Powerful Faith

Sermon Notes for May 13, 2018

We have a small night light, hidden under a bench, that lights our hall. That small light keeps me from stubbing my toe after shutting off the other lights on my way to bed. The power behind that light is sufficient to light up an entire football stadium changing nighttime to daylight. So too is the power behind the small God sightings we have each day. That power is far greater than we might normally appreciate.

The writer of the letter to the Ephesians begins a long complex sentence simply giving thanks for faith that the Ephesians had demonstrated, but by the last phrase in that run-on sentence that ancient Greek allowed (8 English verses later), he praises God for lifting Christ up as head of the Church which is his body.

This prayer urges me to rewrite every prayer of the people from requests for comfort for those who are ill, lonely, grieving, … into praises for how God has worked, is working, and will work among and through us; to take those pleas for a glimmer of light and turn them into joy for the powerful bank of lights that God through Christ already has shining on our mundane problems.

On May 13th, while the United States will observe Mother’s Day, we will recognize the Women of the Church. We provide a nuanced interpretation of the day to recognize women who have nurtured members of the family of faith. So that those who have not born children will be recognized for those whom they have are and will direct toward new life in Jesus Christ. And so that those with complex relationships with their birth mother, will recognize their adoption into the family of Christ. By honoring the Women of the Church we point through them to the power of Christ acting in us and through, a power far greater than we might initially appreciate.

I will have more to say about Ephesians 1:15-23 and powerful faith at 8:15 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 13th at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church.

Robert Shaw, Pastor

Music Notes

Franz Schubert wrote his Opus 52, No. 6 as a setting for “The Lady of the Lake,” a poem by Walter Scott, the plea of a maiden as she joins her father in hiding as rebellion builds against King James. Because each verse of Scott’s poem begins with the maiden crying: “Ave Maria,” Schubert’s tune has become associated with the Latin prayer of that name, in fact the Latin prayer has all effectively replaced Scott’s poem as the words associated with Schubert’s tune. That Latin prayer is also a plea through the Virgin Mary for support in one’s hour of need.

The Latin prayer begins with praise for God acting through the Virgin Mary (The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb) and ends with a plea for help (Pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death). Both the original poem and the Latin prayer are appropriate for Women of the Church Sunday as each is a plea for salvation for more people than merely the person praying.

This Sunday our choir will accompany our soprano section lead Chelsey Bagley as she sings “Ave Maria” to Schubert’s Opus 52, No. 6 as arranged by John Grady.

A Tip for Parents

The Book of Proverbs begins with advice to a child, then shifts to words to the wise, and after giving advice to rulers, conclude with a description of a capable wife. Our reading is the last two verses of Proverbs.

Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away,
but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised.
Show her respect—praise her in public for what she has done. (CEV)

We will give the children an opportunity to praise their mothers for what they have done demonstrating how they honor the LORD.

2 thoughts on “Powerful Faith”

  1. This was a wonderful surprise! Thank you so much, I miss seeing your smiling faces on Sunday! I am not working on the 20th and 27 and hope to be present on those days! God bless each and everyone at Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church! See ya soon!

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