So I have a friend, a dear friend in fact, someone I respect and admire. When the subject of religion comes up, he half-jokingly and half proudly will declare himself an agnostic when it comes to notions of God and atheist when it comes to organized religion. He points out regularly in these discussions how the Abrahamic view of God is faulty and even dangerous and how organized religion has hindered progress more than its helped. He is one of many and often has good points. The religion of Jesus, for example, often acts exactly the opposite as Jesus and to what he taught. Religion too often has become ideology and has been behind too many a conflict. It brings to mind that Gandhi quote that is quite common to hear. “I like Christ but I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” At the same time, my friend loves music. This love reaches the level of the spiritual. It is sacred to him. Music provides him so much meaning, comfort, and joy. It is as esse
This is the 2nd Part of a Sermon Series titled "The C3P2 Church." Last week we discussed C ommunity. This week is C onnection. Next week is C ompassion. The C3 of Community, Connection, and Compassion will be followed by the P2 of Prayerfulness and Progress. 1. To God “Breath…Light…Us… (Genesis 1) “God is Breath…” (John 4:24); “God is Love…” (I John 4:8, 16); “God is Light…” (I John 1:5) God is Breath, scripture originally says. And Breath breathed, breathes life into us in the beginning, at the dawn of Creation. The Life of God enlivens Life in us, through us. We are alive in God. Our connection to our Life-Giver more a inter-bond, unbounding us to do Divine Life’s work. God is Light, scripture originally says. And Light enlightened the stars and sun, sculpting this universe, the source of creativity. The Light of God undimmed our dark rooms. We are now alight in God. Our connection to our Enlightener more an extension from You to me and out to the world.
Before I begin, I should let you know that in keeping with the theme of this service, I wrote this reflection in pencil on paper first. Wendell Berry is famous for eschewing computers for the primitive pencil and paper. Unlike Berry, however, I did not ask my wife Holly to type and print it out. There are some places to which I am not willing to follow even Wendell Berry. Also in keeping with the Wendell Berry theme, who is a Baptist, I will be using the traditional Baptist three-point sermon format that I heard growing up. Dylan had a guitar, three chords, and the truth. I have scripture, three points, and the truth. Now, I will say no need to fear hellfire and brimstone. This is a pretty interfaith and farmer-friendly sermon J Anyway, here we go. This morning’s scripture comes from the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 13, vs. 31-32. I use the Douay-Rheims Translation: "Another parable he proposed unto them, saying: The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, w