United by God in Christ

Based on:  Ephesians 4:1-6

One of Aesop’s fables goes like this.  A lion used to prowl around a field in which four oxen used to live. Many times he tried to attack them; but whenever he came near they turned their tails to one another, so that whichever way the lion tried to attack he was met by the horns of one of them. At last, however, they started arguing among themselves, and each went off to pasture alone in a separate corner of the field. Then the lion attacked them one by one and soon made an end of all four.  What is the lesson?  United we stand, divided we fall.

Today is Unity Sunday.  Is this little story from Aesop’s fables a good illustration of the unity we have here at St. John’s?  I think you find some similarities, but also some important differences.

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A Mystery Revealed

Based on:  Ephesians 3:2-12

Do you know what day of the year has the shortest period of daylight and the longest night?  It is the day in which the winter solstice occurs.  Last year it was December 22nd.  In the past, many centuries ago, before certain changes were made to the calendar that we use today, the winter solstice would occur on December 25th.  It is possible that Christians started celebrating Christmas on that day to take the place of pagan festivals that celebrated the winter solstice.

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God has a Secret

Based On: Ephesians 3:2-12

Imagine going to a place where you did not know the language.  Not only did you struggle to understand and be understood, but they did things differently too and you didn’t understand why.  When someone agreed to meet with you it seemed like they were always late.  When people talked to you they stood too close to you and put their hand on your shoulder.  You felt very uncomfortable.

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Only by God’s Grace

Based on:  Ephesians 2:8-9

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

If you ever live or travel in the southern part of the United States – I’m talking about Louisiana and Mississippi – you just might hear the word “lagniappe”.  It is a Cajun word and it means “a little something extra.”  If you order French fries at Burger King and an onion ring happens to find itself mixed in with your fries, that’s lagniappe.  If you ask your kid to cut your grass and he does the edging too, that’s lagniappe.  If you put money in a vending machine for your favorite candy bar and two come out – that is certainly lagniappe.  You get the idea – it is a bonus you didn’t expect.  

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You Are Light

Based on:  Ephesians 5:-14

You probably feel safer in the light.  If you go to the cities and do some shopping and then come back to your car after the sun has gone down you probably prefer that the parking lot be well lit.  First of all it is easier to see where you’re going when there is light, but you also know that those who want to do evil will often try to hide their actions in the darkness.

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