Interactive Sermon

"Those who have the disease called Jesus will never be cured" ~Old Russian Proverb

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thought Provocation & Discussion Fodder

Give thanks for the freedoms that we have to gather in the name of Jesus Christ. Many of our brothers and sisters around the world long for those kinds of freedoms. Here's a story I found this morning. Can you imagine going to church if you faced years in a labor camp or worse for choosing to go?

I've been studying the 'Kingdom of God' for several weeks preparing to lead us through a number of studies in 2007 to define and understand that phrase, and more particularly how it applies to us. This week I've been thinking about Richard's teaching this past weekend. Considering how the culture in Jesus' day would have heard statements like 'Repent, the Kingdom is near' has caused me to think afresh of how those words are heard by today's culture. While 'kingdoms' were familiar to people in that day, they're almost completely extinct in our times. Where there are monarchs around the world, they are largely token. Even in a country referred to as 'The United Kingdom', the royal family have no governmental influence. Translating kingdom metaphor language into our vernacular... hmmm, what a challenge this will be! Help me out. What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'kingdom'?

For my fellow football lovers, I just need to vent this morning. I'm ticked about a few things. First, I'm furious that Boise State finished a perfect season by beating 'a real team' Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, but still has no chance at the National Title because they are, well, Boise State. Wrong! If Ohio State somehow loses to Florida, you tell me how the Broncos don't deserve to be called Champs. Second, I cannot be alone in feeling used by the BCS in having to see Notre Dame play in the Sugar Bowl last night. They didn't really play, did they? Show up in the Sugar Bowl would be a better choice of words. Let the whole world recognize (AGAIN) that Notre Dame signed a contract with the BCS and the networks that broadcast BCS games to be included in the tournament whether they deserve it or not. So this year they went in as a number 11 team with two losses, while a number of deserving one loss teams (ahmm, Wisconsin) missed out. And how about that 41-14 game last night? Lastly, I'm really disappointed for the Miami Dolphins this morning. Nick Saban swore up and down that he had no interest in leaving the NFL for the University of Alabama as recently as a week ago. In fact, Saban scolded members of the press for even covering the rumors. Then, yesterday... Where are the old loyalties that saw players and coaches stay with a franchise (pros) or a school (college) for a career? Why does it always have to come down to leaving for gr$$ner pa$tures?

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  • Lordship comes to my mind when I think about kingdoms. To this day, I remember several messages, and conversations with Chuck Colson and Dan Van Ness about the kingdom of God. I recommend the book, "Kingdom's In Conflict" by Chuck Colson, for consideration with the topic of kingdoms. I heard Cal Thomas (sindicated columnist) once say that to declare Jesus is Lord is a politcal statement. I observe that some Christians have an aversion to "politics" yet I strongly agree with Cal Thomas. We are not of this world. We are aliens yet citizens of two kingdoms - one temporal and one eternal. Paul wrote about citizenship and Jesus referred to rendering unto Ceazar. Romans 12 and 13 are two primary chapters that present the ordained roles of government and the church and thusly "kingdoms." Our king died for His subjects!

    By Barry Nilson, at 1/04/2007 12:01 PM  

  • I bet the BCS Computer's nickname is The Beast, and its ranking algorithm's checksum is 666.

    By Anonymous, at 1/05/2007 12:05 PM  

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