life and death

Sunday, 10 April 2016, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Pastor Greg Thompson

“The Purpose of Resurrection” 1 Cor. 15:20-28

  • the reign of death in this world is not natural. not as the world was designed to be
    • humans were made for life
    • sin corrupted the system
    • Jesus was raised to overturn this kingdom of continual death (decay, entropy)
  • Christ’s resurrection was the first action of the rest of our resurrection
    • what was accomplished by Jesus will be applied to you and to all things
  • the reign of life
    • the kingdom of life as God intended
    • do you know that God intends life for you, for your neighbors, for the world?
      • though, indeed, he does allow so much death to reign
    • the resurrection is hope to be applied to all things
  • all humans long to escape death; long, instead, for the spring of life
    • we long for goodness, beauty, hope
    • the resurrection tells us: “these longings are not in vain. you are not stupid for yearning for these things. what you long for is what you’re supposed to.”
      • so continue to cultivate these longings
      • be encouraged in your labor for life, in the labor against all that brings death in this world, for the longing for more LIFE
    • in Christ, all things will be raised with him
    • these longings will be vindicated
  • we make our way in this world with a purpose — to establish the kingdom of life, to destroy the kingdom of death
    • whatever you do: in your labor as a teacher of young minds (cultivating new knowledge and growth of wisdom), in your labor as an artist (creating new beauty and expression), in your labor as a sanitation worker (putting the world to order and dispelling the chaos of our mess!)…labor with the purpose of furthering the kingdom of life, firmly planted in your mind. there is purpose greater than you can see, smell, taste.
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Sunday Morning Notes, 8.17.14

“The Spirit-Formed Community” –Portico’s Holy Spirit series

  • when the Holy Spirit is in charge:
    • people get saved. numbers are added.
    • we’re in AWE of God. (this replaces our awe of the world.)
    • we share — of our space, self, stuff.
  • Acts 2:41-47: this is a PRESCRIPTIVE picture of the church, not just descriptive!
    • Acts 2:38: “…repent and be baptized…” — the Jews had had a history of baptism, but one that turned GENTILES into JEWS. this was a new concept! this instance was one of declaring oneself OUTSIDE the Jewish community!
    • “For the promise is in you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”
  • [koinonia], the Greek term for [fellowship], was a new concept for the early church!
    • [koina (spelling dubious)] means “common”… always in the context of SHARING.
    • this term was first used in this kind of Biblical context post-Pentecost!! it’s a spirit-empowered kind of connecting to one another.
    • the emphasis is on contribution, giving, sharing.
    • 2 Cor. 13:14 fellowship as the Trinity has had it since the beginning of alllll the things.
  • in this light, the most basic definition of “fellowship” = a community with which you freely share, to which you freely and lovingly contribute, as if you truly were ONE BODY. crazy how christianese waters down such intense concepts.
    • so leaving a church because your “needs were not being met” is, sorta, pretty, unbiblical in the sense of this “fellowship” term. you’re supposed to be CONTRIBUTING to your fellowship. not just looking to get fed all the time.
  • now expand it out: in the presence of the Holy Spirit, we:
    • love the word
    • are in AWE of the LIVING God!
    • are apparently fascinated with the daily things — the sunsets, the delicious food, the beautiful scenery, the nice weather, creation, technology, etc etc everything. simply, and easily pleased and grateful.
    • share the gospel with conviction and power

but most of all, we

EAT and SHARE and ENJOY together!

  • break bread/drink wine together, in reminder of Christ’s LOVING SACRIFICE (woah) for us all!! there’s something satisfying, something theologically sound, something magical about the banquet table of Christ
    • merging together of SERVICE and INTIMACY. (woah)
  • something about letting yo hair down, letting people in, sharing of your self and your space and your stuff… it’s a back-and-forth of serving, sharing, self-giving.
  • loving!

these are the symbols of Christian koinonia:

  • the pick-up truck, with which you volunteer to help people move
  • the soup pot, from which everyone can scoop a ladle and join in the block party, free-flowing
  • the banquet table (the buffet table)
  • the “how are you REALLY doing?”

what are we doing with what we are given?? am I generous? am I a steward, or an owner?

  • “if you can’t share it, you can’t afford it.”
  • “if you can’t tip well, you can’t afford to go out well”

Lord, would you give me a heart of generosity. one of overflowing love, and one that knows the joy of sharing. as I begin this new chapter of my life, with more things “mine” than ever before, remind me constantly of my stewardship, and thus, let me hold everything loosely but preciously. of how I am but a short-term holder of blessings from you. so let me live, hands outstretched and heart open wide, swaying in your sea of the free-flowing grace, just a particle, part, part of it all.

amen!