Sermon Notes Feb 22, 2009
With the start of Lent coming quickly the sermon in some sense took a back seat to the morning announcements.
I took some time this week to share some of what Lent, and Ash Wednesday are about. I also shared with the congregation some of the history of Fat Tuesday, and provided some King Cake for Fellowship time. (The King and Queen were Fern and Michael).
The Sermon itself was a conclusion to the series on Spiritual Gifts. The congregation was offered several opportunities during the month to do a Spiritual Gifts Inventory. I likened it to knowing what the buildings on a church campus are, without knowing anything about what goes on inside, or how they are decorated. We had a response of about 1/3 of the congregation.
Anyway, on with the sermon notes:
-We began with the reading of Isaiah 43:18-25
-We are called to let go of the former things.
-See God is doing a new thing.
-What's more is that God has offered unconditional blotting out of sins and transgressions. We only need to accept it.
-If this is true, then who we are going to be is not the same as who we have been. We cannot let our old failures stop us, nor can we allow our former successes to weigh us down with expectation, or frustration at our inability to do them now.
-The only constant is change. Even the animals are subject to change. Look at the birds eating from the feeders, and the rabbits living in our bushes. They weren't made that way. The bushes are native, and the feeders weren't always there.
-As change occurs the best chance we have to succeed is to be ourselves to the fullest. This means we need to know our Spiritual Gifts and work with those gifts. God gave them to us for this time that we might be his community in this place for this people of the Ojai Valley.
-Our strength is our ability to let go of the former things, not let them drag behind us, but to open ourselves to what God is doing right now. To accept that he has blotted out all of our transgressions, and allows us to come afresh to worship, and to relationship with one another - here in church and in the Ojai Valley.
Labels: Sermon Notes