Lectionary (Year A): Revised Common Lectionary: Acts 7:55-60; Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14
Theme: Nature and Mission of the Church
Message: “What’s Our Function?”
What the church is…
- Chosen race
- Royal priesthood
- Holy nation
- God’s own people
What the church does…
- In order that…the church proclaims in word and deed God’s mighty work; witnessing to the fact that God has in Christ reconciled the world to himself, making peace by the blood of his cross
“A priest brings God to man and man to God.” Karl Barth
I Stand By the Door, Sam Shoemaker
“I stand by the door.
I neither go too far in, nor stay too far out,
The door is the most important door in the world-
It is the door through which people walk when they find God.
There’s no use my going way inside, and staying there,
When so many are still outside and they, as much as I,
Crave to know where the door is.
And all that so many ever find
Is only the wall where a door ought to be.
They creep along the wall like blind people
With outstretched, groping hands.
Feeling for a door, knowing there must be a door,
Yet they never find it…
So I stand by the door…
I admire the people who go way in.
But I wish they would not forget how it was
Before they got in. Then they would be able to help
The people who have not, yet even found the door,
Or the people who want to run away again from God,
You can go in too deeply, and stay in too long,
And forget the people outside the door.
As for me, I shall take my old accustomed place,
Near enough to God to hear Him, and know He is there,
But not so far from people as not to hear them,
And remember they are there, too.
Where? Outside the door—
Thousands of them, millions of them.
But—more important for me—
One of them, two of them, ten of them,
Whose hands I am intended to put on the latch.
So I shall stand by the door and wait
For those who seek it.
‘I had rather be a door-keeper…’
So I stand by the door.”
(Sam Shoemaker, founder of Faith At Work at Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City, in 1926, was also one of the spiritual leaders who helped draft the 12 steps of A.A. Contact Faith At Work on the web: www.FaithAt Work.com or by phone: 800-245-7378)
I once met a doctor from India on a plane as a seat mate. After a long, friendly conversation she said to me: “I think God is leading me to become a Christian, since He keeps placing people who are Christians in my path.” For once this pastor was speechless.
Music: “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love,” “Here I Am, Lord,” “We Will Glorify”
As we give, we realize that these offerings are not cold and impersonal money; rather, they represent gifts of our persons, our time, our effort, and our love, made portable in the form of money and service.*
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
*2011 Liturgical Publications Inc, LPi Resource Center, P.O. Box 510817, New Berlin, WI 53151-0817, 1-800-950-9952 x 2469