총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건

Reformation Sunday

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2018-10-31 (수) 18:21 조회 : 50
설교일 : 2018.10.28
설교자 : Rev. Dr. McAllister-Wilson
본문말씀 : Matthew 11:29-30, Ephesians 2:8

“Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.” — Matthew 11:29-30 (NCV)

For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift…. — Ephesians 2:8 (HCSB)

I am honored to be with you again this morning.  Pastor Shin and I are blessed to work together in the ministry of helping young men and women answer their call to ministry.  There have been thousands of people come to seminary since we began to work together.  And I hope there will be some people in this church who hear that call today.  This congregation supported those who responded their call to ministry in Central and South America, and in China.  Those students who came to Wesley from this church and some of your pastors were able to become great pastors with prayers and scholarships from other churches.   We are doing God’s work together.

This morning is Reformation Sunday when we celebrate that moment in history when the church began to change so the Christian faith could thrive and grow in changing times.  For the first 1,000 years, the church grew even though it was being persecuted in the Roman Empire.  Then, for 500 years it grew throughout Europe.  Then, came Martin Luther and John Calvin and our founder, John Wesley.  And the changes they made enabled the church to spread around the world and that has lasted 500 years.

It is time to change again to meet the challenges of the 21st century.  Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  We are looking for those people who can help the church change and lead us into this new Reformation. 

What is the change we need?   Many people here work in the auto industry where change means doing something new and different to compete in the market.  Certainly, churches always need to make some changes like that.  Everyone here knows about that kind of change.  Your families had to make great changes in order to thrive in America.  They looked ahead to a new world.  They looked ahead.  But this is not the kind of change I’m talking about today.  True reformation in Christianity is when we look back.  Way back.  Back to Jesus’ teachings, to the Word of God, and the experiences of the early church. 

I live near George Washington’s home.  Years ago, they wanted to know what it looked like when he was living.  So, they, looked beneath the many layers of paint that each generation had used.  And when they got to the original layer, they were shocked because the original rooms were much brighter and colorful than what people thought were the proper and dignified colors.  They looked more like what their teenagers wanted for their bedrooms!  Reformation is a process of looking back to see the church as it is meant to be, underneath all the generations of change.  That is what seminary education is.  We pray and study, and debate, and pray again, to discover what God is calling us to be from across the oceans of time. 


So, let us go back this morning and hear what Jesus has to say to us today about what it means to be a Christian.  Sometimes, we think the Christian life is a great burden.  And we think it means we must follow a lot of rules.  But listen again to what Jesus said to us today in our Gospel reading: “Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives.  The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.”

Do you feel that way?  Does your faith make you feel like a load has been lifted?  Would strangers, or co-workers, or even members of this church and your own family see you as light in spirit and joyful?  Or would they see you as someone who carries your faith like a heavy burden, someone who makes them feel heavy too?  Do others see in you the gentle and humble spirit of Jesus himself?

I must tell you, as I travel across the United States and around the world, too often Christianity is viewed by non-Christians as heavy and exclusive and judgmental.  The young and the unchurched see us as old and tired.  To change doesn’t mean we should try to look a certain way.  It means we need to look back beyond today or even yesterday.  It is like we are trying to go back to the moment of our birth to discover what we were meant to be from the beginning.  Reformation is a spiritual rebirth for the church. 

So, on this Reformation Sunday, what can we learn from the great reformation of the church over 500 years ago?  The first and most important lesson is from our reading from the letter to the Ephesians:  “We are saved by grace through faith.”  This is the basic message of every reform of the church.  This is a great message of freedom and relief.  It is the single greatest spiritual truth.  There is a God, and a spirit working in the world that has the power to set us free and lift whatever weight is on us.  This is the source of the new birth.  It is why the angels, when they announced the arrival of the baby Jesus said, “Fear not.” 

