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Summary: To show the nature and diversity of Christ’s Church along with every person’s place within it.

E PLURIBUS UNUM

Matthew 12:46-50 (quickview) 

(The fourth in a sermon series from Matthew 12 (quickview)  called “Words We Live By”)*

Sermon Objective: To show the diversity of Christ’s Church & every person’s place within it.

Supporting Scripture & documents: John 17:22-23 (quickview) ; The Apostle’s Creed

PREFACE

We are finishing a sermon series from Matthew 12 (quickview)  called “Words We Live By.” Many creeds, pledges, and mottoes have shaped our country, as well as it’s individual citizens. In many instances the words convey uplifting and presumably timeless messages. They play an important role in creating a national identity -- in shaping a national consciousness. They operate behind the scenes as a moral compass and a driving force.

Previous sermons and words we have looked at are:

1. The statement on the Statue of Liberty: “GIVE ME YOUR TIRED, YOUR POOR, YOUR HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BREATHE FREE. . . ” We saw that the Church embodies those words in our spirit of mercy and compassion just as Jesus suggested in Matthew 12:7 (quickview) , “I desire mercy not sacrifice.”

2. Our currency - namely, “In God We Trust” from Matthew 12:21 (quickview)  where we saw it is still the desire of God that “In his name the nations will put their hope.”

3. The “Trophlite” (a.k.a the marriage vows) which showed us the power of words and how our words indicate the condition of the heart. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

You are familiar with other “Words We Live By.” They are found everywhere! This shows that they have woven themselves into our lives. Some that have proven influential in your lives, but which we will not be able to look at are:

• I do solemnly swear that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully discharge all my duties incumbent on me as a judge, according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeable to the Constitution and laws of the United States. (Oath of the Supreme Court Justices)

• To dispense truth is to defend freedom (Ashtabula {OH} Star-Beacon)

All of these are “Words We Live By” which can illuminate the “WORDS we live by” -- namely Jesus Christ’s.

SERMON

The Great Seal of the United States is used on currency, commemorative coins, and the presidential seal. It contains many Latin words but the most well known (and the most important) are the words “E Pluribus Unum.” This is sometimes called the “Federation Motto” because it was first used in explaining the joining of the original thirteen colonies. It means “One from many” or “One composed of many.”

The concept of “E Pluribus Unum” has seen many attempts at explanation. In the eighteenth century a magazine used the image of a salad and the image of a bouquet of flowers to explain the terms intent. These, along with the idea of a “stew pot,” have been good attempts and probably come close to the Latin’s intent.

That’s what America is isn’t it? From the original thirteen colonies to the present we are composed of many peoples with many distinct characteristics that have chosen to unite together thus blending all our characteristics into one larger composition which is, by its nature, unique and distinct from any one element alone.


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