Sermons

Summary: Objective: As Jesus looks to the future, his desire is for the church to primarily be the place where the world finds God.

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Can the World See the Difference?

Subject: The Community of Believers

Theme: Being the Place where the world finds God

Time: Sunday Morning July 30, 2000

Question: Can the World see the Difference?

Introduction:

How do we define “being different?” - in the past this has been shaped by what Christians have determined is necessary in order to be different than the world? - sometimes the distinctions have not been so effective:

Story of Moody visiting Spurgeon

The Big deal we make about what we wear - i.e., the significance of a nect tie!?!?

“In his book La Grande Historie de la Cravate (Flamarion, Paris, 1995) Francoise Chaile tells us about the appearance of this clothing symbol and its later widespreading.

“Around the year 1635, some 6000 soldiers and knights came to Paris to give their support to Louis XIII and Richelieu. Among them there was a great number of Croatian Mercenaries who, led by the Ban, remained in the service of the French King.

The tradional outfit of those Croats aroused interest because of the picturesque scarfs tied around their necks in a very specific manner. The scarfs were made of various cloths, ranging from coarse cloth which was used by common soldiers, to fine cotton and silk for the officers. This elegant “Croatian style” immediately conquered the French, who were delighted by this new clothing item, which had been, till then, completely unkown in Europe.

For the gallant French officers who were in the thirty year war, the advantage of the Croatian neck scarf was the enviable practicality, in distinction from the lace collar which had to be kept white and carefully starched. The scarf was tied around the neck and was pending loosely, without demand for any additional care, which was very practical, in combination with other ornaments, were as elegant as the stiff, high collars the wearing of which was difficult due to the long and thick soldier’s hair which was hiding those collars.

Around the year 1650, during the reign of Louis XIV, it was accepted in France, above all in court which was always fond of military ornaments, and the fashion innovation “a la Croate”, the expression which soon entered in the root of the French word cravate. The new tie became a symbol of culture and elegance. This last word in fashion was brought to England by Charles II, after his return from exile and ten years later, this fashion novelty conquered Europe, and alsoe most of the colonies on the American continent.”

The consistency of this story of the neck tie’s origin is found in the name for necktie among the various countries of the world: In Croatian it is the Kravata , in English the Cravat in French Cravate in German Krawatte in Hungarian Kravat in Italian Cravatta in Polish Krawat in Portuguese Gravata in Spanish Corbata and in Arabic Cravat.

The trivialities that we use to distinguish ourselves as different pale in comparison to what Jesus prays at the end of John 17:20-26 -

I’m not only praying for those who have believed in you but I’m also praying for those who will believe in you because of the words shared by those who know you. I pray that they all will be one family just as you live in me and I live in you and so all may live in us so that the world might believe that you sent me. I give them the fame that you gave me so that they will be one like we are one - I’m in them and You Father are in me so that they will be grown up into one, so that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them just like you love me.


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