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박희춘 목사  (Homepage) 2007-08-28 19:14:09, 조회 : 2,343, 추천 : 384

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This Week's Sermon:

Luke 14:1, 7-14 - How To Stay Humble In A Haughty World

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The full text of the following sermon is available at www.eSermons.com
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[Members: Please see Year C - Proper 17 or Luke 14 the sermon titled "How To Stay Humble In A Haughty World"]

Coach Shug Jordan at Auburn University asked his former Linebacker Mike Kollin, who was then playing for the Miami Dolphins, if he would help his alma mater do some recruiting.

Mike said, "Sure, coach. What kind of player are you looking for?" The coach said, "Well Mike, you know there's that fellow, you knock him down, he just stays down?" Mike said, "We don't want him, do we, coach?"

"No, that's right. Then there's that fellow, you knock him down and he gets up, you knock him down again and he stays down." Mike said, "We don't want him either do we coach?"

Coach said, "No, but Mike, there's a fellow, you knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up. Knock him down, he gets up."

Mike said, "That's the guy we want isn't it, coach?" The coach answered, "No, Mike, we don't want him either. I want you to find the guy who's knocking everybody down. That's the guy we want."

That's the guy we want to be seen with! That we want to invite to our dinners and social gatherings because deeply it is the kind of people we want to be. We don't want to be seen with the guys who are always being knocked down--the poor, crippled, the lame, the blind. But these are the very people, as we shall soon see, that we are encouraged to associate with.

Look with me as we examine Jesus' story about a party. As the guest arrive they are quickly grabbing the front row seats--the places of honor. Assuming they are the most important guest, they will soon be embarrassed, Jesus says, by someone more distinguished. They will be asked to get up and move to the end of the table. They will be dishonored before all.

How do we avoid humiliation? How do you stay humble in a haughty world? There are two things that we must do.

1. Don't put yourself in a position to eat humble pie (verses 7-11).
2. We should not expect to be honored in this life (verses 12-14).


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The True Marks of Success

A hundred years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson noted three qualities he deemed marks of true "success": the ability to discern and appreciate beauty, the ability to see the best in others, and a commitment to leaving the world a better place. Notice that Emerson does not say that success comes in having the best seat at the table, acquiring more material possessions, or in belonging to the best clubs. Emerson contends that success comes with appreciating God's world, developing loving relationships with God's people, and with working to improve God's world. Jesus would agree heartily.
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In fact, our scripture lesson for today ends with a wonderful suggestion of how to work to make the world a better place. Invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind to dinner. They are all members of your family. Just think how much richer your table talk will be if you don't just associate with your business associates and closest relatives. Remember around the table such wonderful things happen. Invite everyone to the table. They are all members of the extended family.

R. Robert Cueni, Sermons on the Gospel Readings, Series I, Cycle C, CSS Publishing Company

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Good Table Manners

As we come to the Lord's Table, we're all sinners in need of salvation, beggars needing bread. We are "the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind." Yet God graciously includes us as guests at his Table. Good communion table manners include coming to the table without thinking too much of ourselves.

Good communion table manners include coming without looking down on any other guest, for all of us are God's equally beloved guests. King George IV desired Communion and sent a servant to bring the Bishop of Winchester. When the servant arrived with the Bishop, the King was angry. He felt his servant had taken too long. The King upbraided the man and fired him on the spot.

Having done that, he turned to the Bishop for Communion. But the Bishop refused to proceed. He saw that the King was still angry. Realizing the Bishop was right, the King called for his servant, apologized, and restored the man's job. Only then could Communion proceed. Part of good table manners is extending graciousness to the other guests. As we have been forgiven and welcomed by God, let us forgive and welcome each other.

Alex Gondola, Jr., Come As You Are, CSS Publishing Company

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"The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve."

Albert Schweitzer


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They Could Not See Him

The Pharisees and other leaders closely watched Jesus but they could not see his meaning. They could not see the issues as Jesus saw them, so they set themselves against him rather than making an alliance with him. They were so hung up on rules, laws and ceremonies, that they missed the heart of faith: God?s forgiving love that frees one to live as son or daughter of God.

