Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: As the Church,it is high time that we stopped being distractedby things that really do not matter that have no bearing upon salvation and that Jesus Christ never even mentioned And start focusing in on that commandment on that emotion that Christ to

I was driving up to Pittsburgh the other day

for a meeting with Pastor Bish

When all of the sudden the car in front of me,

the car that I had been following for

about 10 to 15 miles

dropped to about 15 mph slower than

they were going

Not only that,

but the car started to weave

from side to side

running on to the shoulder at one point

So I decided

I was going to go ahead and pass this person

As I got up next to her,

I looked over

and not only was she talking on the phone

but she was trying to write something down

on a pad she had pressed up against

the steering wheel

And not only that,

could see that she had opened

on the passengers seat a copy of the newspaper

She was doing

what they call multi tasking

while driving I-79

at about 70 mile per hour

Now don’t get me wrong,

there is nothing wrong with these things

well, the paper maybe

that might be a stretch

But there is nothing wrong

as long as they don’t distract you from

the task at hand

the primary thing you are suppose to be

doing and that is driving

Now I am not going to lecture anybody on driving,

because I have no room to talk

But when you sit down in the drivers seat of a car,

your primary responsibility

the thing you need to make sure you do

is to operate that two ton vehicle

But unfortunately, as I saw on the interstate

we do get distracted

we do get side tracked

and we lose sight of the primary

task at hand

And in many ways,

I would argue

that is what has happened

in churches across the U.S.

There are churches in this country right now

that are floundering

that are struggling

because they have taken their attention

off the primary task at hand

In today’s Gospel lesson, a lawyer

I don’t know if you heard the story

about God getting made at the Devil

and told the devil

I am going to sue you

And the devil just began to laugh and laugh

and God got angry

and said I am serious,

I’m tired of it and I am going to sue you

and the Devil laughed even harder

And God finally said

what is so funny

and the Devil said you can’t sue me

I have all the lawyers

But a lawyer comes up

and he asks Jesus what is the greatest commandment

basically what is the one thing

we should make sure we always do

the one thing we should never forget

Jesus tells us the greatest commandment

is not one of the ten

it is not it is not some self righteous

rule for life

But it is an emotion

that we are called to share with the world

the Greatest commandment

is love

You shall love the Lord your God

with all your heart,

with all your soul

and with all your mind

and you shall love your neighbor

as yourself

Notice that,

you don’t just love your neighbor

but you love them

as you love yourself

which adds all whole new dynamic

to this command

The greatest commandment

the thing that all Christians should know

should live by

and should never forget

The thing that should set Christians apart

the thing that the Church

should be know for in our society

is Love

Love which leads to forgiveness

Love which force us to care

Love which beckons generosity

Love which will not allow us to sit by

ideally as other suffer

Love that recognizes

what Christ did on the cross for us

and calls us to share that story

with everyone we come in contact with


No need to add to it

nothing to subtract

just pure and simply as the Church

we are called to reflect

the love of Christ

to the world around us

But too often

like the lady I was following to Pittsburgh,

as the Church and as Christians

we do get distracted

from that simple

but very important task

Soon aspects of Christianity

that have no bearing on our salvation

issues that Christ never even mentioned

items that dog gone it just aren’t that crucial

begin to distract us from love

too often, the Church that is called to be Christ beacon

love, hope and grace in the world

Becomes a place of power struggles

turf wars

and status quo

It becomes a place where

Robert’s Rules of Order

the Altar Guild Book

and the way we have always done it

trump the Greatest commandment

A place where we care less about people’s feelings

and more about being right

and being proper

Soon it becomes a place

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