Category Archives: Sermons
The first sermon by Pastor Christopher Middleton at St. Luke EFC
July 31, 2016 Todd Wallace
June 12, 2016 Todd Wallace
In the wake of many wanting to leave any religious basis for our “winter holidays” behind, a closer look at the events surrounding the first Christmas reveals that there is a lot to celebrate! Forget the commercialization of Christmas, forget the “war on Christmas”, forget those who question the historical events claiming that they were made up to oppress people, forget all of the negativity we might go through with challenging people during this time of the year. Put all that aside and explore again what these events are all about:
- God the Son loving us so much that He set aside His own glory as the Creator God and entering our humanity.
- God working in miraculous ways for ordinary people’s lives and including them in His eternal plan.
- God working in spite of great obstacles and opposition and touching lives with love, kindness and compassion.
In this Advent series we will study the lives of key people — some well known and some not-so-well-known — see the work of God in their lives and see what that might have to do with each of us. We will study some of the historical background and ask — so what? What difference does all that have to do with me and life today.
For many the mention of work gets the juices flowing, but only in a negative sense. They struggle with overwhelming job expectations, bosses on ego trips, and declining pay for increasing demands for their time and skills. Some can identify with the old song and movie by the same name, Nine to Five. Perhaps much of our struggle with work comes from the age-old curse following Adam and Eve’s sin.
But is work really the evil that many say it is? Is there a way to look at our work and perform our work that can be transformational for us and our society?
These questions are fully explored in the book, Work Matters: Connecting Sunday Worship with Monday Work, by Pastor Tom Nelson. In this book Tom says that to get a true understanding of work we need to go all the way back to the original creation and God’s view of human beings. Since God said that we are all – male and female – created in the image of God, then we are to begin with this identity as people who reflect God Himself in make up and purpose. God is a worker, filled with creativity and dynamically engaged in the world around us. Therefore, we are to be like Him. In fact, God gave Adam work to do in the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden. It was not designed to be a place of perpetual ease, comfort and pleasure. Rather, it was an opportunity for humans to make a positive contribution to the new world that God had created.
Though our work today has been irreversibly damaged by the curse following the first sin, it still has a God-honoring purpose and can have a deeply positive impact on our lives as we follow God’s design for our work.
This Sunday, Nov. 8, Pastor Christopher will focus on God’s Rx: Take Jesus to Work, based on Colossians 3:22-4:1. We will explore what the impact is if we work aware of the great reality that Christ goes with us everywhere we go. If Jesus physically came to work with us, how would this change what we do? This sermon is one of the final messages in our series in Colossians: The Supreme Remedy.