Sermon notes from today’s service in Ennis. Montana – Rev. Steve Hundley
Taken in poetry as I listened – written through JanBeek’s filters.
Church: A Miracle of God
I can’t scold you today –
Not because we are in this place,
Not because I’m in a good mood,
But because of the love in this space.
Because of the words of Paul
(the ones our Paul read so well today),
I am encouraged to join in
With what Gentle Jesus had to say.
He wrote to the Thessalonians
While he was out traveling, making a tent,
“We were gentle among you,” He said.
“We spoke soft words – whispered encouragement.”
Paul’s words to other churches
Were not so gentle and kind.
But to the Thessalonians, He set aside
Sternness – and praised the ties that bind.
The Gospel is a powerful book.
It can and does transform lives.
We are astonished at how God’s Word
Teaches, changes folks, lives, and survives.
The church, like the one in Thessalonica,
Is a place where people love and give.
They pray for you, they stay with you,
They make life better and help you live.
Our old church in McAllister, Montana was built in the early 1900s.
It has no running water, so when we use it for church services
once a year, we have to rent a porta-potty, chase the mice away,
and clean the mouse droppings from the chairs and alter.
But, it is a place that reminds of how simple God’s church can be.
It doesn’t have to be a large, elaborate cathedral to be worshipful.
It is not the building that makes a church. In the early days, many of the “church services” were held in people’s homes. Some people in today’s world still hold their worship services in living rooms, tents, or on an open hillside. The Miracle of God that is His Church is not the place, but the people.
Wherever we gather, with the focus on worship of our God, He is with us.
That’s what Paul was telling the church of Thessalonica.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 was what
our scripture volunteer,
Paul Carlson, read to us today:
“Surely you remember, brothers and sisters,
our toil and hardship;
we worked night and day
in order not to be a burden to anyone
while we preached the gospel of God to you.
You are witnesses, and so is God,
of how holy, righteous, and blameless
we were among you who believed.
For you know that we dealt with each of you
as a father deals with his own children,
encouraging, comforting and urging you
to live lives worthy of God,
who calls you into His kingdom and glory.
And we also thank God continually because,
when you received the word of God,
which you heard from us,
you accepted it not as a human word,
but as it actually is, the word of God,
which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
As Christians, members of His Church, that is our goal: to hear His Word, and respond to it by encouraging, comforting, and urging fellow Christians to live lives that demonstrate He is indeed at work in us. That is what makes our church “God’s Miracle.” Not the building, but we, the people.
Whether we are in our old McAllister treasure, or our salmon-colored church in downtown Ennis, our job is to love one another, support one another, and spread the Word to those who may not know the Peace of Christ that “passeth all understanding.”
“And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.”
God Bless You, my friends.
I hope you have the joy
of a supportive church family.
And I pray that you are one of those
who is God’s hand at work in this world.
Have a lovely Sunday night.
See ya tomorrow.