December 15, 2019

Sermon: Epiphany 6 — Scattering to Serve

The Sower. Van Gogh

Note from CM: Rather than publish my entire sermon this week, I thought it might be good for you to see a sample of the inserts that I have been providing during the current preaching series. I supply these each week so that the people will have something to take home and reflect upon. I try to make these as simple and memorable as possible, with phrases that will “stick” and keep people pondering the points I’m trying to make. I think this week’s insert is one of the better ones, so I thought you might like to see it and respond.

EPIPHANY PREACHING SERIES
Why We Worship as We Do

Message Six: Scattering to Serve

The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom.

• Matthew 13:37-38

In its gathered, visible form in the granary, seed is useless. To serve the purpose for which it exists, it must be scattered. It disappears into the soil and literally dies. When seed is doing the work for which it was intended, it is invisible.

• Richard Halverson

• • •

In the final movement of worship we are sent forth, out of the sanctuary, and back into our daily lives. We do not cease to be the church. The church gathered is now the church scattered. And now the real work of the church begins.

The life of the church in Christ revolves around two poles:

  • An invitation: “Come to me”
  • A commission: “Go into all the world”

We gather to worship.
We scatter to serve.

We come together in faith.
We scatter to love.

We are invited to break bread with our family.
We are sent to share the bread of life with our neighbors.

We come here to meet with Jesus on Sundays.
We leave to walk with Jesus in the world between Sundays.

We gather to hear the gospel.
We scatter to live and proclaim the gospel.

Comments

  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    The wheat shrivels uncut, the grapes die in the sun.

    We feast in communion on gifts from other parts of our country.
    Patchy rain, raging fires, stunning floods. Our country has it all.

    Just home from Church and it appears if we are to entice a new priest to our church community we have to amalgamate with two other parishes.
    Confusion reigns.
    As I have said I pray for the Holy Spirit to come by me and also our parish.
    We need God’s direction. We don’t cease to be a holy community, just we are not sure of our viability.

    Yes, ‘we gather to hear the Gospel and scatter to live and proclaim the Gospel.’
    I like this. Nice inset CM.

    Blessing to all this holy day.
    Susan

  2. Precious thoughts to keep in one’s heart! Thank you!

  3. I like Richard Halverson’s quote about the wonders of ‘seed’; but I am enthralled by the phrasing written by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings who wrote ‘The Yearling’ when she lived for a time in Cross Creek, Florida

    “. . . the cosmic secrecy of seed”

    the phrase comes from her writing, this:

    “Who owns Cross Creek? The earth may be borrowed, not bought, may be used, not owned. It gives itself in response to love and tenderness, offers its seasonal flowering and fruiting. Cross Creek belongs to the wind and the rain, to the sun and seasons, to the cosmic secrecy of seed, and beyond all, to time.”

    Does the Bible help us see the metaphor of ‘seed’ as it applies to our role in the Church? I think it does. I was told as a child that a ‘seed’ is a tiny would-be embryo of a plant that needed a chance to open up and to live. But that took patience and time and care, like this story of a grandfather and his grand daughter from the Jewish tradition:
    https://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm/book_number/297/my-grandfathers-blessings

    the introduction to the book itself is a master story about faithful service regarding ‘seed’ . . . what a lesson!