Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sermon Notes 4/27/2007

Pentecost and the Stained Glass Windows at Del Rosa UMC

Sermon title: “Long-Winded”

Notes: Consider preaching on the power of the wind of the Holy Spirit as truly being long-winded through the Pentecost to the current time.

“Zwingli would hate our sanctuary. He was a minimalist in the name of anti-idolatry. He felt that the story of the Gospel needed to be told without the distraction of idolatry.

And yet I wonder what Zwingli would have done with the story of the Gospel as told through the movie “Amistad”. One of the slaves learns the story of God’s love for the world as given in the Old and New Testaments through the pictures in the Bible he had aboard the slave ship. The story is told in words and pictures and actions.

We realized that the story needs to be told with words and pictures. For this reason I asked you to bring your binoculars. The Holy Spirit has been driving through the world since before the dawn of time, the creation of the universe, and continues to this day. Peter told the story of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and we persist in this story-telling today because of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us look as how the story is told here in our sanctuary.

With the “Eternal Light” in the cross, the crosses in the pews, the stories told in the hymns and through our Stained Glass window.

Starting at the bottom:

Birth (corolla)

Dedication at the Temple

Healing Blind Bartimaeus (stones)

“I am the Good Shepherd” & Searching for the lost sheep (ridge)

Let the little children come to me (stones)

Right side: The Woman at the Well (stones)

Left Side: Foot washing of the Disciples (stones) (With this orientation, we realize that the windows were not for the church, but for those outside the church, as we read left to right, and the disciples ' footwashing came just before the scene in the Garden of Gethsemane)

“Take this Cup” (corolla) (ridge)

Ascension (gold) (lilies)

Let us look beyond the window to tell the story with words and actions, and not allow the story to be told only through the lens of our stained glass windows.

Use this to conclude, challenging the congregation to be changed by the Gospel, related to them through pictures, through the Bible or through lives lived in example before them.

Paul writes - This from Soren Kierkegaard (Provocations: Spiritual Writings of Kierkegaard). It makes you think, but will it motivate us to act:

The matter is quite simple. The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. ‘My God,’ you will say, ‘if I do that my whole life will be ruined. How would I ever get on in the world?’ Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Oh, priceless scholarship, what would we do without you? Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament.”


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