Sermon Notes (Page 3)

“A New Beginning” Acts 2:1-21

Today is a significant day for our church for many reasons.  Tomorrow we begin one of the busiest and most important weeks of our church year, and we will commission our Vacation Bible School workers later in the service.  VBS is the best opportunity we have to share God’s love with so many children in a concentrated fashion; we have active, child-friendly curriculum which offers fabulous options of interacting with kids.  Of those who have already pre-registered, about two-thirds do not attend Madison Baptist.  I love the energy of VBS and how our church members work cooperatively in sharing God’s love with children, specifically those who do not attend church anywhere.

“Hope Got in My Eyes” Luke 24:44-53

Some time ago, a rich cosmetic manufacturer retired.  His products were fabulously successful.  His friends badgered him for the secret of their success.  Year after year, he jokingly refused.  But finally he relented.  “In addition to the formulas that all cosmeticians use,” he said, “I always added the magic ingredient to mine.”

“What Will Your Verse Be?” Luke 22:24-30

I am intrigued that the official name of a graduation ceremony is “Commencement.”  The word “commence” means “to begin,” but we attend these ceremonies with our eyes on the rear view mirror, noting the accomplishment of receiving a diploma.  For our high school graduates, directly in front of you is a door through which you pass when reaching the milestone of completing a thirteen-year dream.  As you go through it, you are exiting one episode of life and entering another.  You will continue to walk through doorways for the rest of your life.

“Pocket Full of Rocks” I Corinthians 13:4-7 Parent-Child-Church Dedication Service for Gunnar Ivester

Questions that begin with the word “why” are often heard in families with children.  Parents wonder why kids do things; children ask why as a means of understanding.

A mother was showing her son how to zip up his coat. “The secret,” she said, “is to get the left part of the zipper to fit in the other side before you try to zip it up.”

The boy looked at her quizzically… “Why does it have to be a secret?”

“Minding Our Own Business” John 20:19-25

This has been a tough week for many in our community.  Many have been affected by the deaths of teenagers Michael Rhodes and Brittany Smith.  The death of my Uncle Buddy Coile was anticipated, but his absence leaves sadness for those who remain.  While we grieve, we do so as people with hope, and we can have that hope because of Easter.  We have been to the empty tomb.  We have heard the glad news of resurrection.  The First Century disciples also were aware of the empty tomb; some saw it.  They all had heard the glad news of resurrection, yet our passage this morning indicates that they sat sequestered in fear of what the future might bring.  As we examine the disciples in our passage today, I think we will find some words for us too.

“How Do We Love Jesus?” John 21:15-17

On Easter Sunday night and the following Sunday night, Jesus appeared to the disciples in the upper room.  After the appearance to Thomas on the week after Easter, it seemed that the disciples went back to business as usual.   Jesus’ appearance to them had confirmed the resurrection, yet they went back to what they knew how to do.  They went fishing.

“Playin’ ‘Possum” Matthew 28:1-10 Easter Sunday

Raise your hand if you are acquainted with the idea of “playin’ ‘possum?”  When I was a kid, occasionally my mom would ask me to do something, and if I didn’t want to do it, I would pretend to be asleep.  Or if I wanted to play a joke or prank on someone when they entered the room, I would pretend to be asleep and then startle them when they didn’t expect it.  This somewhat deceptive behavior is called “playin’ ‘possum.”  Essentially a person acts like they are asleep when they are actually awake.

“Works in Progress” Matthew 26:26-35 Maundy Thursday

This Sanctuary was constructed in 1858, and it certainly has had a few upgrades over the past 159 years.  The bricks were baked in the sun on a nearby plantation owned by John Byne Walker; each of the bricks have a stamp of JBW on the inside.  Because they were sunbaked rather than kiln-baked, the bricks have to be sealed periodically, otherwise they serve as sponges soaking up water which then permeates the inside plaster walls.  We had the bricks sealed last summer, and now we are in process of redoing and painting some interior plaster walls.  The upkeep of our aging, beautiful historic facility is a work in progress.

“Called to Carry Jesus” Matthew 21:1-11

It was Palm Sunday, and Jesus was coming into Jerusalem.  He was riding on a blazing white stallion and kicking up a cloud of dust as he rode along.  He was looking for troublemakers.  The people that he passed on his way were in awe of such a beautiful animal, but they were even more awestruck by the man who was riding it.  As Jesus passed by, you could hear the people say, “Who was that masked man?”