Ask-the-Pastor: Institutional Church and Spiritual Orphans -- May 21, 2017

1 Peter 3:13-20, Psalm 66:8-20, John 14:15-21

Innumerable times a whole Christian community has broken down because it has sprung from a wish dream. The serious Christian, set down for the first time in a Christian community, is likely to bring with him a very definite idea of what Christian life together should be and to try to realize it. But God’s grace speedily shatters such dreams. Just as surely as God desires to lead us to knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and if we are fortunate, with ourselves.
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

References to Dietrich Bonhoeffer come from (public library and reference).

Sermon for 5/7/17: Slaves, Masters, Hearing, Mishearing

Acts 2:42-47, Psalm 23, 1 Peter 2:19-25, and John 10:1-10

Good Shepherd Word Cloud

Good Shepherd Word Cloud

This trust, this confidence in the One whom they have come to know and love, sustains them even when their society strips away everything else that might give them a sense of worth and a sense of place. Because God loves and protects and honors them, they can endure their neighbors’ scorn.
— Judith Jones on 1 Peter

Sermon Notes

A difficult sermon to squeeze out of scripture this week.  No one wants to hear the Christian voices of old tell slaves to obey their masters.  So this week represents a good bit of wrestling on my part.  The historical/sociological info. on this letter from Peter came from the following articles.  Click to connect: Jeanniine Brown, Judith Jones 1 on 4/30/17,  Judith Jones 2 on 4/23/17.  Thank you WorkingPreacher.org.  If you feel like reading up on conservative and liberal morality in a really life-giving way instead of a divisive way, check out this book by Jonathan Haidt -- The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Religion and Politics. (Reference and Library).