Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Sermon: Christian Education Sunday

Below is my sermon from yesterday, on Christian Education Sunday. It is a sermon in rhyme. As requested, the text is provided as well (though I probably have a few commas in the wrong places). If you use the Podcast app, you can listen by subscribing here. 

We have been taught by Jesus and Paul

To live a holy life is nothing small.

A holy life is filled with mercy and piety;

Serving the poor with little anxiety.

Discipleship requires rigorous training

That keeps our spiritual muscles from spraining.

For it is a marathon that we are running,

This holy life that can be quite stunning.

To make disciples for world transformation

we visit our moral discernment stations.

Some call these stations the Church. Others a mission.

Either way, we are all part of a long tradition

Of disciple making and world changing

That involves a lot of rearranging.

Our stations are for training our spiritual being

To live a holy life that is freeing,

From the bondage of laziness and spiritual weariness

That leaves the soul in a state of dreariness.

This training requires hard work and some suffering,

That could leave our souls in a state of buffering.

But in the midst of all that, there is a hope.

A hope built on Christ who empowers us to cope

With the false teachings that fill the air

That only leaves our souls bare.

You see, there are plenty of teachers and preachers

Who claim the authority of Christ’s training features.

Yet, they do not show love and do not welcome all

In the ways taught by Jesus and the apostle Paul.

Instead, these teachers and preachers

Yell from their seats in the bleachers

The loving words of Christ, while creating a breach

In the community of faith, that warrant us to impeach.

They are blinded by pride and puffed up with conceit.

They pretend superior knowledge putting others on the hot seat.

They are as infected sheep communicating disease

In single phrases as easily as if it blows in the breeze,

All while clubbing one another into submission to avoid responsibility

For manipulating us all with their pretend piety into a place of hostility.

All it does is corrupt the process of learning;

The process of asking questions that are churning;

And from discovering what we truly know –

Jesus washed us all white as snow.

Teachers and preachers throughout the ages have urged us

To listen to and hear the words of Jesus.

Words of love and words of inclusion.

Words of mercy and words of fusion.

And so, we fill our airwaves with the words of Jesus

The very words and teachings that seize us

And motivate us to live our morals in deeds,

Not just in words filled with weeds.

These are words that are not to be taken for granted.

Instead, they should water us where we are planted,

So that we will grow to tell others the stories of Jesus

Just as teachers and preachers have sang them to us.

Like Timothy before us, we are urged to train ourselves like an athlete would

To fill our lives and the lives around us with all that is holy and good.

Our holy training workout has long-lasting affects,

In this life and in the next.

The exercises of worship, Bible studies, small groups, and missions

Are practices that are not new additions.

We have these practices from the days of the early church,

To train ourselves to constantly be in search

For the Holy and the Divine in our midst

Not on the false teachings that preexist.

From the days of the early church, we have been taught to put faith in action

For it is in living the words of Jesus in our deeds that we find traction,

To be models and examples of the faith to others

Loving as Christ loves all of our sisters and brothers.

We are not limited by our age

Who can or cannot be a sage.

From the youngest to the oldest

We, like Esther, approach with boldness

To tell the stories of Jesus to all people

Offering courage and hope under the steeple.

This is discipleship

Not a guilt trip.

Leading others to serve

Our neighbors who deserve

Christ’s love as we all do

This is what we have been called to.

It requires practice, practice, practice,

To avoid the prickly edges like a cactus.

It involves commitment and dedication

To practice in our discernment station,

Here in the Church.

The place where we search

For the mysteries of the Spiritual

That is nothing short of being radical.

We gather in classrooms or on front porches

Where the Light of Christ shines like torches

On our souls revealing the process of growth

To all who are willing to see both

The awesome stuff and the hard stuff

That can make life tough.

But we have a foundation called hope

That keeps us going like jumping rope.

To learn and to grow

In order that we may bestow

The words of Jesus to others;

All of our sisters and brothers.

We are all disciples who are instructing

The Church in its reconstructing

Of disciple-making and world-changing to love God and to love each other,

For that commandment is what guides us in all we do for one another.

Fulfilling the commandment to love

Should fit us like a glove

In the good times and the bad

So that our lives are a launching pad

Living out through our conduct and speech

In a way that our lives become sermons that preach.

Amen.

1 Comment

  1. Excellent!…..this should be a “rap” for your youth group 🙂 .

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