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Free & Fit Church Beyond the Wall - Final Class Sermon at GTS “Paraclete“ by Tim Cheux

Free & Fit Church Beyond the Wall - Final Class Sermon at GTS “Paraclete“ by Tim Cheux


Opening Prayer:


Let us Pray

“Father we thank you for making a way where there is no way. We ask that you would make a way for Us all this June, where there seems to be disruption and disunity, we pray you would make a way in Jesus name. We pray Lord that you would go before us, behind us and with us in Jesus name. Please O Lord grant us your grace, help us be protected, empowered, loved and secured in who you are in Jesus name. Please O Lord grant us strength and grace in all things in Jesus name. Amen”


A Poem by Eileen Campbell- Reed

Improvise.

Re-arrange.

Change. Adapt. And revise.

Move it around as time flies.

Pivot. Shift. Sidestep. Riff.

Play it like Jazz. Do you get my drift?


Readings

Old Testament - Malachi 3:1-4 Amplified

“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will prepare and clear the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderer’s soap [which removes impurities and uncleanness]. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [the priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord [grain] offerings in righteousness. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in ancient years.


New Testament Luke 3:1-6 Amplified

Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor] Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas [his son-in-law], the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin; as it is written and forever remains written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “ The voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘ Prepare the way of the Lord , Make His paths straight . ‘ Every ravine shall be filled up, And every mountain and hill shall be leveled ; And the crooked [places] shall be made straight , And the rough roads smooth ; and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.’”



Q1. Who are you as the Messenger of the Messiah?


(Rhetorical question, commentary and response to Old Testament Reading. Said response with improv sermon and open response.)


Manuscript: The process of becoming aware of our role in the Message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is always a challenge. Do we truly realize we have a part to play? What specifically is our role and what are we called to live out in our everyday communities? When we consider today’s Old Testament passage in Malachi we can see the evidence of a messenger going ahead of the Messiah to create a way before him and to clear the pathway to mark out a road ahead.


When we interact with our nearest and dearest neighbour sometimes we feel like we should have done more or been more bolder in declaring our faith to those in whom we see before us in the midst of our everyday lives. How can we possibly be the person chosen to speak to those closest in our proximity? How can we be responsible to help those around us Taste and See the Lord is good and to be available to them to answer any questions. Perhaps we are not seeking for the Lord to send us into this context or perhaps we are misunderstanding our role all together!


John the Baptist can be perceived to be the Prophesied Messenger of the Messiah in Malachi as he appears to us today in the Gospel of Luke for our second reading. The context is one that we can all relate to a feeling like we are in the wilderness and that we may face difficulties in the proclamation of the Gospel. This Christmas we are all able to offer the reason for the season, the hope for humanity in an invitation to the Christmas story at our Churches this Christmas. Whether we send an invitation online or in person we can help those who don’t know Christ become aware of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Who are you as the Messenger of the Messiah?




Q2. How are you when being the Messenger of the Messiah?


(Rhetorical question, commentary and response to New Testament Reading. Said response with improv sermon and open response.)


John the Baptist came to help us all receive Gods grace, through Prayer and Petition to live a life worthy of being called Saved ny Grace through the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. To prosper you and not harm you, to deliver you from all ill, evil and made new, in the image of Christ, for the Gospel of the Lord. How are we living out the call to share the Good News? How are we living out the call of the Great Commission to our communities today?


How we are spiritually informs how we are in our missionary thinking. As a British person my culture would perhaps be too polite or post Christian to share my faith. However, perhaps I am more Australian or American in culture due to living in cosmopolitan cities like London and New York or travelling around the world more than your average British citizen. The post-colonial America we live in, specifically the Northern Eastern region of the United States, is quite different culturally due to the separation of Church and State, private health care and various different expressions of the Christian faith. Culture and Society are full with innovative and creative new ways to build community, but more than ever before are outside of the Walls of the Church and beyond those walls in a much more secular environment than ever before. Consumerism, materialism and individualism all demonstrate contradictions to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As we live in this new world, how can we proclaim the Gospel with hope and help for humanity through Jesus Christ?


The reality that we believe we contain the key, answer and revelation of truth is false. Jesus Christ said in John 14:6 he is “the Way, the Truth and the Life”. As the messenger, are role is to invite, but to not take on all responsibility for peoples salvation. So then then the question remains. How are you when being the Messenger of the Messiah?



Q3. Why are you the Messenger of the Messiah?


(Rhetorical question, commentary and response with real life example and scenario. Said response with improv sermon and open response.)


During in our class this semester I shared about the idea of Blessing our Postal Private delivery company drivers from the likes of firms including Fedex, UPS and DHL. The opportunities were running out on the build up to our final class and I wanted to make sure that I was a man of my word and as Phil would tell me “walking the walk” of following our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So then this Saturday after completing my daily workout, holding a Bible verse in my hand, as I went to my car I was drawn to the UPS truck that was parked next to my car as I was returning to my vehicle and convicted by the Holy Spirit took the chance to share a Merry Christmas and Bible verse with the Driver. I explained I was doing an Advent workout and worship series and that I wanted to share the verse of the day with her. It was a brief, joyous and fulfilling moment. To live out my faith and actively seek go proclaim the message of our Messiah Jesus Christ.


This Christmas how do you plan on practically sharing your faith with your community? On Monday 20thDecember we will be hosting a Christmas Alpha special with Worship and Dinner for all our guests. We will be sharing food, fellowship and faith with our local community in Hoboken. The chance to declare the name of Jesus over our city, our friends and family is rich, edifying and seasonably appropriate to share the Babe in a Manger this Christmas.


This December I invite you to become a Messenger of the Messiah, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and in our Gospel message for today encourage you to set the pathway open for Christs second coming this Advent season in preparation, declaration and celebration that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the World.


Closing Prayer

Prepare the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled,

and every mountain and hill shall be made low,

and the crooked shall be made straight,

and the rough ways made smooth;

and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.


Closing Poem Paracleet by Tim Cheux


I will make a way before you,

To prosper you and not harm you,

To deliver you from all ill, evil and made new,

I will make a way before you.


I will make a way for before you,

To overcome the challenges and curveballs of everyday life,

To not harm you or cause you panic and strife,

I will make a way before you.


I will make a way before you,

In the mundane and the madness of our digital age,

In the fog, the snow, the sleet and the hail I will bring you out of your cage,

I will make a way before you.


I will make a way before you,

Where there seems no way in the venue and space arena,

The place will be free, without cost and supplied by your redeemer,

I will make a way before you.


I will make a way before you,

For the people you love so very dearly,

For celebration and revelation of all cost me so dearly,

I will make a way before you.


In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen


Love and Blessings F& F Team.


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