Date: June 21, 2020
Bible Text: Romans 6:1-11, Matthew 10:24-39 | Rev. David A. Douthett
The texts for this week push our understanding of what it means to be Jesus' disciple. He himself says we must give him our highest loyalties while not expecting to be treated any better by the world than he was. Meanwhile, the Apostle Paul assures us that in our baptism we were joined with Jesus in his death and his resurrection, so we are dead to sin and alive to Christ. In spite of this, we have a tendency to get wrapped up in our own concerns and to take our discipleship as a sideline rather than our highest calling. What would it look like, what would the world look like, if we were more focused on serving Christ by serving others instead of ourselves?
Notes from the Preacher
Here for your convenience, please find the Great Ends of the Church, mentioned in the sermon and found in the Book of Order of the PC(USA):
"F-1.0304 The Great Ends of the Church
The great ends of the Church are:
- the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
- the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
- the maintenance of divine worship;
- the preservation of the truth;
- the promotion of social righteousness; and
- the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.
"This statement of the Great Ends of the Church, slightly edited here, came from the United Presbyterian Church of North America, which united with the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in 1958. The statement was then made a part of the Constitution of The United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, as the united body was called. This now classic statement was adopted by the United Presbyterian Church of North America in 1910, following various actions between 1904 and 1910 looking forward to the revision of the church’s Constitution."
I promised to include some links to articles that might expand your knowledge, your understanding, your perception, particularly if you have not heard many black voices. I have come across all these in the last three weeks, some by direction of others and some in my own pursuits. I invite you to have a look and a listen, seeking first to understand rather than to respond.
- The First Time I Knew I was Black - We asked celebrities, CNN anchors and reporters, and others to tell us when they first realized that being black affected how people treated them.
- Quiz: How much racism do you face every day? - To see how your experience with discrimination compares with others', answer some of the questions that were posed to 101 black teenagers as part of a study measuring the racism they face on a daily basis.
- Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man - A conversation with Emmanuel Acho about race that many white people have never been able to have
- Presbyterian Mission Agency: Dismantling Structural Racism, including a 21-day Racial Justice Challenge
- Do You Know How Divided White And Black Americans Are On Racism? - Test your knowledge on how differently white and black folks perceive racism in America.
- Black & African American Communities And Mental Health
- Black Lives Matter - The official website of the BLM movement (link goes to the "About" page)
- Race in America - analysis of trends from the Pew Research Center
- How Prison Labor Is the New American Slavery - This article includes a list of corporations that are profiting from prison labor.
- How quickly should we reopen the economy? - It depends on who you ask.
- Black Progress and How Far We Still Have to Go - An older piece (1998) from the Brookings Institution