Mar 28, 2014

On Weakness

One of life’s most puzzling aspects is that sometimes when we think we are being weak we are, in fact, being strong. When we reflect upon Paul’s ministry, we could think that Paul looks weak. If we do not think this way, many in Paul’s own circle of influence certainly did. Yet Paul knew how to explain his circumstances and wrote concerning his “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Corinthians:

Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:8-10).

At times we want to overpower another person to our way of thinking or to our point of view. Habitually we are so wrapped up in our own agenda that we cannot see another’s agenda.

As we live through Lent is it possible for us to remember that our church is in reality Christ’s church? Paul’s approach of power was like Christ’s. What others saw on the cross as weak, God used for the good of humankind. The Hebrew/Egyptian Prince Joseph said it as well as any when Joseph told his brothers, “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today” (Genesis 50:20). Even in our weakness, God can use that weakness as a source of strength for God’s world. This is one of many important messages that Lent provides us.


Mar 21, 2014

On Searching For God

Many people in our world today are in a mad search for God. Whether it is because of fear of war or fear of financial collapse or fear of loss of health or fear of the future—or whatever, many people are latching onto anything that can provide them hope and meaning. A lot of of these people think that God is the answer. For this reason many people are beginning a spiritual quest.

All people want to find meaning and value in life. Paul spoke to one such group in Athens long ago. This is what Paul said:
From one ancestor he [God] made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26-27).
During this Lenten time of the church year, if you too “search for God” know well that our search for God invariably ends when God finds us. In our anxious searching it may be a good thing to remember that God “is not far from each one of us.”

Sometimes the best way to catch something is to let it catch us.


Mar 20, 2014

Woman, Here Is Your Son

March 16, 2014 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Woman, Here Is Your Son" from March 16, 2014.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


Mar 14, 2014

On Interruptions

One of the great problems we all face in life is interruption—or being interrupted. Whether or not these interruptions occur while we are eating, or doing something equally important, for most of us an interruption is a source of annoyance. In Acts, Luke recounts an interesting tale.

One day, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave-girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners a great deal of money by fortune telling. While she followed Paul and us, she would cry out, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, who proclaim to you a way of salvation.” She kept doing this for many days. But Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour (Acts 16:16-18).

What is amazing to me about this story is that Paul did something noble despite his outward motivation. Paul healed this young women—because she was annoying. During this Lenten season, could we find things that annoy us and turn them into works of mercy? Sometimes this is how the gospel works in real life.


Mar 12, 2014

Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise

March 9, 2014 - Sanctuary from FUMC of Arlington on Vimeo.

Dr. David N. Mosser's sermon "Today You Will Be with Me in Paradise" from March 9, 2014.

Sermon transcript available for download here.


Mar 7, 2014

Our Lenten Worship Series

In The United Methodist Book of Worship we have a worship service centered on the seven last words (really “phrases”) of Jesus from the cross. These words are traditionally amplified from a harmony of the Gospel passion story. Many churches celebrate this service as the “Devotion of the Three Hours” from noon on Good Friday to 3:00 P.M.

This Lent, because of both the prominence and consequence of Jesus’ last words, we will explore the ideas and emotions behind Jesus’ words as a Lenten Worship Series. We began our Lenten on Ash Wednesday and the following titles and texts we provide now so that you may study along as a time of your Lenten devotion.
  • Luke 23:34: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do (Ash Wednesday).
  • Luke 23:43: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.
  • John 19:26–27: Woman, behold your son. Behold your mother.
  • Matthew 27:46: My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
  • John 19:28: I thirst.
  • Luke 23:46: Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. 
  • John 19:30: It is finished. 
Come and worship as we study these words of Jesus and then go into the world to serve in mission.


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