In the sermon on December 5, 2021, we looked at a long quote from Alan Noble from his book You Are Not Your Own. For those that missed it or want to keep thinking about it, here it is:
A defining feature of life in the modern West is our awareness of society’s inhumanity and our inability to imagine a way out of it…. We weren’t made to live like this, and most of us know it. But either we don’t care, or we don’t think we can do anything about it. So, the mode that best describes our day-to-day experience is “survival.” Ask an honest parent, student, or employee and they’ll tell you that their goal for the day is to survive—to “get through the day,” or “make it through.” Existence is a thing to be tolerated; time is a burden to be carried. And while there are moments of joy, nobody seems to be actually flourishing—except on Instagram, which only makes us feel worse…. These ills are grounded in a particular understanding of what it means to be human: we are each our own, we belong to ourselves…. This is the fundamental lie of modernity: that we are our own. Until we see this lie for what it is, until we work to uproot it from our culture and replant a conception of human persons as belonging to God and not ourselves, most of our efforts at improving the world will be glorified Band-Aids. The first question and answer in the Heidelberg Catechism reads: Q. What is your only comfort in life and death? A. That I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Next Step from this sermon was to read 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 each day and remember we are not our own.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
In the sermon on April 18, 2021, we looked at a long quote from Eugene Peterson from his book, Eat This Book. For those that missed it or want to keep thinking about it, here it is:
[W]e need a complete renovation of our imaginations. We are accustomed to thinking of the biblical world as smaller than the secular world. Tell-tale phrases give us away. We talk of "making the Bible relevant to the world," as if the world is the fundamental reality and the Bible something that is going to help it or fix it. We talk of "fitting the Bible into our lives" or "making room in our day for the Bible," as if the Bible is something that we can add on to or squeeze into our already full lives. As we personally participate in the Scripture-revealed world of the emphatically personal God, we not only have to be willing to accept the strangeness of this world - that it doesn't fit our preconceptions or tastes - but also the staggering largeness of it. We find ourselves in a truly expanding universe that exceeds anything we learned in our geography or astronomy books. Our imaginations have to be revamped to take in this large, immense world of God's revelation in contrast to the small, cramped world of human "figuring out." ... What we must never be encouraged to do, although all of us are guilty of it over and over, is to force Scripture to fit our experience. Our experience is too small; it's like trying to put the ocean into a thimble. What we want is to fit into the world revealed by Scripture, to swim in this vast ocean.
In the sermon, we also talked about making 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 a personal prayer for our next step. Here is that prayer:
I do not lose heart. Though outwardly I’m wasting away, yet inwardly I’m being renewed day by day. For my light and momentary troubles are achieving for me an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So I fix my eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. All to your glory in the name of Jesus our risen king. Amen