Summary: Let us be the body of Christ that truly loves God and each other with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength!

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Romans 12:3-21

Live Sermon:

Let me start this sermon by telling you a story. I used to travel from my home in Hillsborough to Prosser Brook where my grandparents stayed. The road was made of dirt, full of pot holes, twists and turns. I remember I had a really old Acadian Chevette. That car had weak breaks, little to no struts and burned a court of oil every half hour of driving! To travel to my grand parent’s house in that car was a task fraught with all sorts of danger! When I first started driving the only way I could get safely to Prosser Brook on those treacherous roads was to learn how to read the signs. When the sign said twisty turn ahead I slowed down and navigated towards the direction of the turn. When the sign said bump ahead I slowed down and tried to avoid the pothole – lest my whole car be left in pieces on the road. In the way that I learned to read the signs to my grand parent’s home Paul is inviting us today to celebrate our close, church family and to not forget to read the signs of unity that got us peace. After a while I stopped looking for the signs when I drove my car. My memory of every turn and pothole was flawless! So I thought! One day I forgot there was a sharp corner coming ahead and did not subsequently slow down. I soon learned going the speed limit was ok for only some parts of a dirt road, but not all parts! I flipped the car over a 100-foot bank. Praise be to God the car landed on a tree after only 20 of those feet. This is what can so easily happen inside of the church if we forget how we got unity and take just one sharp, conflict turn too fast! This sermon is about how to read the sign posts of unity so that we might keep on building on our family love that we have for each other.

Sign Post 1: Jesus is the Head of the Church

22 And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:22-23, NIV)

Appointed and called by God (Hebrews 3:1), after the order of Melchizedek (Psalms 110:4), of unblemished purity (Hebrews 7:26,28), Jesus offered His own life as a sacrifice for all so that through His death and resurrection there might be a path of reconciliation (Hebrews 2:17) and redemption (Hebrews 9:12) for all those who believe (John 3:16). Predicted (Psalms 118:22) and appointed by God (Ephesians 1:22) this lamb that was slain (Revelation 5:12) has once and for all ended the hostility between male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free; for we are all one in Christ Jesus our Lord (Galatians 3:28). No longer foreigners and strangers, God expects His friends and citizens (Ephesians 2:19) to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bonds of peace. Nothing helps us to keep this unity any better I think than being reminded that Jesus Christ is the Lord of everything seen and unseen. While intellectually you know this road sign is true that Jesus is the lead of the church, your heart might beg to differ.

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