Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bethany Bullet - May 24, 2011

  • Are you the same person on Sunday that you are on Monday?

  • Is your weekly persona the same as your worship persona?

  • Are you struggling with a Sunday/Monday disconnect?

Listen, God is calling! Two weeks ago we spent some time looking at the ‘disconnect’ between paradise and work. Last week we talked about the issue of the church not always listening to the charge to GO once it leaves the security of these walls. Today, we listen to God’s call in Scripture to help us find ways to sync up our Sunday/Monday life.

Now when you hear the term in sync, what do you think of? Do you think of your iPod, a boy band from the ‘90s, or the location of your dirty dishes?

A quick definition- in sync = things that are in harmony, being in one accord, synchronized.

Choirs, athletes, and corporate administrators all know what it is like to be in sync, and most likely have felt the dissonance and struggles when things are out of sync.

We all saw some out of sync behavior in recent weeks with the lead up to May 21st, a day some said Jesus would return. Unfortunately, many gave in to the notion that humanity could figure it all out. As the day passed we all witnessed another Sunday/Monday disconnect, another example of a world out of sync.

Living out of sync is not a modern phenomenon. In reality we have been out of sync since the fall. Even at the beginning of the Christian church, believers got out of sync. The Sunday/Monday disconnect was prevalent. The Church in Colosse struggled with this same thing. Although the Apostle Paul did not start the Colossian church, he writes a letter to them to counteract a group of people who were taking the sufficient work of Christ and adding a human element.

After Paul refutes the problems and reiterates the supremacy of Jesus, he begins to give the believers some concrete ways to get their lives in sync.

Getting Sunday In Sync

Our text is from the 4th chapter of Colossians:

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature...You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator… Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

Got it? Sounds good, right? In outward appearances, on Sunday, we seem to do OK. The people of God, gathered together around Word and Sacrament, clothed with compassion for one another, kindness for our brothers and sister, humble in spirit, gentle in nature, and patient with others.

In worship we have experienced the forgiveness of the Father; we have seen love in action that binds us together in Christ. We find peace in the message of salvation and the word of God spoken into our hearts where it dwells. We go to Bible study and Sunday School, we sing songs and hymns and spiritual songs with thankful hearts. Perhaps we have Sunday figured out.

But Paul does not intend these actions to be a one day a week event. Continuing on in verse 17:

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Whatever you do, not just whatever you do on Sunday, not just whatever you do when others are looking, not just whatever you do in the company of other believers, whatever you do, do it ALL in the name of the Lord.

Bringing Sunday to Monday is the Key

How are you doing on Monday when you go to work, when you start down the list of responsibilities for the week? How often have you felt out of sync? How can we be the church Paul describes every day of the week, not just on Sunday?

Four things I want you to take away from this today:

  1. God calls you to express your baptismal identity through everything you do including time spent Monday to Saturday, including your work.

  2. You are never alone as you go about your work. God is with you and others are there to support you.

  3. Normal, everyday actions serve God and others as they contribute to the way God is at work in the world through you.

  4. Though we fail, God forgives and starts anew.

We live in a world where so many people wonder where God is, it might be an awfully big surprise to discover that God is where you least expect him, the place you punch the clock. You are God’s agents in His ongoing work and in your work you are a channel through which others experience Gods’ goodness.

Perhaps we need to think of our vocations, our work, as a combination of HAM AND EGGS - A day's work for a chicken; A lifetime commitment for a pig.

It takes daily work and a lifetime commitment to bridge the gap between Sunday and Monday.

We only spend a small fraction of our week in worship; doesn’t it make sense that God would use us in our vocations to be agents of grace, dispensers of hope, and facilitators of forgiveness out in the world? You are an agent of God in the world, in the place, job, position, vocation, whatever, that God has placed you to serve others in word and deed doing it all in the name of the Lord.

Martin Luther put it this way, "...A cobbler, a smith, a farmer, each has the work and office of his trade, and yet they are all alike consecrated priests and bishops, and every one by means of his own work or office must benefit and serve every other, that in this way many kinds of work may be done for the bodily and spiritual welfare of the community, even as all the members of the body serve one another..."

We are confident in saying God is here in worship, but we need to sync Sunday to the other days so we can say, “Surely God is in this place,” no matter where that place may be.

And when you are out of sync, and it will happen, know that there is forgiveness in Christ, forgiveness found in this place, forgiveness that gets us back in sync and able to bring Sunday to every other day.

Listen, God is calling! Calling you to share His story full time, in all you do.

-Pastor Seth Moorman


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