Gathering Recap: 05.10.09

Here is Sunday's liturgy followed by my (Kevin) sermon points.  I talked about the Rich Young Ruler of Luke 18.  My extensive quotes from Luther are also included below.  We are thankful for a great Sunday of worship at Karis. Karis Community Church - The Gathering - Sunday, May 10th, 2009 10:00 am The Call Psalm 34:1-3, 8-10, 22

Opening Song Praise to the Lord (Joachim Neander)

The Gospel Be Merciful To Me (Randall Goodgame) Silent Prayer of Confession Romans 5:1-2 Jesus Paid it All (Elvina M. Hall) I Boast No More (Isaac Watts, Sandra McCracken)

Welcome Passing the Peace Welcome - Bobby Schembre The Word Preached - The Almighty {and the} Dollar: Don't Worship Your Possessions (Luke 18:18-30) - Kevin Larson The Supper We Give Thanks (Andrew Osenga) Serving the Bread and the Cup The Bread and the Cup

The Prayer Prayers of the Church - Jeremy Linneman

The Creed The Apostles' Creed

Closing Song On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand (Samuel Stennett, Christopher Miner) Receiving the Offering

The Blessing 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Don't Worship Your Possessions (Luke 18:18-30)

The Market As God

  • the market as omnipotent - can do anything - “no conceivable limit to its inexorable ability to convert creation into commodities.”
  • the market as omniscient - knows everything - “The Market, we are taught, is able to determine what human needs are, what copper and capital should cost, how much barbers and CEOs should be paid, and how much jet planes, running shoes, and hysterectomies should sell for.”
  • the market as omnipresent - is everywhere at the same time - “ The latest trend in economic theory is the attempt to apply market calculations to areas that once appeared to be exempt, such as dating, family life, marital relations, and child-rearing. Henri Lepage, an enthusiastic advocate of globalization, now speaks about a "total market." Saint Paul reminded the Athenians that their own poets sang of a God "in whom we live and move and have our being"; so now The Market is not only around us but inside us, informing our senses and our feelings. There seems to be nowhere left to flee from its untiring quest. Like the Hound of Heaven, it pursues us home from the mall and into the nursery and the bedroom.”

--Harvey Cox, The Atlantic, March 1999

1. The question we all ask (v. 18) 2. The standard we all have (v. 19) 3. The tactic we all use (vv. 20-21) 4. The idols we all hold (vv. 22-23)

Luther on Idols “All those who do not at all times trust God and do not in all their works or sufferings, life and death, trust in His favor, grace and good-will, but seek His favor in other things or in themselves, do not keep this [First] Commandment, and practice real idolatry, even if they were to do the works of all the other Commandments, and in addition had all the prayers, obedience, patience, and chastity of all the saints combined. For the chief work is not present, without which all the others are nothing but mere sham, show and pretense, with nothing back of them... If we doubt or do not believe that God is gracious to us and is pleased with us, or if we presumptuously expect to please Him only through and after our works, then it is all pure deception, outwardly honoring God, but inwardly setting up self as a false [savior]...."

--Martin Luther, Treatise Concerning Good Works, 1520

Luther on Idols (cont.) “Many a one thinks that he has God and everything in abundance when he has money and, possessions; he trusts in them and boasts of them with such firmness and assurance as to care for no one. Lo, such a man also has a god, Mammon by name, i.e., money and possessions, on which he sets all his heart, and which is also the most common idol on earth. He who has money and possessions feels secure, and is joyful and undismayed as though he were sitting in the midst of Paradise. On the other hand, he who has none doubts and is despondent, as though he knew of no God…

So, too, whoever trusts and boasts that he possesses great skill, prudence, power, favor, friendship, and honor has also a god, but not this true and only God. This appears again when you notice how presumptuous, secure, and proud people are because of such possessions, and how despondent when they no longer exist or are withdrawn. Therefore I repeat that the chief explanation of this point is that to have a god is to have something in which the heart entirely trusts…

Thus it is with all idolatry; for it consists not merely in erecting an image and worshiping it, but rather in the heart, which stands gaping at something else, and seeks help and consolation from creatures, saints, or devils, and neither cares for God, nor looks to Him for so much good as to believe that He is willing to help, neither believes that whatever good it experiences comes from God.

Ask and examine your heart diligently, and you will find whether it cleaves to God alone or not. If you have a heart that can expect of Him nothing but what is good, especially in want and distress, and that, moreover, renounces and forsakes everything that is not God, then you have the only true God. If, on the contrary, it cleaves to anything else, of which it expects more good and help than of God, and does not take refuge in Him, but in adversity flees from Him, then you have an idol, another god.”

--Martin Luther, commenting on Exodus 20:3

Webb on the Ruler poverty is so hard to see when it’s only on your TV and twenty miles across town where we’re all living so good that we moved out of Jesus’ neighborhood where he’s hungry and not feeling so good from going through our trash he says, more than just your cash and coin I want your time, I want your voice I want the things you just can’t give me

so what must we do? here in the west we want to follow you we speak the language and we keep all the rules even a few we made up come on and follow me but sell your house, sell your SUV sell your stocks, sell your security and give it to the poor what is this, hey what’s the deal? I don’t sleep around and I don’t steal I want the things you just can’t give me

because what you do to the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me because I want the things you just can’t give me

--Derek Webb, "Rich Young Ruler" 5. The calling we all share (v. 22) 6. The problem we all face (vv. 24-25) 7. The hope we all need (vv. 26-27) 8. The promise we all want (vv. 28-30)

Time on Excess

  • "Admit that we are powerless over addiction to easy money and cheap fossil fuel and living large — that our lives had become unmanageable."
  • "Believe that we can, individually and collectively, restore ourselves to sanity and normal living."
  • "Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and be entirely ready to remove our defects of character."

--Kurt Andersen, "The End of Excess: Is This Crisis Good for America?", Time, March 26, 2009