Sermon – Be a Good Neighbor – April Karli & Tim Allen
November 19th, 2019 | Josh Williams
This week Tim Allen and April Karli explored what we mean by neighboring and why it’s important to us at Austin Mustard Seed. We looked at the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus found in the gospel of Luke.
He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”
Quotes from this week’s sermon:
“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. God will be constantly crossing our paths and canceling our plans by sending us people with claims and petitions.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
“Yes, there is that voice, the voice that speaks from above and from within and that whispers softly or declares loudly: “You are my Beloved, on you my favor rests.” It certainly is not easy to hear that voice in a world filled with voices that shout: You are no good, you are ugly; you are worthless; you are despicable, you are nobody—unless you can demonstrate the opposite.” Henri J.M. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved
“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” – Mr. Rogers
“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal., You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans (13:8-10)
“Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” – Mr. Rogers
“The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God’s future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God’s kingdom.” ― N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope
“We can do no great things. Only small things, with great love.” – Mother Teresa.