There are some sermon notes that have been sitting around here for a few weeks, because the sermon was so good that I just can’t bear to get rid of them… so I think they need to be transferred here.
This young pastor expressed some nervousness, but he actually seemed very natural–and he’s an excellent speaker! I forget if it’s the Youth or the Young Adults that he works with at our church, but the Usual Pastor was away, so Matt was on for that Sunday. He said we were going to talk about some truths about God to enjoy, and we did enjoy them! :) Of course, my brief notes don’t really do justice to the sermon, but they jog my own memory anyway.
His text was the story in the Gospel about the Pharisees trying to trip up Jesus by asking him if they should pay taxes. Caesar was considered a god, so agreeing to pay him might be like worshiping another god; and of course not paying gets you in trouble as well. Jesus had them stuck for words by holding up a coin and asking them whose image was on it, and then saying “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Trick answer really, since everything belongs to God!)
Matt went from this to an illustration from Toy Story: the toys knew who they belonged to by looking at an image that was stamped on the bottom of their feet, or whatever. The same terminology for “image” that Jesus used, was used in Genesis where it says that we are made in God’s image… so who do we belong to? :) “We were made to relate to God.”
Matt also reminded us that salvation is more than guilt and forgiveness, in the same way that adoption is more than paperwork.
And I’m not fitting it in properly the way Matt did, but one key point he made, is that “the more you see of God, the more you worship”. So my mind carries this out to–how do we see more of God? Through the people he has made (those who just shine, as well as our family, friends, loved ones), through things like worship music (or even just excellent music), and of course through nature. (I’m sure I’m missing some things here… OH, the Bible of course too!)
One of Matt’s closing points was certainly a truth to inspire one to worship. He brought up the time that Jesus was asked what the most important commandment is. The very most important commandment is to love God… in the end, all God really wants is our love!
(You can bring that out to be a little more complicated than that, but on the other hand, sometimes the answer is just… simple.)