Mental Illness and the Church: Righting the Wrongs -- Two Sermons

September 9 — Isaiah 35:4-7a, Psalm 88, Mark 7:24-37

September 16 — 1 Corinthians 12:12-26, Psalm 116:1-9, Mark 8:27-38

Saint Augustine had declared that what separated men from beasts was the gift of reason; and so the loss of reason reduced man to a beast. From this position it was easy to conclude that the loss of reason was a mark of God’s disfavor; His punishment for a sinning soul....Melancholia was, in this view, a turning away from all that was holy. Furthermore, deep depression was often evidence of possession; a miserable fool contained within himself a devil, and if that devil could not be exorcised from him, why then he himself must go.
— Andrew Solomon in The Noonday Demon
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SERMON RESOURCES

Sermon for 2/25/18: A Death like His

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16, Psalm 22:23-31, Mark 8:31-38

Onawa Unfiltered, 2003

Onawa Unfiltered, 2003

If you depend on being emotionally inspired or newly motivated, you will need a new fix almost every day. If it is a true Gospel message, it will be more about regrounding, reshaping and redirecting you from your core.
— Richard Rohr

Sermon Notes

What kind of change does God want from us?  Well maybe that's not the right question. What kind of change is God doing to us in our encounter with Jesus Christ? That's the question we were trying to put answer on Tuesday night with our Lent series, How Men Change.  When God says change, what kind of change is at hand?  

I have found that is easier to talk about what real change is NOT.  And Richard Rohr helped us with this: it is not changing your friends.  Although sometimes real change means new people in your life.  But they are not the change itself.  Real change is not adopting new ideas or new dogmas or a new set of rules or new rituals or new denominations.  Change can bring those things to us...but again, they are not the change itself.  Change is something deeper, more destabilizing, more scary, more humbling, more transforming.  It is a whole lot more about admitting what we do not know than asserting what we do.  And that's the kind of change God does to us in our encounter with Jesus Christ.  And here's the kicker: we have no control over it. 

This is just a taste of the wrestling we have been doing together.  I hope it's challenging you; I hope it's confronting you.  But again, God is entirely responsible for that.  So it's my prayer that you should be confronted with a vision real change in this season. Amen

For a great discussion about change, read this article by Richard Rohr.  It's where I lifted this quote.  And this season, he's how I'm sharpening my understanding of the core biblical message.  Blessings, friends.