Sermon Notes for Sunday, July 23
Repenting from Hurry
by Tanner Fox
Often pastors ask the church to do more. This week we were encouraged to do less. To repent from our hurry and to move at a different pace. Dr. Swanson challenged us to "move at the pace of Christ, not at the pace of culture."
Our culture runs at the pace of doing more than the next guy, 60-70 hr. work weeks to “get ahead,” year-around travel sports teams, extracurriculars, and clubs to get your eighth grader into Yale, FOMO (fear of missing out) on any and every social event, etc. All the while aiming, ultimately, at a materialism-soaked definition of success.
Our culture remains busy because they believe it to be the most promising path to fulfillment. Proverbs 19:2 paints a different picture, “Zeal without knowledge is no good, how much more will hasty feet miss the way?” The “way” of the Christian is a mission thoroughly different from the cultural trajectory.
“Jesus understood his mission. He was not driven by the needs of others, though he often stopped to help hurting people. He was not driven by the approval of others, though he cared deeply for the lost and the broken. Ultimately, Jesus was driven by the Spirit. He was driven by his God-given mission.” - Crazy Busy - Kevin DeYoung
Every successful organization has not only a robust vision for the future but also a clearly defined mission. We as Christians possess not only the vision of the future of the coming Kingdom of the Lord, but also a distinct mission that drives us to look more like Christ.
If there is one thing that our busy culture has no time for it is interruption. My current pace certainly does not welcome interruption. As I live into the cultural norm of busyness and hurry, I find myself without time to help change a tire or have a 15 minute conversation with a stranger.
But if you think about it, much of what Christ did in this world was preceded by interruption. Mark 5 gives a characteristic day in the life of Jesus: they cross the lake and are met by the demon possessed man, cross the lake again and he meets Jairus who asks for healing for his daughter, then a woman touches his cloak and he takes a moment to speak to her, finally, “while Jesus was still speaking…”he is informed of the death of Jairus’s daughter; but don’t worry, Jesus heals her too.
Why would this be Jesus’s model of ministry? I think, in part, because life happens one interruption at a time. As much as we like to plan and order every minute of our day, the greatest opportunities for caring for others might/will come at a time that seems most inconvenient. Especially when we design each day to be inconvenience free.
Jesus was not paced by culture. His pace was different, selfless, full of love and grace, always looking outward, always keeping the mission in mind.
So, what kind of pace do you keep? How might we live at the pace of Jesus today?
Tanner Fox is the Minister for Mission at First Pres. He’s a recent grad of Reformed Theological Seminary and holds deep affection for people, movies, sports and Jesus Christ. As Minister for Mission, he leads the charge to help you love and serve the city and the world. firstname.lastname@example.org