Summary: "While he was still speaking..." Jesus is actively speaking instead of defending values.
Grace be with you and peace from him who is, who was and who is to come. Amen.
Today's Scripture is Matthew 12:46-50:
46While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. 47Someone told him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” 48But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 50For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
- Provo's Freedom Festival
- All about American Values: Family, Freedom, God and country
- Family is the first and most important value in Utah
- Too important sometimes
- Values vs. fields of living
- family as a value instead of a relationship
- country a reminiscence to a so-called glorious past.
- freedom as a principal of thought instead of a practice for myself and others
- God as defender of Christianity instead of the still-speaking caretaker
- "While he was still speaking..." Jesus is actively speaking instead of defending values.
- Never place a period where God has placed a comma.
- Extravagant welcome
- God is Stillspeaking is a proclamation, identity and communication ministry of the United Church of Christ.
- Attitude of outreach
- Extend God's family
FAMILY OF GOD
- Let's take a look at the family of God
- Gathered from all nations
- old and young
- men and women
- some attending every week
- others first-time or occasional visitors
- some believers for decades
- others so-called seekers
- diverse religious backgrounds: Presbyterians, Methodists, Ex-Mormons and so forth
- you cannot tell what a member of the family of God looks or behaves like
- you cannot place a period where God has placed a comma
- Everyone is invited to join the Family of God
FAMILY OF COUNTRY
- We are part of another Family as well: The United States of America whose Independence we celebrate these days
- My family and I are not full members of this family yet we are allowed to play our role in it.
- Over the centuries people from all over the world have formed this nation
- July 4th 1776 Declaration of Independence
- January 4th 1896 admittance to the Union
- Two conditions: Ban polygamy and guarantee the separation of church and state
- Richard Stengel from TIME magazine taught me about patriotism: "In Barack Obama, the first African-American presidential nominee, the mixed-race child of a single mother, we have a candidate whose perspective on--and experience of--America are different from those of any other nominee in history. In John McCain, we have the son and grandson of admirals who suffered grievously for his country and has spent his life as a public servant."
- Both of them represent to opposite stereotypes of patriotism of which both are equally important to this country: "What we need going forward is third-way patriotism, a new patriotism that blends the faith of our fathers with, as Lincoln said, the unfinished work remaining before us. That new patriotism, as Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer write in The True Patriot, means "appreciating not only what is great about our country but also what it takes to create and sustain greatness."
- In the family of this country diversity is celebrated
- diversity lottery 50,000 times per year: welcome
- Jesus says: "whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
- "One nation under God", what does that mean?
- Our minds as creatures are limited
- What is the will of our father in heaven
- Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
- We don't know
- We do not know the father's will
- So: Let freedom prevail
- Freedom in and for our country from without and within
- Freedom in and for our church from without and within
- The good news is: It's not us who define good and bad. That prevents us from ruling as tyrannts
- So, in the light of the stillspeaking Lord let's cherish our American values: family, freedom, God and country.
And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.