Summary: Loyalty Sunday I - God is our Creator. He made us and gifted us very uniquely and specially for his purposes. We were made for God’s Kingdom.
I’d like to show you a few things today and see if you recognize them. These are pretty common items, but to know what they are you would have to be involved in the activity that they are used in. First, let me show you this [show the divot tool]. Can anybody here tell me what this gadget is for? [pause for responses] This is a divot tool. It’s used in golf. When a golf ball lands on the green from a long distance it can leave a pretty good indentation on the green – not a good thing for those trying to putt. So you use this tool to work the indentation out of the green. This divot tool hasn’t been used very much. You see, to work out a divot on the green, first you’ve got to hit the green – and that’s a rare thing for this guy.
Let me show you another tool. [show the bladed cork remover] Now this item is a bit of an oddity. It performs a very common function. Does anybody recognize this item? What it is for? Yep! It is used to remove the cork from wine bottles, vinegar bottles, olive oil bottles or any other bottle with a cork in it.
How about this item? [show the SD memory card] Does anybody recognize this little gizmo? What is it for? It’s actually a very sophisticated electronic device. You can put it into a digital camera or into a little portable computer like this one and add 128 million memory locations to store pictures or information.
Each and every one of these items was designed for a very specific purpose. The designer and builder planned carefully what they were doing as they selected the materials, the shape and size of each of these things. They were clearly made do accomplish a very specific purpose and they might be able to do other things, but not as well as what they were made to do. If I tried to pull a cork out of a bottle with the divot tool – I’d have a mess! If I tried to put the cork remover into a digital camera or into my little computer here – I’m sure that it would cause some serious electrical shorts or maybe worse. And can you imagine using this little SD memory card to repair a divot? Preposterous! These things serve best when doing what their designer and builder made them to do!
Now let me show you something else. [ask Jane and Steven to come forward] Here we have a couple of people from our congregation. They are here to actually represent us. Standing here are Jane and Steve – but it could be any one of us standing here at the front. I’m going to ask you the same question as I did before – but I want you to remember that it could be you up here as you think of the answer: What are Jane and Steven for? What did the Creator make them to be or to do? As you contemplate the question, think about the your own life. Are you satisfied that you know why you were born? Are you certain that you know why you’ve been given the 80 or so years of life that you’ve been given? These are tough questions, and we’re going to try to deal with them today. [thank Jane and Steven and ask them to be seated]
Today is the first of a two Sunday series whose intention is to lead us to consider how we can serve in God’s Kingdom. In your bulletins today you will find an envelope that contains three documents. One is a description of the various leadership roles, committees, and service groups that our church needs to keep functioning. Another of the documents allows you to be able to volunteer to assume one of these roles. And finally, there is a card on which you may pledge the monetary contribution that you believe the Lord is leading to offer to the church next year. This is a vital bit of information as the officers of the church plan the budget for this ministry next year. We will be considering the same Biblical texts during the next two Sundays. Let’s read the text we will be using today. [read Isaiah 6:6-8 in the First Lesson today]
Isaiah’s call into God’s service was a nerve wracking experience for him. He was convinced that he was inadequate for the call that God gave to him. When the Lord showed Isaiah a vision of heaven – Isaiah became even more distraught. He knew that in no way could he serve the Lord because of his sinfulness. And so the Lord gives him a vision of an angel taking a hot coal from the Lord’s altar and touching it to Isaiah’s lips. God told Isaiah that he had purified him. And so God issues the call: “Who will go and serve? Whom shall I send?” And so Isaiah, now prepared for Kingdom service answered, “Here am I, send me, send me.”