Sunday, January 23, 2011
Catch Of The Day Preached @ Tinney Chapel
Click on any image above to view it in larger format and/or click on the video arrow below to view most of the sermon by Pastor Sue Gross. (Our Weblog has a 100 MB limit on file size, so the video is about two minutes short of the actual performance.)
"Catch Of The Day" Preached by Pastor Sue Gross Today
Pastor Sue Gross began with a personal story about an Uncle who made two difficult, but successful promises to God, and faithfully kept both promises, each involving the abdication of addictions: tobacco and alcohol. The latter promise, to give up drinking, was made during a fishing trip on the Oregon Coast when his life appeared at stake. In a very real sense, the Pastor's Uncle had a good "catch" that day in that he abandoned a bad habit, and God gained Glory in the process.
The Pastor said that today's Scripture, Matthew 4:12-23, is preceded in that Gospel by both the baptism and temptation of Jesus, and that today's lesson begins the "teaching ministry" of Jesus which matures in earnest with Chapter 5-7 of Matthew's account of the Sermon on the Mount. Teaching is, in fact, a major emphasis of the entire Gospel according to Matthew, said Pastor Sue.
To emphasize the title of today's sermon, the Pastor mentioned Jesus' call of the first four Disciples (Andrew, Peter, James and John) as a rather large catch of the day for the Lord. And, in the Gospel according to John, Andrew is soon a "fisher of people" since he immediately brought his brother Simon to Jesus who soon thereafter re-named Simon with the nickname, Peter, which means "Rock."
All four of these Disciples, said Pastor Sue, immediately "caught" Jesus' dream, vision and ministry, which the Pastor views as one of Peace, one in which people are treated with dignity and justice.
On the other hand, many in Israel could not accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Somehow, these four Disciples caught the dream and dropped everything to follow Jesus.
Jesus then sent all His Disciples into every nation, a charge which has come down to all subsequent generations of Christians, including us today: We need the dream if we are to catch the vision and perform the ministry.
If you can dream it, you can do it, reminded Pastor Sue.
Love of god and love of neighbor is another way to view the ministry of Jesus, said the Pastor. The Kingdom of God is not a kingdom of power. Rather it is a Kingdom that lives in the heart in which Christians honor God with their very lives--just as did these first four Disciples: Andrew, Peter, James and John.
Pastor Sue concluded her sermon with a summary of Christianity in China, where it seemed to have lost momentum at one time, but has since gone "underground," and appears to thrive in Chinese homes and home churches.