Sermon Text and Topics for May 2019



May 5:

Hebrews 1:1-4

“Is the Lord of All Creation Lord of Us?”

One of my favorite worship songs is “Lord of All Creation,” by Caedmon’s Call. I think they got at least part of their inspiration from these opening words of Hebrews. From the very beginning the writer makes one thing abundantly clear: At the center of all things, all nature, all cultures, all creation...there is JESUS. All of biblical history comes to a climax in His person and through His work. The writer of Hebrews could not think any higher thoughts than those he thought about Jesus. At the very time God spoke creation into being, Jesus was with him...intimately involved with the whole process. Why is the supremacy of Christ so important to the writer and to his first Hebrew readers? Who or what could have been tempting them to believe that another power is greater?   What are the things in our own lives that tempt us to look away from Christ and fail to acknowledge he is Lord of all?  

May 12:

Hebrews 1:6-14

“Don’t Just Play with the Box

N.T. Wright tells the story of one of his children on Christmas morning being so excited and enthralled about the beautiful wrappings and boxes that she never got around to appreciating the gift inside. Sometimes I think this is the way we in the 21st church have become. We get so wrapped up in the beautiful music, we forget to worship the King; the pastor gets so enthralled with his own eloquence he forgets to preach and apply God’s truth; we get so excited about the adventure of going on a missions trip that we forget the holy purpose we had to go there in the first place. The writer of Hebrews reminds us: We worship and teach and preach and serve the One who is greater than ALL the ANGELS!   Jesus is the perfect GIFT. He shouldn’t be superseded by anyone or anything.

May 19:

Hebrews 2:1-4

The Dangers of Drifting”

Many years ago as a young teenager, I remember going to the beach and playing in the surf. I and my younger brother played in the edge of the ocean with our boogie boards for hours.   At one point one of us finally looked up and realized: Mom and dad, and the place where we’d put all our beach towels and chairs was nowhere to be found! Even the high rise condo we were staying in had disappeared. It was only after my dad came walking down the beach after us that we realized what had happened: We had drifted with the tide. Totally unaware of what was happening, we had ignored the fact that we had moved 100 yards down the beach. The writer to the Hebrews was gravely concerned that our faith might do the same thing. Drifting away from the foundations of faith carries with it grave consequences. What are some of the ways we may be drifting unaware?

May 26:

Hebrews 2:10-18

“Why Jesus Became One of Us”

One of my greatest examples of how to be a pastor came in the person of my first supervisor: Rev. Gene Little. He hired me as his associate back in 1990. There is no question that some pastors were better preachers than Gene, others were better leaders, but when it came to being beloved and trusted, Gene was the very best. Before Gene retired, I asked some of the folks at Trinity why this was so. They all had similar replies: “Gene isn’t in the ministry to be put on a pedestal or to receive the honor he thinks he deserves. Gene came into this community and became ONE OF US...He didn’t come to sit in his office and look down from the pulpit at us every Sunday. He came to LIVE with us, and to LOVE us.   This passage from Hebrews is very complex, but at its heart we see the true reason Jesus had to become a human being, suffer and die. If he hadn’t become one of us, if he hadn’t been subject to the same sufferings and struggles, we would not trust and follow him. True love can only be shared when we share life with someone. This is the essence of the Incarnation. Jesus deserves to be exalted above all not because he came to be served, but to serve. He endured whatever it took to save us, even death on a cross.            

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