Life is constant, it flows all around me. Parts touched deeply by the flood waters of May 1 and 2, 2010 in Nashville, some touched on the surface, but all touched in some way.

Right now I am filled with stories, stories I would rather sit around a table with friends and share than write on a blog. It has been the same situation with my camera, not many 3 by 5’s this week.

I can say this today, God is good.

I know this to be true, not only because of what I witnessed last week in Nashville, but mostly because of the people who I have encountered over my 32 years of life all over this good world God created who daily choose to bear witness to the God of Abraham. This week people of faith all over the city have poured themselves out in various ways and for various reasons, choosing to participate in the unfolding story of Love God is writing in the world and seeing it has brought me back to life.

Many of us, due to the needs staring us directly in the face that we could not ignore or let someone else meet, saw that sharing in this unfolding is good… participating in this story is life… it has the power to transform and make us alive. I can’t help but wonder if this is because it is exactly who we were created to be… how we were created to live in community with each other?

In Nashville over the past week many have tasted and seen, some for the first time, it is good.

My hope is that this taste will not be a fleeting delight, but will spark in us a longing to taste it over and over and over as the flood waters continue to run we may have the freedom to easily ignore in all over Nashville, the South, the USA and the world.

The waters ran before May 1 and will continue to run past today, but the sermon below reminds me that the waters do not have the last say.

May we believe this to be true and live what we believe, by the grace of God.

A sermonette offered by one of the youth this Sunday. Will most likely post them all, if possible, over the next couple of months.

Read and be blessed.

“Poured”

{Luke 24:28-35 was read}

Wow! What a fantastic way for Jesus to reveal himself to these disciples. I mean, of course their eyes would be opened when Jesus broke the bread! Because communion, or the Eucharist (coming from Greek words meaning the “good gift”), means so much more than eating bread and drinking wine (or grape juice). It is a reminder of who God is, what God has done for us through Jesus Christ, and it’s a covenant with God saying that we will strive to live our lives by the example of Jesus, who “allowed his body to be broken and his blood to be poured.” (148) And now, it’s our turn.

This may seem like a giant sacrifice. Well, it is. But if we think that following Christ is easy, we may want to take a step back. Getting beaten half to death then dying slowly on a cross doesn’t sound easy to me. Loving our enemies and forgiving the people we feel are undeserving of our forgiveness can be the hardest thing we ever attempt to do. Giving hope to those who have lost loved-ones and feel they have no reason to live can be difficult, heart-wrenching, and emotionally draining. Spending our days off from school or work elbow deep in moldy carpets, dirty water, and debris, helping some of the thousands of Nashvillians effected by the flood isn’t the easiest decision. But we are called to do these things and more. Rob Bell states, “A Christian is a living Eucharist, allowing his or her body to be broken and his or her blood to be poured out for the healing of the world.” (150) That’s what a follower of Christ is. We are called to be blessed, broken, and poured—to step outside our box for the healing of the world. According to Rob Bell, to be the living Eucharist, we are called, “to suffer, to bleed, to open the heart, to roll up the sleeves, to have hope that God has a plan to put the world back together…” (163)

But we can’t do this alone. We need others to help us with this seemingly impossible journey, this call to be God’s hope and light in this dark world. This is where the church comes in. “The church is Jesus’ body, a good gift for the healing of the world.” (165) I believe that this community of faith that we are a part of plays an important part in God’s hopes and dreams for our world. God can’t do it without us. God needs us and, most importantly, we need God.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Romans 12, verse 1. Paul writes, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is true worship.” True worship! Paul is essentially saying that in order to truly worship God, we must be broken and poured for the healing of God’s world. So that must mean that all that time we spent gutting houses and distributing flood buckets, we were worshiping God in the most intimate sense. When we were sacrificing our time to be with 12 homeless Nashvillians on a Friday night, we were truly worshiping God. And when we tutored those beautiful kids in Edgehill in the Brighter Days Tutoring Program, we were praising God.

But we are not finished. The world is still a broken place. There are still houses to be gutting, spirits to be lifted, friends to be consoled, children to be fed, people to be rescued, slaves to be freed, wars to be ended, and love to be shown. Alone, this can be completely overwhelming. But we have the church, the living Eucharist, God’s hope and love. And we, as the church, live the impossible.

Today, I want to leave you with two questions posed by Rob Bell in his book, ‘Jesus Wants To Save Christians’. “What does it look like for us to be a Eucharist for [the world], here and now? What does it look like for us to break ourselves open and pour ourselves out for the healing of [the world] in this time in this place?” (158) I invite you to wrestle with these questions alongside me. Search for the answers with me. And most importantly, let us live out those answers.

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