Posts Tagged ‘British Royal Family’

Sermon 01-12-20: "The First Half of the Gospel"

January 22, 2020
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 When you were a child, you likely heard a fairy tale somewhere along the way of a prince, facing overwhelming obstacles, who finds and marries his true love—Cinderella is one of those fairy tales. And what happens at the end, when the prince marries his princess? “They lived happily ever after.”

That’s not exactly playing out right now in Britain, at least with one particular prince. Oh, he found and married his true love, against overwhelming odds. But they have found it very difficult to obey and live within the prescribed rules that govern the conduct of the Royal Family. Well, one of those rules is that if you’re a prince, you’re not supposed to marry a divorced, biracial American actress—and they’ve been victims of racism, for sure. But there are many other rules related to protocol, decorum, and privacy that these two ambitious young millennials in the 21st century are having a hard time following.

So last week, in an unprecedented move, they announced that they wanted out of the royal palace… at least halfway out. They said they are going to live half the time in North America, where they would—get this—actually support themselves… by earning a paycheck and working for a living! Not that Meghan Markle hadn’t already been doing that; she’s been a successful actress in Hollywood. But still… 

What happens when we find that a set of rules—which can also be called “the law”—is too hard to follow? 

Read the rest of this entry »

Sermon 08-27-17: “Faith Alone, Part 1”

September 21, 2017

Five hundred years ago this October 31, Martin Luther inadvertently launched the Protestant Reformation when he nailed his “Ninety-five Theses” to the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg. One of his core convictions, derived from scripture, is that we are justified by faith alone. We Methodists share his conviction that we can do nothing to earn or merit God’s saving grace. It is only on the basis of what Christ has done through his life, death, and resurrection that we’re saved. Why does this doctrine remain relevant today? Why do we still need to hear this message? That’s what this sermon is about.

Sermon Text: Galatians 2:11-14; 3:1-6

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Nearly 500 years ago, on October 31, 1517, an Augustinian monk and theology professor named Martin Luther nailed a document, now known as the Ninety-five Theses, to the door of the All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany. It wasn’t unusual to nail things to that door; it was the equivalent of a community bulletin board—a way of making announcements, or in this case inviting church officials to debate him. In this document, he took issue with a particular practice in his church—the Roman Catholic church—that he believed was unbiblical, un-Christian, and needed to be reformed. Little did he know that this action would launch what would become the Protestant Reformation.

A couple of centuries later, in England, it would even enable the establishment of our own Methodist church.

As Methodists, we are Protestants. And I know that’s just a label, and we probably haven’t thought much about what it means aside from knowing that it means, “Not Catholic.” But in this new sermon series, celebrating the 500th anniversary of Protestantism, I want to talk about the five core convictions that nearly all of us Protestants have in common. Because I believe they’re still relevant today. And I believe if we take each of them to heart they will help us fall in love with and glorify our Lord Jesus more and become more faithful followers of him.

So let’s begin today with the Protestant conviction that in Latin is known as Sola Fide: that we are justified by faith alone. Read the rest of this entry »