The Church as Mustard Seed

Rev. Cliff WarnerCliffNotes

Happy Fourth of July Weekend! There are four things you need to know about today: Membership Class, Current Events, Bono on the Gospel and Church, Prayer for Our Nation.

1] MEMBERSHIP CLASS: Are you a member of Christ Church? Would you like to hear more about Christ Church, our history and future, our calling and passions? If you are not a member, I want to invite you to this next step of commitment. It is our deep desire that no one stand alone at Christ Church. We want to see every person at Christ Church stand in the company of Christ and his people.

Christ Church expresses God’s kingdom in Austin like a tiny mustard seed that grows into a tree, ” . . . so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches” (Mt. 13:32). As this powerful piece of art by local artist Jim Janknegt suggests, the King and his kingdom reign in the heart of the city. Christ Church is one branch giving shade to the city, a branch where birds of the air like you and your lost and broken friends can make a home. Join us for the Membership Class this Sunday in the Stott Room, immediately following the second service.

2] CURRENT EVENTS: During the past two weeks the U. S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and our state legislature has been considering legislation that will better protect the lives of the unborn. Please be in prayer that our state lawmakers would affirm the value of all human life, as they reconvene next week to bring this legislation to a vote.

If you would like to get a better grasp of the meaning and implications, from a Christian perspective, of the end of DOMA, here are a many good articles to help sort through issues. I especially recommend the articles by Crouch and Olsen, if you are time-limited, but they are all good.

3] BONO ON THE GOSPEL AND CHURCH: On quite a different note, have you seen this recently published interview with U2 lead singer, Bono? He is crystal clear about following Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins through Christ crucified and defending the institution that secularists love to hate, the Catholic Church. How does he get away with this? People take him seriously because of the integrity of his life; he is a faithful husband and father, lives by his values, writes thought-provoking lyrics and ground-breaking music, advocates for the week and oppressed around the world, fights for justice and is always honoring and gracious toward others. A life of personal integrity, culture-making and public creativity is compelling. This is good material for discussion of the relationship between gospel, church and culture.

4] PRAYER FOR OUR NATION: Pray with me, from the Book of Common Prayer: Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our? heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ?ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.? Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and ?pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; ?from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend ?our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes? brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue? with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust ?the authority of government, that there may be justice and ?peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we?may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.? In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, ?and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;? all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.