Recordings of weekly sermons at New Church Westville, a family centred New Christian church located in Westville, South Africa.
A Heavenly Heritage
A person’s heritage is the practices and customs that have been handed down from the past and that in many ways define the group they are part of. To celebrate heritage is to celebrate where a person or group has come from and to appreciate the variety among other cultures. Within all these cultures though there is a uniting thread that holds us all together, that of a heavenly heritage, a heavenly way of life, passed down to us from the Lord.
Prepare the Way
John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for the Lord. Without this preparation the people would not have been able to recognize the Lord’s innocence and love. Likewise, if we do not prepare through living a good life we will miss the presence of the Lord’s innocence and love. The way we prepare is through repentance. This week, take the time to think about how you would like the Lord to show up in your life: in love? In peace? In friendship? In integrity? Then take the steps that will allow you to receive the Lord in this way. The hard work of preparation will have been worth it when it brings the joy of the Lord’s presence.
To Be Part of a Whole
We talk of organizations as if they have a life of their own: "The company made some good decisions last years;" "The rugby team is making good progress." But of course, no organization does anything apart from the individual choices of its members. The church is no different. We may talk of the church as a separate entity that does things; the reality is that the church only exists insofar as the individual members are living and being the church. Each of us is a part of the greater whole, and the quality of the church will be determined by the quality of our lives. Rev. J. Bheki Dube also reads a lesson.
The Spirit of the Law
We all break rules from time to time. We speed. We tell a little lie. We browse Instagram at work when no one is around. We always tell ourselves that it is justified. But then someone else does the same, and our righteous indignation bristles: well if they speed, I can cut them off! They lied, so I can bad mouth them to others! They slack off at work, so I can too! What we fail to see is that we are using the technicality of breaking a rule to justify us harming someone else. The Lord calls us to something greater: to look beyond just the letter of the law and focus on the spirit, and from there to have compassion on those who perhaps don't stay within bounds as much as we might hope.
This week we are going to talk about being in the middle of the flood, coping with the challenges as we experience them. In the midst of struggle we suffer from doubt but the Lord’s promise is that He has prepared you and that He will bring you through alive, to find a new beginning. There is no challenge that you cannot overcome.
We all want a nice home in which we can feel safe and loved. This doesn’t just come with a nice house: we are home among the people who care for us and love us. We are also home when we rest in the Lord and His Divine care for us. We all have a spiritual home. This Sunday we’ll look at ways to find this home for ourselves.