There are three practical lessons for us.  The first is, money cannot buy happiness.  Before the Reformation, people were told if you gave money to the church, you could receive salvation.  That may seem like a strange idea to us today.  But if you think about it, our society tells us money can buy happiness.  And through advertising and marketing, it seems like happiness is heaven.  But we know it isn’t.  We read in the news this week that 3 people won the $1.8 million lottery.  We think, they must be happy!  They are now free from worry!  But in fact, studies show lottery winners are less happy 5 years after winning.  They are over burdened with their possessions and their desires, which are always greater than their riches.  Money cannot buy happiness.  We are saved by grace through faith.

The second lesson is God gave us minds to discover his creation.  Before the Reformation, the church was often the enemy of curiosity, of science, technology and progress.  Learning was only memorization not exploration.  They were afraid of deep and sometimes critical bible study.  So the bible was only in Latin, which few people could actually read.  Then, came the printing press and bibles were printed in the languages of the people.  Now, we encourage our young people to have good educations.  But too often, the church discourages true thought.  Many are afraid of studying the bible too closely and they don’t want to question traditional teachings.  This means Christians are becoming backward and ignorant.  What if life is discovered elsewhere in the universe?  How should Christians think about other religions?  What does artificial intelligence, the science of human evolution and global warming tell us about the meaning of human life and our stewardship of creation?  We need to be prepared to face these kinds of questions.  Psalm 19 says, “The Heavens are telling the glory of God.”  God gave us minds to discover his creation.  We are saved by grace through faith.  


The third lesson is, God is calling all of us.  Before the Reformation, it was believed the priests were the only holy people.  Often, it was only the priests who received the Lord’s Supper.  The priests had all the knowledge and all the power and were thought to be the only ones who communicated directly with God.  Today, we say we believe all of us who are baptized Christians are called by God for some mission in the world.  But how often do we think that the church is here for us, that it is like belonging to a club, like Costco?  Many worship services seem to be designed to entertain the audience than worship God.  President John Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  God’s grace is a call that requires a response.  God is calling all of us.  We are saved by grace through a faith. 

Pastor Shin and I are looking for the next leaders of the church who can help us discover the true source of happiness, who can encourage us to think, and who can empower each of us to answer our call.  Then, we can offer something new to the world.  Then, can we be like water to the thirsty, food to the hungry and release to the prisoner.  On this Reformation Sunday.  Let us remember we are saved by grace through faith.


총 게시물 511건, 최근 2 건
번호 설교일              제목 본문말씀 설교자
511 2018.11.18  Where do you find your happiness? Matthew 13:44 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
510 2018.11.18  행복은 어디에 마태 복음 13:44 신경림 목사
509 2018.11.11  The Forgotten Identity John 1:14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
508 2018.11.11  잊혀진 정체성 요한 복음 1:14 신경림 목사
507 2018.11.04  'After reaching the mature age of 40' 2 Kings 2:1-14 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
506 2018.11.04  마흔 즈음에 왕하 2:1-14 신경림 목사
505 2018.10.28  Reformation Sunday Matthew 11:29-30, Ephesians 2:8 Rev. Dr. McAllister-Wilson
504 10.21.2018  The testimonies of our lay people James 1:12 3 Lay people
503 10.21.2018  평신도주일 간증 야고보서 1:12 평신도 3인
502 2018.10.14  Plan G!! Matthew 16:21-27 Rev. Kyung Lim Shin
501 2018.10.14  Plan G!! 마태복음 16:21-27 신경림 목사
500 2018.10.07  'Must be born again to enter the kingdom of God' John 3:1-8 Rev. Se Jin Bae
499 2018.10.07  거듭남과 하나님 나라 요한 복음 3:1-8 배세진 목사
498 2018.09.30  'The Actively Working Faith' Luke 24:13-27 Rev. Sun Hyung Jo
497 2018.09.30  '작동하는 믿음' 누가 복음 24:13-27 조선형 목사
 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  다음  맨끝

제목 : Where do you find your happiness?
설교일 : 2018.11.18
본문말씀 : Matthew 13:44
설교자 : Rev. Kyung Lim Shin



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