Posts Tagged ‘Peggy Noonan’

Sermon 06-21-15: “God’s Assignment for Us”

July 15, 2015

1 Corinthians sermon series graphic

In this Father’s Day sermon, I begin by focusing on words about fatherhood from comedian Jim Gaffigan, who has five kids. Being a dad requires sacrifice, he says, and these “five little monsters rule [his] life.” Whether we know it or not, we parents can learn a lot about Christian discipleship from raising kids. After all, we follow a Savior who rules our lives and asks us to sacrifice. In fact, all of us Christians, the apostle Paul tells us, live our lives “under assignment” from God. This sermon explores the meaning of our assignment.

Sermon Text: 1 Corinthians 7:17-24

[To listen on the go, right-click here to download an MP3 version.]

The following is my original sermon manuscript.

So I was at Annual Conference last week, and I went to a clergy breakfast, and they had a buffet. So naturally when I got to the tray of bacon, I began piling it on my plate—because that’s what you do with bacon—it’s awesome. And my wife pointed to a sign in front of the tray that read, “Limit two strips of bacon per plate.” And I’m like, “Two strips? That’s not enough bacon!” But, you see, bacon is so good you have to ration it.

jim-gaffigan

And I thought in that moment of my favorite comedian Jim Gaffigan, who is famous for stand-up routines about food, especially bacon: He says you feel like you never get enough of it. He said, “Whenever you’re at a lunch buffet, and you see that big metal tray filled with four-thousand pieces of bacon, don’t you almost expect to see a rainbow coming out of it?” Because you’ve found the pot of gold! And he notices that the tray of bacon is always at the end of the buffet line—at which point your plate is already full. And you look at your plate and think, “What am I doing with all this worthless fruit?” Read the rest of this entry »

McKnight: the witness of Emanuel A.M.E. and the Amish

June 22, 2015

As Scot McKnight says, the same spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, is at work in the lives of Emanuel’s victims’ families as was at work in the Amish who forgave the murderer of their schoolchildren. As I preached yesterday, Emanuel A.M.E. faces a heartbreaking “assignment” from God (cf. 1 Corinthians 7:17) right now. As Peggy Noonan points out in the linked article from the Wall Street Journal, it’s clear that they’re going to handle it just fine.

You may well remember the images of the Amish after the senseless slaughter of the children at school — offering compassion to the shooter’s family and making it clear that they would not seek revenge. The same spirit of the Amish, which is the Spirit of Jesus, the cross, and the way of life of those who follow Jesus, is seen now in the witness of the Christians of African Methodist Episcopal in Charleston…