Deleted Thoughts From Tomorrow’s Sermon (March 22, 2015)

The sermon for tomorrow (March 22, 2015) at Patterson Avenue Baptist was going to be WAY too long.  So I have been editing it down to make it make more sense.

There were a few thoughts that I just hated to part with, so I am sharing them here.  The sermon titled is “Lessons From A Busted Water Pipe.”  It’s based on the story around 1 Samuel 7:6 – as well at our congregations recent (and ongoing) experience with 57 busted sections of water pipe from the recent spell of bad weather.

Here you go:

“The temple is large and impressive structure.  We think that this is where we find God.  We think that this is where we encounter Jesus.  We think that this is where the Holy Spirit lives and moves and animates our lives.  So we allow our spiritual lives to be built in a place like this.  And we think that witness and evangelism me that we invite people to come to a place like thing.  But then the pipes burst in 57 spots and water flows up and down the hallways causing untold thousands of dollars in damage.  It all reminds us that as a institution we’ve been experiencing lots of loss and grief.  Many members have died in the last several years.  Many members have relocated in nursing homes and other communities.  Many of our younger members have moved out of the area for college.  The busted water pipes make us wonder:  “Will things ever be right at the church?”


“Folks, this (building) is NOT the church.  YOU are the church.  I am the church.  We are the church.”

“The life of our Triune God is not locked up in this building for us to visit and pay homage to once a week.  Rather the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is in the world.  If we want to fully experience the presence of God and if we want to be in the center of God’s will and way, we need to get away from this building and get into the world.”

“This place (the building) has a purpose.  But the purpose is not to be a place we go to, but a place that we come from as we enter the mission field where God has planted us.”


“In the gospels, we know that Jesus was often in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  We also know that he made at least two pilgrimages to the temple in Jerusalem.  While there, by the way, he wrecked the place and wreaked havoc on the exclusionary attitudes and actions of the so-called insiders.”

The manuscript and video will be posted sometime tomorrow afternoon.

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