Tuesday, October 28, 2008

SPECTACLES OF GLORY "No More Half-Hearted Prayers!" Luke 18:1-8 Mateen Elass

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"No More Half-Hearted Prayers!"
Luke 18:1-8
Who hasn’t cried out to God and heard silence in return? What do you do then? In the parable of the unjust judge, Jesus urges us to not give up, but trust that God indeed will hear and answer us with all-wise speed. If such an evil judge would vindicate a woman against her accuser, not because he cares about her situation but simply because he is wearied by her constant pleas, how much more will the God who cherishes us hear our pleas for vindication against His and our enemies, and come to our aid? Do you believe this? It will show in how long you continue to pray when you don’t immediately see any results. When the Son of Man comes, will he find people who persevere in prayer because they trust in God’s faithful love?

Monday, October 13, 2008

SPECTACLES OF GLORY "O for a Church with Bigger Sinners" / Luke 7:36-50 / Mateen Elass

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Only self-aware sinners can experience forgiveness. The bigger our sense of desperation, the greater the possible relief of grace, and hence the greater the response of love that leaps forth from our hearts toward God. Those who feel they can rescue themselves from a crisis often despise the offer of help from rescuers, wanting to show off their own ability. Those trapped in life-threatening situations beyond their abilities to escape are thrilled when someone risks death to save them; from then on they can’t sing the praises of their rescuer enough. So with the sinner and God. What we need in church is not really for people to sin more and worse sins, but for us to truly realize how heinous even our “respectable sins” are before a pure and holy God, and how dire our situation is apart from Jesus Christ.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Spectacles of Glory "Who'd Have Thought...?" Luke 13:18-21 Rev Mateen Elass

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Most small and insignificant things in life end up in oblivion – lost, destroyed or tossed out. But some such things have built within them the surprising capacity to make a big impact on their surroundings: mustard seeds, yeast, the Kingdom of God. They start out small, hardly noticeable – the birth of the Son of God in a side alley of civilization, one man’s life tossed aside by the world into a nondescript hole in the ground – only to spring up into resurrection life that transforms the lives of all it touches and grows beyond all proportion to tower over the creation. Or like leaven that leaves no part of the dough untouched, the Kingdom of God moves relentlessly to penetrate the whole world and change it. We are part of a living movement which will not be stopped.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Spectacles of Glory "Worthy of Invitation" Matthew 22:1-14 Rev Mateen Elass

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When God throws a party to honor His Son, and you receive an invitation, how should you respond? As if there is nothing more important in all the world than to be there. In this parable, such an invitation goes first to the “favored list” – the religious community of Israel. But they treat the invitation as of low priority, snubbing God to do other, menial, routine tasks instead. Some even abuse or kill the messengers to spite the King. In return, they are wiped out by the King, who then invites the least worthy. They are welcomed, clothed in wedding garments to participate fully in the festivities. What qualifies you to be worthy of invitation? The willingness to drop everything else to make this party the center of your attention!