Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘sermon notes’

Celebrate Palm Sunday


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Celebrate Palm Sunday with branches

Like the ones His disciples laid

Across His path in Jerusalem –

A path on which our sinful debts were paid.

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Let each branch represent

A deed you’d like to see undone.

Give all regrets to Jesus, and

Lay those sins upon God’s Son.

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He knew as He was riding in

Upon a humble donkey’s back

That He was headed to fulfill

His earthly purpose – that’s a fact.

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With that triumphant entrance,

He willingly trudged Golgotha’s Hill.

Today Holy Week is beginning.

Receive its message. Heed and listen.
… Heart, be still.

I listened to the sermon in church this morning,
and as usual, I took notes in poetry.
Here is what I “took away”
from Rev. Jean Johnson’s message:

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Commitment”
– reflections on Luke 22-23

Pageantry and wildly waving palm branches
Are not the acts that really matter.
Palm Sunday is about the difference
Between Christ’s commitment and our chatter.

People were involved as Christ entered
The city of Jerusalem to die;
But their focus soon returned home.
They forgot Jesus, abandoned Him without a cry.

Commitment is a hard road to tred.
It requires we stay when we’re through.
Stay beyond the time we think we’re done.
Tenacity’s hard for me and you.

Sometimes when we feel abandoned,
The emptiness of our heart makes room
For the One who never left us.
He is there through our joy and in our gloom.

Christ gave His all on Golgotha Hill.
He died for us, for our salvation.
We need to walk that path with Him;
Live the pain, know the cost, delay elation.

Our faith voyage leads through Jerusalem.
We must walk the way of the cross.
Walk in commitment to Calgary,
Suffer the insults, and know the loss.

Amen?

Faith Amidst Suffering


You know I take sermon notes each week
as I listen to the Sunday message
at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church,
Ennis, Montana.

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No, this isn’t our church, but I thought it would be fun to show you the church in
Chippis, Switzerland where we attended with our daughter and family.
Ah, but I digress…

Today our pastor, Rev. Jean Johnson, was ill, so one of our church leaders, Lucy Ennis, read the message Rev. Jean had prepared.Jean was among today’s “suffering.” The sermon was based on John 12:1-8.

As usual, I listened with intent to take away the message I needed… a message to help guide my actions this day and into the coming week.

The bottom line of today’s message was quite clear,
“Surrounded by suffering,
go reach out to others.
Ready?
Start!”

Jesus faced Jerusalem
Knowing what’s ahead.
His disciples were warned
He soon would be dead.

Jesus returned to the home
Of Martha and Mary:
Friends who’d always be there,
His sorrows to carry.

He knew they would respond;
They’d give him a dinner.
They’d throw a party
For their Savior, their Winner.

Mary went out of her way
To show Jesus her devotion.
She bought expensive perfume
And poured it on Him in loving motion.

Judas was horrified, and cried,
“Why waste this? You should sell it!”
Jesus told Judas to be silent.
Mary knew His end was coming; she’d tell it.

The last reminder of what’s good
In this troubled, earthly life
Was a gesture of love by Mary,
She poured sweet fragrance on His strife.

Such gestures of love and assistance
Help get us through life with courage.
Reach out to others as Mary did.
Don’t let your troubles discourage.

Whatever you do, my friends,
Do it out of a pure and loving heart.
Surrounded by suffering, go –
Reach out to others. Ready? Start!

shrimp soup in white ceramic bowl with chili on brown wooden surface

Photo by Lovefood Art on Pexels.com

So, I did as my heart directed. Following church, I practiced with our little church choir. We are going to sing at the town’s Easter Sunrise service. Then, I went downstairs and helped serve at fellowship. (I had made and brought two pots of soup to share.)

No, that picture is not my soup. I’m afraid our little Sunday School kids and some of my church friends would not have appreciated all those hot peppers and garlic! But, doesn’t it look good? Mine was a more mundane potato soup.

What did you do to reach out to others and show your love today?

Living in One Accord


(Notes from a sermon based on Romans 8:12-17 delivered by Rev. Jean Johnson. Many of you know, to listen more intently, I take notes on Sunday mornings while listening to the message from the pulpit. Sometimes they are recorded in poetry. Last Sunday was one of those times.)

We all are God’s children.

Some call God, “Our Father.”

But, some folks choose to ignore Him.

They balk and say, “Why bother?”

God speaks to us in Romans,

To us who’ve already heard.

