Attaboy Doesn’t Mean All Done

July 14th, 2019

Message Title: Attaboy Doesn’t Mean All Done
Theme: History is Our Story
Season: Ordinary Time
Color: Green
Main Text: Colossians 1:1-14
Scripture Reading: Psalm 82
RCL Scripture: Amos 7:7-17, Psalm 82, Deuteronomy 30:9-14, Psalm 25:1-10, Colossians 1:1-14, Luke 10:25-37
Focus: Paul introduces himself to the Colossians and expresses gratitude. 
Function: To realize that one job well done is only the beginning of our ministry and to not grow arrogant about our past.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 82 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” 5They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. 6I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.” 8Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!
LORD’S PRAYER

HISTORY/THEIR STORY: 

  1. Maps
  2. Paul hasn’t met the Colossians
    1. Paul didn’t start this church.
  3. Paul has come to know about the Colossians through a guy name Epaphras.
  4. Colossae is the place Roman Soldiers go to retire. So, Colossae has struggles with an attitude of nationalism and putting pride of country/empire over faith. 
  5. He’s heard mostly good things about the Colossians and wants to give them some guidance, so Paul writes a letter introducing himself and providing some pointers on growth. 

TRANSITION: Paul celebrates the Colossians in his opening words but doesn’t say they’ve finished or reached their goal.  As we dive into our passage today let us look at history and consider our story. 

GOD: Colossians 1: 1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.

3We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.

9And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

  1. Paul’s introduction vs 1-2
  2. Paul’s gratitude: vs 3-8
  3. Paul’s hope: vs 9-14
    1. “Cosmic Christ”
      1. Living Blessed creation vs. Cursed Creation
      2. living as if God’s promises have all been fulfilled. “thy kingdom come on EARTH as it is in heaven.”

APPLICATION/OUR STORY: To realize that one job well done is only the beginning of our ministry and to not grow arrogant about our past.

  1. RECAP THEIR STORY: Paul commends the Colossians on what he has learned about them through Epaphras but also gives them on going instructions on how to continue to develop. Though they have been doing some things well, they are not finished. 
  2. OUR STORY:
    1. Discussion at the Biennial was about a willingness to adapt to reach people and to continue to grow as a church.
      1. South Dakota & Ministry to Native Americans
        1. we (specifically south dakotans) have hurt them for at least a century
        2. this ministry style needs to stop and a new one needs to start
        3. time to listen and learn
    2. The most dangerous phrase in the language is “we’ve always done it this way.” –Rear Admiral Grace Hopper 
      1. Hopper was a computer programmer that developed a system to read binary and make it into functional directions for a computer.
      2. 1906-1992–Think about her lifetime and what she has seen: invention of the telephone, sinking of the titanic, WWI, invention of radio, WWII, invention of television, 
    3. It is a pastor’s job not to stand up at the pulpit and be the boss. We are called to stir the church to unity and ministry but the church decides (through listening to the Spirit) where & how we serve. 

CONCLUSION: Celebrate our history but don’t remain in the past. 

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