“Living Uncommon”

Pastor Don Mossman

Text: 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1                Theme:  Living uncommon

Introduction

Nobody has to say anything about what is different about this Sunday.  It introduces a new chapter in our lives and the life of our community of faith here at RLC.  We bid farewell to Pastor and Cheryl Haugen last week as they readied themselves for a new ministry in the Beaverton, OR area.  Pastor Haugen was excited about new opportunities and tasks there, yet grieved at the thought of leaving us.  And so we turn the page.

We at Redeemer will let the dust settle and allow time to grieve his departure.  We also will be taking into account what our future may be and how ministry will continue to be done among us.  One thing is certain: we shall always be identified as a people of God where the true Word of God is preached and taught and the sacraments are properly administer.  That will not change.

  1. The family of God
  2. Common vs. uncommon
  3. As a daughter congregation of Trinity Lutheran, Bellingham, God’s people here have had men and women who have been and still are influential in establishing, supporting, and maturing us in the Spirit of Jesus.  Because of the faithfulness of these people, many of God’s people await us in heaven, having been called by God to enter into their eternal homes.   And the promise is ours that we shall see them again, some of us sooner than later.
  4. There are numerous organizations that one can join and become, well, family, as community clubs, walking and gardening clubs, sporting clubs, political and spiritual groups. We find people switching memberships in organizations like the changing winds blowing in unknown directions.  And amid that windy environment there remains something quite different about Redeemer Lutheran Church. And these groups may appear far more attractive to people than what happens here.  To the casual observer, we appear rather common and much like all the other churches and spiritual groups that line up on Smith Road.
  5. What sets us apart, however, what makes us uncommon, is that our ordinary congregation is directly attached to the Word of God and His promises. The common, of which we are, becomes very uncommon.  This is the underlying truth upon which the Church stands or falls.
  6. With change comes some uncertainty
  7. I’m one that doesn’t much like change. Children grow up and leave home, loved ones pass away and leave those gaping holes in our lives.  Sickness, pain, cancer, external and internal fears move us to walk through the valley of the shadow of death in a timid manner.  Pastors take calls, schools close, people move in and out of our lives.   I don’t much like it.
  8. Under these circumstances, what does the future hold for parents, staff, students and teachers of Bridgeway School? And there are those at RLC who have expressed the anxiety of the future here at Redeemer.  These questions are common and expected.  And if it were up to us alone to answer those questions and deflate the accompanying fears, we may well hope for the best but have no certainty.
  9. Yet Paul says in our epistle, we do not lose heart… (2 Cor. 2:16ff) While we meet and experience change and decay all around us, we do not fear or give up hope, for He who does not change is among us.  His love, his grace, his promises of forgiveness and new life is before us constantly, night and day.   Thank God for communities of faith as RLC and schools like Bridgeway.
  10. The uncommon truth that changes everything
  11. Living uncommon
  12. Everyday onlookers may acknowledge the gifts of Word and Sacrament among us, and be unimpressed. To those who are but jars of clay, as we all are, we keep in mind the treasures stored within them.  To those who are but jars of clay and have the joy of Jesus with in them, they will not be defeated.  For it is “by grace we have been saved through faith,” and there is a burning hope within them.
  13. When the Promise, the Incarnate Word of God is attached, the common becomes uncommon. So too, our good Father gives us His grace through ordinary, down-to-earth means with divine effect.  Regular tap water splashed upon a forehead, a taste of common bread and a sip of common wine consumed in the usual way; there is nothing uncommon about these things.  Yet, when the Word of God is attached to these ordinary things, these common things, in a word, become uncommon.  They are treasures within us.
  14. Treasures within us
  15. We are “gifted by grace and prepared for a purpose.” The promise of God’s life in us and among us brings hope now and for the ever after and meaning to our everyday life. It’s what makes us uncommon. This is the promise of Jesus Christ, Himself, the Word made flesh that transforms each day into something special.  What is true for us at RLC is true for each person who walks through our doors.  Sure, we are jars of clay, but oh, the treasures within us.

Conclusion

Story: Treasurers in clay balls

 

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