. It was argued the cross was a slap at the non-Christian victims of 9/11 and had no place in a publicly funded institution. The museum prevailed in court on the grounds its exhibit had already made the transition from religious symbol to historical artifact.
1 Cor. 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
I graduated from NVHS in ’79. I took every math class Nooksack had to offer and got almost all without doing a day of homework… naturally, my first semester of college, I signed up for pre-calculus. I thought it would be good to include a no-brainer class so I could ease into college life. How hard could a math class be that had the prefix “PRE” in it. From day one I was lost. I was in way over my head. I was lucky to barely not fail the class. That was a wake up call. / a blow to my ego.
Ever get in over your head? Dig yourself into a hole unsure how to get out? a math class is one thing; quite another when it’s relationships, situations that impact others…
We are looking at Jesus’ final week leading to Easter. It’s Thursday, the day before Jesus dies. It’s the night of the last Supper (which is the basis for our once a month communion). Jesus offered a most amazing prayer found in John 17. The disciples and Jesus go to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus suffered knowing what was coming. Jesus is betrayed and arrested. The disciples are lost as their world falls apart. I am limiting the scope of this message to the arrest of Jesus in John 18:1-12.
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Whoops. Mistake on video with head cut off. Oh well
[Illustration: Table set up cluttered with objects ~ put together a puzzle without moving any objects ~ then show better way ~ “Do you give me joy….” sweep off table to use clean surface for a puzzle.]
A short version of this sermon: Jesus cleansed the temple. De-clutter your spiritual life so you can have a fresh beginning with Christ. Amen! ////
We complicate our lives, the clutter, the junk, the things we worry about, the intensity, just let go of the clutter and get back to a simple relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s what it’s all about when Jesus goes into the temple and clears out the business people, the banks, the buyers and sellers…. Even more important, he emphasizes the purpose of the temple: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations.”
Welcome to Bethany! My prayer is that you will find your stay refreshing, illuminating, restful, transforming ~ Bethany is a place of love, acceptance and forgiveness: the broken find a home. The weary find rest. The sick are healed.
Some people find great peace by walking in the woods, spending a day at the beach, reading a good book ~~~ tell me about your go to place of personal rest and revival?...... Bethany holds a special place in the heart of Jesus Christ. Bethany is the place where Jesus chooses to lodge the night before the Triumphal Entry and that fateful week which ends with his death and resurrection. Bethany is the place he travels the half hour journey back, night after night, during Jesus’ final week, after another hard day…. Everyone needs a Bethany. I want this church and our Christian Community to be a Bethany where the weary find rest, and sinners discover the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
Real Men Don’t Wear Pink! [I'm wearing a pink tie! Subtle joke, I know.] Lots of opinions out there as to what the role is of men in our society/family.
We’ve been walking through Jesus’ family tree of imperfect men and women. Today is the final character study: Joseph. Interesting the way the genealogy describes Joseph: READ Matt. 1:16. Mary, of course, is made pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Yet the line of Jesus is traced through Joseph in Matthew 1.
It’s clear Joseph knows he is in the family of David; likely he would be King if Israel were a sovereign nation….READ Luke 1:26-27. King David is part of the family heritage. [QUESTION: Who has a famous relative in their family tree from generations past?] God made a promise to David, a promise that would not die. No doubt Joseph at least had a general thought that God was not yet finished and the fulfillment of the promise was still coming, someway, somehow… who knows if he thought he’d see the promise revived or if a centuries old tradition….
A person is as good as their promises!...I like this old joke:
A dying man gives each of his best friends -- a lawyer, doctor and a pastor -- an envelope containing $25,000 in cash to be placed in his coffin. A week later the man dies and the friends each place an envelope in the coffin. Several months later, the pastor confesses he put $10,000 in the envelope and sent the rest to a mission. The doctor confesses his envelope had only $8,000 because he donated to a medical charity. The lawyer is outraged, "I am the only one who kept my promise to our dying friend. I want you both to know that the envelope I placed in the coffin contained my own personal check for the entire $25,000."
A person’s character is defined by how they keep their promises. same with God….
Today and next week are the final sermons from the series, God’s Imperfect Family. I’ve learned a lot…. In Matt. 1 the N.T. opens with a genealogy of Jesus’ family tree. The character of Jesus’ family is a mixed bag of good and bad, powerful and commoners, Jewish men and gentile women, servants and tyrants. During the ups and downs, the promise of God holds the family tree together.
Carl Crouse, Pastor
At SACC we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Every Sunday the worship service includes a message from the Bible. My words are an attempt to understand and apply the Bible to our daily living. I post weekly sermons and other biblical messages on this page. May you find meaning and hope as you read through each message and seek to hear God's voice. Leave a comment to ask questions or inspire others with your insights.