Monday, May 11, 2020

For Online Sermon May 10, 2020

By Pat Russell

Considering the sermon by Phil Wood on May 10, 2020

Proverbs 8:1-11

Does Wisdom not call meanwhile?
Does Discernment not lift up her voice?
On the hilltop, on the road,
at the crossways, she takes her stand;
beside the gates of the city,
at the approaches to the gates she cries aloud,
O Men! I am calling to you;
my cry goes out to the sons of men.
You ignorant ones? Study discretion;
and you fools, come to your senses!
Listen, I have serious things to tell you,
from my lips come honest words.
My mouth proclaims the truth,
wickedness is hateful to my lips.
All the words I say are right,
nothing twisted in them, nothing false,
all straightforward to him who understands,
honest to those who know what knowledge means.
Accept my discipline rather than silver,
knowledge in preference to pure gold.
For wisdom is more precious than pearls,
and nothing else is worthy of desire.

Ephesians 4:11-16

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

As a follow-up to Pastor Bruce's sermon last Sunday, Phil presented us with several images/metaphors of the unifying work of the Holy Spirit in our church. Which of these images/metaphors most appeals to you? Why?

- A weaving
- A jigsaw puzzle
- A pot of stew
- The placard with "JESUS" on it
- The body of Christ

How are you experiencing this image being played out in your life? What part do you play in these COVID-19 days? For instance, I chose the pot of stew because I like that we are all in a place where we can simmer on the warm burner of God's love – Ha! (I know, a little "out there," but have some fun with this.) I think I am an onion in that stew, not the meat, but the vegetable that can give the stew some extra flavor. When I write "Going Deeper" or a devotional, I have a sense that God is taking the "onion rings" of my life and cutting them up into bite-size pieces for the stew. (Okay, okay, enough said. Give it a try!)

Since it was Mother's Day, Phil pointed out that women play an "intricate" and "important" part in our church. He also pointed out that "wisdom is personified as a woman." If you are a woman reading this, take the sections of Scripture I have bolded above and rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 3, as follows.

1. "I am often like this."
2. "I know I should be like this."
3. "I guess I'd better start thinking about this."

Now do it again according to what others might think about you. (Don't worry, no one is going to ask you for your answers.) When you are finished, spend some time talking to Wisdom himself (Jesus) about your assessment and your desire.

Ladies (and men, if you are reading this, too), the more we are honest with ourselves, the more "we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ." Let's become vital "living stones" in our church community.

Blessing THIS day, P@

If you would like to connect with me about "Going Deeper" or about living in these days, feel free to email me at

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