Our June 21 Sunday worship service is available on video through Facebook. You may view it without being a member of Facebook. This is the third Sunday with services held in the sanctuary with the congregation present since the COVID-19 restrictions started. Our social spacing seating arrangement assures minimal risk. Video is in two parts due to technical difficulties.
The June 28, 9 am worship service to be held outside in the lawn behind our building with members and friends in attendance. It is scheduled to be streamed live on the DeSoto Redeemer Facebook page. We will post a direct link to the recording here as soon as it is possible after the service. There will be only one service June 28 at 9 am. On July 5, we will return to our 8 and 10:30 services in the sanctuary.
We are glad to share our worship with you. Click on “Contact Us” above to find out more about our faith family and what we believe.
June 21 Sermon
Jeremiah 20:7-13 | Psalm 69:8-11 [12-17] 18-20
Romans 6:1b-11 | Matthew 10:24-39
“Even the hairs of your head are all counted.” And, that is good news. For some people, their hairs are easier to count than others, there are fewer of them. I have noticed that it doesn’t take Mona, who cuts my hair, near as long to trim the back of my head as it used to take her. Now either she has gotten better at cutting hair, or … Still, these are comforting words. They tell us just how precious we are to God. Now, have you ever wondered if there is a particular rank or choir of angel whose sole job it is to keep track of the number of hairs on people’s heads? They have to do a recount and change their totals every time you brush your hair! And what kind of job is that anyway for an angelic being?! Of course, Jesus gives these words as words of comfort and assurance (and possibly a bit of hyperbole) to tell us that we are special to God, and that God knows us better than we ourselves. Knows things about us, that we could never understand, or just take for granted.
The words are given in relation to “have no fear of them,” referring to those who are against God, and against Christ. He is talking about the house of evil of Beelzebul, the chief of demons. Jesus is telling us, and the disciples, that there are very real differences between the forces of God and evil, and that a disciple is seen in relation to their teachers. The followers of evil in the world, although they may appear frightening, noxious and deadly in the eyes of the world, really are not that great and powerful when compared to the entities of God’s heaven. They cannot be greater than their master (by the way, Beelzebul’s name, or sometimes it is spelt Beelzebub, means – the Lord of the Flies) and he is nothing. On the other hand, to the followers of Christ, our master is the Author of Creation, the Son of God, and nothing of this world is greater than He. We then, too, are to fear nothing of this world, for we belong to Christ, and nothing can take us from his hands.
We then, cannot out do our teacher, our Lord. And that is good news too. We know that we cannot be greater than Christ. It is impossible. More than that, we know that our greatest of all teachers, Christ, the Son of God loves us and keeps us. We then have nothing to fear, nothing. He claims us. He calls us. He keeps us. So we are ultimately freed from those things which assail us. Indeed, we are even freed “to be like the teacher.” There is more Gospel. Having been freed from sin, evil, even the Law of God Himself, we are now also freed to be like Christ, knowing that we are precious in God’s sight (the sparrows). Even our hairs are counted. We know that as we acknowledge Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Christ acknowledges and claims us before God’s throne.
I am about halfway through Karl Barth’s book, “The Epistle to the Romans.” It is just over 100 years old. Most people have never heard of it. But it was a groundbreaking book in Christianity. In the First Chapter, Barth writes, “The Gospel is therefore not an event, nor an experience, nor an emotion- however delicate! Rather, it is the clear and objective perception of what eye hath not seen nor ear heard. Moreover, what it demands of people is more than notice, or understanding, or sympathy. It demands participation, comprehension, co-operation; for it is a communication which presumes faith in the living God, and which creates that which it presumes.” As we proclaim Christ in our lives, with our words and actions, we bring with us, in a sense God in Christ. We carry with us part, no matter how small, of the kingdom of heaven. We are truly Christ’s ambassadors to the world, carrying on the work of the apostles. It is a task. Yes. But, it is one which we cannot deny. And one which we carry joyfully. We fear nothing in Christ’s name.
We can now be like Christ to others. We can live in community as Christians, presently while upholding certain social distancing, and wearing masks, but that too, we do as Christians. We can proclaim the Gospel to others, and live out that Gospel, as well as we are able, as the Spirit gives us power, like Christ himself. More than that, as we live like Christ, we carry on his teachings. That is our task as disciples, as Church, to carry on the teachings of Christ to the world, as reflections of Christ for the world, as we live in the world. Do not be afraid, just let Christ’s light in you shine out for all.