Monday, November 10, 2008

Notes on November 9 Sermon

"Are You Ready?"

Growing up I learned the rest of this phrase was " rumble?"
Christians are not exempt from such broken behavior. We just have to look to the headlines for this Sunday and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where a fight broke out between the Greek Orthodox and Armenian Orthodox Monks who have charge of the church.

Our text this morning brings us right to the brink of just such a fight with the story of the 10 bridesmaids who have fallen asleep waiting for the bridegroom.

So, are you ready...
For Change: This past week we affirmed the "Change We Need" as we elected our first Black President Barack Obama.

Are you ready...
For Vision? This year we have been working on developing our vision for Ojai UMC. We have taken this up in our stewardship campaign with the theme of "Commitment to Vision". This goes beyond the commitment to finding a Vision, but committing to the Vision for the long-term.

Are you ready...
For Challenge. If we look seriously at what it means to be ready we need to look at each person who arrives at the church, whether they have been here for 50 years or 50 seconds, as Christ present with us. There is the old story of the three monks who were told by a wandering stranger that one of them was the Christ. You can imagine what it did for their treatment of each other.

Are you ready...
For the Bridegroom? I suspect most sermons about this passage result in stories of the 10 bridesmaids and the focus is on whether or not they were ready with the oil, or ready for their jobs, or some element of their preparedness. But, I want us to look elsewhere.

Are you ready...
For the unexpected? We know the truth of the Bridegroom and his arrival means that with the new marriage everything will change. The bride and Groom each will have new responsibilities and they will have to do some testing out of each other and the boundaries that exist. Marriage changes everything, and causes us to re-examine all of our pre-conceived notions.

Are you ready...
For the Bridegroom? I want to challenge you to look past the bridesmaids and think about the one who was truly ready for the bridegroom. It is the town crier who announces that the Bridegroom has arrived. This is the person who is really ready for someone to come and change everything.

Are you ready...
to see things differently? To look past the stuff right in front of you. To get into things beyond yourself. To answer God's call upon this church as we discover our vision taking into account all the community brings to the table as well.

Are you ready...
Gives us the chance to throw out the rumbling. It gives us a chance to throw out the rumbling. It gives us a chance to look at life through new lenses.

Are you ready...???



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