Life on the "Real Side"May 10, 2020
(ALL OF) Motherhood Appreciated
Scripture today comes from John 19: 23-27.
As we celebrate and honor our mothers today, let us also recognize the burdens they traverse, too. In this sermon, we take a look at the other side of motherhood, from the perspective of our Christ's mother Mary, and the burden of what it might have been like to lose a child. This also pushes us to the present-day reality of a woman named Wanda Cooper, who deals with the horror of losing her child - Ahmaud Arbery. (Please forgive me for mispronouncing Ahmaud's name during the sermon.)
To all the women who are birthed into and fall into the role of mother, know that you are loved and valued completely.
Being a Church of the Uncommon
Acts 2: 41-47
In times like the present, it's easy to question how we will make it through. But now is the opportunity where the church can (and must) see that the things we presume are common, may actually be more common than we realize. In fact, the future church of these uncommon times may actually be one that leans into these common realities.
In this message, we share how being a "Church of the Uncommon" means we realize:
- "Casual" is more common than we think, we don't need a formal experience to do God's work.
- "Change" is difficult but common; we roll with the changes as we come.
- "Challenge" is common, and an opportunity for the church to see times as an opportunity rather than an obstacle.
Things will never, ever be the same
John 24: 13-18 & 28-31
As Christians, Lent often causes us to believe that all we have to do is get to Easter and everything will be all right. If we just make it to Easter, to the resurrection, that’s all we need for things to get better. But that wasn't the reality for the early Christians, and in a current-COVID 2020, it's not a reality for us either.
Immediately after the resurrection there's a confusion Emmaus road to walk and it's on this road we realize:
- Resurrection does not always bring revitalization
- Resurrection does not bring reconnection
- Resurrection doesn’t always bring revelation
But the resurrection does bring us an opportunity for us to reframe our present and our future.
The way we've been thinking about church is dead wrong
ATTENTION - this sermon will start off crazy in the beginning. We promise it will make sense after the first few minutes. :)
Dan Pallotta is probably best known as having one of the most widely listened to TED Talk ever titled, “The way we think about charity is dead wrong." It’s a provocative and challenging push to re-envision and re-engage how nonprofit organizations think about how they can truly impact the world.
He begins his talk with the statement, “I want to ask if we even believe that the nonprofit sector has any serious role to play in changing the world.”
Today, in that same spirit we ask the question, "Do WE even believe that the church has any real role in changing the world?" In this message we call out:
- The way we’ve been thinking about fear is dead wrong. Let us see fear, let us walk through fear, but let fear move us and not immobilize us.
- The way we’ve been thinking about “sanctuary” is dead wrong! Churches should only be sanctuary for people - NOT for ideas, thoughts, innovations, and risk-taking.
- The way we’ve been thinking about prayer is dead wrong!
Do we truly pray powerful prayers and walk in the charge that Christ gave: "Greater things will you do in my name?"
Sins of a Virus
Greets to all.
Things are getting quite heavy in the wake of all the Coronavirus happenings throughout our country and the world. In the midst of it all however, God is still reminding us to BE the church, even in most of crisis and concern.
In today's sermon, we look to the Gospel of John, and, in particular, to how Jesus engages the world that circumferences a blind man deemed the consequence of sin. Christ turns it around, challenging the thoughts of blame, reminding the disciples that the work of Christ must go on, and the pressing us to remember that even in unsightly, unsavory, and unclean moments Christ's work must still be done.
As we look to this scripture and lift up the theme, "Sins of a Virus" may we be encouraged to not commit these sins:
- Sin of blaming the individuals most harmed instead of the systems and propagators of the system that cause harm
- Sin of stopping, pausing, and forgetting that the work of Christ must continue
- Sin of believing cleanliness is most important when it is exactly time like this that we are called to get dirty.
Blessings, peace, and thanks for listening!
This sermon was originally preached on March 15, 2020.
Almost There, Psalm 23
Scripture, Psalm 23.
Life has a way of throwing experiences at us that get in the way of living, moments that break the hearts of our dreams. In this sermon, we talk of how Princess Tiana (yes, from Disney's the Princess and the Frog), myself, and our church, The First Baptist Church of Waukegan, IL, all come into moments that break our dreams and risk tearing us into pieces.
We also offer lessons to glean from God in dealing with them; how to do the things we "can" and also the things we "must" as we move along.
Be encouraged in knowing what God reminded David in Psalm 23, that God is with us through the mess.
If the message has blessed you in any way, I'd love to hear more. Please consider sharing your voice and your thoughts by going to https://anchor.fm/saeed-richardson/message.
Blessings, peace, and thanks for listening!
This message was originally preached on September 15, 2019.