In the next section of Matthew's gospel, Jesus continues telling parables to those gathered around him. Keeping with the agricultural theme, Jesus compares the kingdom of heaven to a crop of good seed that has been sown in the field. However, in time, that good seed is intermixed with weeds sown by the enemy. This story about the weeds and the wheat gives us much to think about as we approach life in the Kingdom of God.
As we have gone through the sermon series "Then Sings My Soul", there have been several times when we have talked about how important it is for us to know what song is really in our hearts and then to sing it to God. Sometime the song of our soul is one of joy and sometimes it one of despair. Regardless, it is important for us to sing our song to God.
However, I believe that there is a song that God wants to be the song of our soul all the time. It's a song that he has designed to accompany our songs of joy, our songs of despair and all our songs in-between. God wants to weave this song into our lives like the theme that flows through a symphony. The song is expressed most beautifully in the Song of Songs 7:10 "I am my beloved's and his desire is for me."
The focus of the sermon is that God is wild for us. He is passionately in love with us. We are his, and his desire is for us. That theme, that refrain, will shape and change every song that we sing if we let it infiltrate our soul. So, as you consider your role in Sunday's gathering, consider the passionate, wild, incredible love of God for you and consider how you can invite those who participate in our worship gathering to consider and to experience that passionate, wild, incredible love as well.
This week our journey through Proverbs takes us to the topic of friendship. So, to prepare for the sermon, I just went and checked my Facebook account and Mark Zuckerberg tells me that I have 420 friends. Now, I am sure that most of you will agree, that Mark’s definition of “friend” leaves a bit to be desired. In fact, I have Facebook friends, that I’ve never met and don’t really know at all.
So if Facebook isn’t the last word on friendship, what more do we need to know? Do we need to have friends? If so, why? How do we develop them and how can they impact us?
This week we want to listen to Lady Wisdom as she calls us to pursue friendships that go well below the surface and actually change who we are and how we experience the world.
After speaking specifically to wives and husbands, Peter now address all of us with gospel implications of how we should respond when we suffer for doing good. In the immediate context of this passage, Peter twice points to the example of Christ as one who suffered for the sake of righteousness (chapters 2:21 & 3:18). As we consider Christ’s example of suffering, what things come to mind? How might His example inform our response to the gospel as people who may increasingly find ourselves in the margins?
At the heart of Jesus' prayer for his church is a unity grounded in love. We are privileged to love another just as the Father has loved us in Jesus.