As I was struggling to decide on upcoming sermon topics that would speak to the current situation, I remembered a book I read when it was published back in 2010. The book, by Quaker author and pastor Philip Gulley, had a provocative title, If the Church Were Christian: Rediscovering the Values of Jesus. His basic premise is that the Christian Church and its members must actually affirm and live by the values of Jesus. When the church fails to do this, or gets it wrong, it is less than “Christian.” But when the church gets it right, and truly lives by the values of Jesus, we become agents of positive change in the world; we become living “good news.”
So my sermon plan for the next ten weeks is for us to reflect together on what it means for the church to live by the values of Jesus. We begin this Sunday with “Follow, Don’t Just Admire, Jesus” (click to listen to the message) Our scripture text will be Luke 6:46-49. In preparation, reflect on this question: What would it mean if Jesus were our model for living rather than just an object of worship?