(Note on Sermons: Associate Pastor Jenn DiFrancesco preaches from notes so where there are gaps in dates, most likely it is a Sunday on which she preached.)
As part of this years’ Summer Sermon series, I’ve been doing a little background work. This past week I’ve spent some time in conversation with two different addiction counselors; one a private clinical counselor, the other who now heads a pretty good sized recovery center in the county.
With both of them, we talked about 12-Step Programs, their strengths and weaknesses, and what about them that makes them work.
They both agreed, independently, that they don’t know what it is that ‘clicks’ with people, how it is that recovery truly begins. They acknowledged the reality of relapse; but also again, independently, used the same three words that are part of Step 7, and that all nearly universally come into play when recovery takes place and holds fast. These three words are the focus of our message for today… HUMBLY. ASK. GOD.
Well, in some ways, this is what Step Six is — a break from our working at it, a respite from our efforts- a release from what it is that is pulling us down.
As Rohr puts it, the process is in it’s very nature paradoxical and in some ways unnatural; for us to ‘get out of the way and let the soul take its natural course.’ While it is very hard to do, at the same time, the reality of paradoxes is more common, at least in our religious lives, than we normally acknowledge.
We say that Jesus is human and divine at the same time. We speak of communion as Jesus’ body & blood, sealed in the bread and the cup. We speak of God as Father, and Mother – and yet have never seen nor touched this origin of our birth.
They say that history repeats itself. They also say those those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it.
Whoever ‘they’ are must have known the Gospel writer, Matthew, because it seems to me that Matthew learned from Jesus the proper way to follow a well-lit pathway forward, beyond those obstacles that pull us down and hinder us from being the people God wants us to be, as individuals and as part of Christ’s body as the church. It was Jesus that gave Matthew the lamp to use, the insight he had to see himself and his mission clearly and to illumine his way, and we would do well to use that same source of light in our lives.
Let us share a moment of silence- for the souls of those murdered in Charleston… The Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor Cynthia Hurd Susie Jackson Ethel Lance The Rev. Clementa Pinckney Tywanza Sanders The Rev. Dr. Daniel Simmons Sr. The Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton Myra Thompson … Amen. Our New Testament Lesson: Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it will…
June 14, 2015 New Testament Text: Luke 15:1,2, 11-24 Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger of them…
Sermon Text: Matthew 9:35-38 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he…