Sunday’s Sermon — Introduction

May 28, 2007, 2:00 pm; posted by
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I had the opportunity to preach at the Black River Bay campground this past Sunday, opening this summer’s series of services there. I’m going to (very) loosely adapt it into a series of five articles, with one to run each day this week.

Directions are very important.

This past week, I attended a wedding. It was a very nice wedding, with the classic ending, the whole “man and wife” bit and the bride-kissing. But we learned at the very end of the ceremony that because of a closed highway exit, the original directions to the reception would no longer work. And so on the way out of the church, we were handed a new, corrected sheet of directions.

Chloe and I set off, and when we got to the area where we needed to consult the directions, we obeyed them to the letter. “Turn left on Rt. 16,” they informed us, and after about 1/4 of a mile, we would find our next turn, at a “T-intersection.”

And so I turned left, and I drove a quarter-mile. There was no such intersection. “Maybe they meant 1 mile,” I thought. A mile later, there was no such intersection. “Perhaps it was 4 miles?” Nothing. Of course we had to turn around, and when we returned to the site of that fateful left turn, we realized the directions had been completely wrong. Turning right was what had been necessary to get us to the reception. Everything else in the directions was correct, but that one simple error — ‘left’ instead of ‘right’ — made the rest of it moot. Starting off in the wrong direction made it impossible to reach our goal.

It’s the same way with living the Christian life. The text I’m using is Romans 12, and in my Bible, the heading for the section is “Live Like A Christian.” And what follows in the chapter are a series of directions for successfully navigating life as a Christian, with the goal described in verse 21: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” To reach that conclusion, Paul gives us several important directions, and applied to our lives, they’re each as important as that left turn I made on the way to the reception. If we get off in the wrong direction in these parts of our lives, growth as a Christian will be almost impossible.

So what are these directions so key to life as a Christian? I’m going to share four of the key elements of the Christian life that Paul identifies, and to help you remember them, I’ll even use one of those fun mnemonic devices the kids like so much!

And they’ll start…tomorrow!


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