“Chosen by Love”
Preached July 24th, 2011
Pastor Jeff Cloeter
The choosing of dodge ball teams in grade school was always a predictable affair. The captains always choose teams based on past performance. So there was the usual pecking order with occasional shifting among the mediocre players. The first person picked was always Aaron “The Dash” Doyle. And the last person picked was always Wes “The Wide Body” Williams. But occasionally, every once in a while, there was a captain who turned things upside down. Rather than choosing based on skill or performance, he would choose Wes “The Wide Body” Williams first.
This is the way things work in our world. You are chosen based on your performance. Your work, your quality, your achievement, your skill. Employers look for the best resume, and demand one, or two, or three interviews. Teams choose players in the draft based on their college career, their physical skill, their game time performance. The Hall of Fame requires stats, championships, and total body of work in an athlete’s career. Politicians are chosen to their office by the electorate based on their experience, credentials, and stance on issues. This is the way things work in our world. You are chosen based on your performance.
The Gospel as Manger, Cross, Crown
Preached at Christ Memorial/Reliant Church on August 22nd, 2010.
We are a missional church. That means that we live and work to advance the gospel in the world. The mission of God is to redeem the world in Christ. So we have the gospel, we proclaim the gospel, we live the gospel, we share the gospel, we advance the gospel, we bear witness to the gospel. “OK, preacher,” you say. “You’re always talking about the gospel. Preachers always tell us to share the gospel. But WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?” Before we talk about the gospel, we must know what it is. And if we want to be a missional church, you’ve got to be able to articulate it.
If you go to the Louvre in Paris, you can see the Venus de Milo. This sculpture of Venus was discovered in Greece and dates back thousands of years. She now stands as one of the most famous pieces of art in the most famous museum in the world. And she’s the only armless woman that guys drool over. Her beauty is amplified in it’s many angles. If you stand on one side, you see her gentle face. A few steps over, you notice the smooth flow of her shoulder. From the left side, you notice the subtle tilt of her waste. She is one sculpture, but many angles. One piece of stone, but many facets. One pose, but many dimensions. In the same way there is one gospel, but many many angles. There is one Jesus, but many dimensions to his nature. And if you walk around the gospel, you begin to see all the thrilling angles.