It’s not for the unknowing

Who think the Gospel’s absurd.

Those led by God’s Spirit

Are children of our Lord.

We show our Love and faith

By living in One Accord.

To live in One Accord with God,

We worship, study, love, and pray.

Our witness shows The Spirit

At work in us each day.

We’re living out the reality

Of what already is in us.

Be who you already are

Without works or trouble or fuss.

We used to belong to sin,

But Jesus came to the rescue.

We have reason for joy and acceptance.

Isn’t this Good News to you?

We have assurance of this reality –

This adoption is done, signed and sealed.

We sing praises to God, our Father.

Our case clearly has been appealed.

Knowing God as Father is possible

By Christ’s life, His Word, His death.

That evidence is proof enough;

We affirm it with every breath.

I believe in God, The Father,

In Jesus Christ, my loving Lord.

Thank You for Your Saving Grace.

Now, let us live in One Accord.

Amen?

First Sunday in Advent


advent-coming

Only God knows when
The Son of Man will come.
When we least expect Him,
He will overwhelm some.

But, as Christians, we
Won’t be surprised at all.
God already is with us,
So we live expecting His call.

We can’t solve our mortality.
We can’t achieve eternal life.
We know our days are limited
As we live in both joy and strife.

Our lives are vulnerable;
We find security in routine.
But with God, no day is mundane.
We are at risk. Know what I mean?

When God is revealed in you,
You live expecting the end,
And you understand intrusion
With continuation around the bend.

God will come, so be prepared.
He’ll come to you and lift you
To life in His Kingdom.
In anticipation, know He’ll shift you.

Divine Advent; Be ready!
God will break in like a thief in the night.
He will just show up!
So, better live in His Light.

Amen?
Amen!

Who is This God?


Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday.
Trinity… Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
A matter of FAITH.
Read John 16: 12-15. Then ask yourself…

Who is this God who comes to us as a Teacher?
Why is there a prevalence of evil in this world?
If God really exists, as we see Him in our Design,
Then why does our Designer allow hate to be hurled?

If our Intelligent Design didn’t just evolve,
Does there have to be a Benevolent Creator?
With all the violence and disasters and cruelty,
Where is the Creator, the Good and Evil Separator?

If we begin with an observation of what we see,
Our starting point limits us to only what is rational.
What about the place FAITH plays in our belief?
Faith is belief in the unobservable; Sometimes it’s irrational.

Our faith IN God is FROM God through the Holy Spirit,
From the quiet inspiration of the TRUTH Christ revealed.
God climbs down to us, revealing Himself to us
Through the Holy Spirit, the Teacher, through whom lives are healed.

Quietly, the Holy Spirit opens us up to the Good News.
Boldly we affirm our faith in a Loving Father.
How can we see the love in a hurting world of sin?
Be the Love; Live the Faith. Dwell on hate? Nope, why bother?!

(Sermon notes – from JanBeeks’ take on what she heard
Rev. Jean Johnson preach on May 26, 2013)

Faith and Questioning


From Simple to Complex

I take notes as I listen to the sermon each Sunday. Reverend Jean Johnson at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church never fails to give me food for thought. Here are my sermon notes from Sunday, October 14, 2012. Perhaps they will cause you to pause and think – and question, too. She started with the scripture in Mark 10: 17-31. She titled her sermon, “Big Questions and Unexpected Answers.”

Are faith and questioning oxymorons?
The truly faithful live by faith;
they don’t question.
Right?
Wrong!

The questions of faith and of life change.
They become more complicated
as we become older.
They range from simple to complex.
The answers to our questions
can be found in the Bible –
– according to some people’s thinking.
But the Bible contains
some of the most daunting questions!

“What must I do to obtain eternal life?”
the questioning man asked Jesus.
Jesus’ answer was filled with imperatives
such as, “Go, Sell, Give, Follow.”
Is that it?

It’s part of the mystery of life.
Life has many mysteries.
That’s why faith and questioning are partners.
The joy of following is that it requires
Faith, not complete comprehension.
Questioning leads to  more faithful following
and a life worth living.

Jesus didn’t scoff at the man who asked.
God expects us to be drawn deeper –
– deeper into following and faithfulness.
Thinking, questioning, pursuing
the living, dynamic, expansive God
Is a sign of an active, living faith.

The questions of life change.
The answers become more complicated
as we become older.
They mature as we do.
Keep asking.
Keep listening.

Jesus – simple yet complex

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