It?s similar to the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. We know him to be among the musical masters of all time. But it was not so for his contemporaries. The parishioners at St. Thomas Church often complained about the strange and innovative music that Bach wrote for the choir and organ each Sunday. They didn?t know what a gifted musician was in their midst. After his death, the music of Bach was seldom performed until Felix Mendelssohn began a revival of appreciation that has lasted into our own time. So the people of Bach?s time watched him, but they didn?t see him.

I would insist that we have a good understanding of Jesus and what he was about but I don't think we have great insight. Christians today must be careful in their confidence. We can know that we are saved but we never know if our behavior is completely acceptable. We watch Jesus, but we do not see him. We are acquainted with him, but his rich meaning is not yet part of our lives. Occasionally we confess this when we sing in worship:

Open my eyes, that I may see
Glimpses of truth thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.

We watch and pray that we might see.

Wallace H. Kirby, If Only..., CSS Publishing Company. Adapted.

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We Are All Watchers

We are all watchers but few of us are seers. Many watched the birds fly, but it was the Wright brothers who saw that their wings were curved on the upper surface, thus enabling us to fly, too. Many had seen the lowly peanut plant, but Dr. George Washington Carver saw in it a host of products and derivatives that have blessed our lives. Many biologists had watched mold form in the culture dish, but Alexander Fleming saw penicillin and an advance in human health resulted.

If Only..., Wallace H. Kirby, CSS Publishing Company


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Lowly Sinners, Everyone

I like the story historians tell about the funeral of Charlemagne. Charlemagne was the greatest Christian ruler of the early Middle Ages. After his death a mighty funeral procession left his castle for the cathedral at Aix. When the royal casket arrived, with a lot of pomp and circumstance, it was met by the local bishop, who barred the cathedral door.

"Who comes?" the Bishop asked, as was the custom.
"Charlemagne, Lord and King of the Holy Roman Empire," proclaimed the Emperor's proud herald.
"Him I know not," the Bishop replied. "Who comes?"
The herald, a bit shaken, replied, "Charles the Great, a good and honest man of the earth."
"Him I know not," the Bishop said again. "Who comes?"
The herald, now completely crushed, responded, "Charles, a lowly sinner, who begs the gift of Christ."
To which the Bishop, Christ's representative, responded, "Enter! Receive Christ's gift of life!"
?br> The point, of course, is that in God's eyes, we're all equally needy. Charlemagne, Mother Teresa, you and me. None of us will ever be "good enough" to force entrance into the presence of God.


Alex Gondola, Jr., Come As You Are, CSS Publishing Company

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Success that Counts

Mother Teresa was once asked, "How do you measure the success of your work?" She thought about the question and gave her interviewer a puzzled look, and said, "I don't remember that the Lord ever spoke of success. He spoke only of faithfulness in love. This is the only success that really counts."

Brett Blair, www.eSermons.com

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A Surprise Party

It's like the story of a small lad whose mother, unknown to him, planned a surprise birthday party. After he got home, he went upstairs to his room. Then all his classmates and teachers gathered in the living room. When his mother went to his room to get him, he was gone. He had climbed down a tree outside his window and was hiding in a nearby park. The rest of the children went on to enjoy a good time, but Johnny never turned up. When he came in for supper his mother asked where he had been; he had missed a wonderful time, planned just for him. He tearfully confessed he had heard her call but hid until suppertime because he thought she had a chore for him to do!

How sad - for him and for us if we make the same mistake. There is a party being prepared. The guest list is all inclusive. No matter how many parties we have missed in this world, we don?t have to miss out on this party. The One who throws this party is all loving, all gracious, all generous. We are invited even though there is nothing in this world we can do to repay our host. All that is asked is that we accept the invitation.

Eric S. Ritz, The Ritz Collection, www.Sermons.com
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The Church Is Like a Hospital

There was a minister who had a favorite slogan that he often repeated in his sermons. He said, "The church is not like a country club; it's more like a hospital." That's what Jesus was saying here when he gave us the direction, "... do not invite your friends ... or your rich neighbors ... invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind...." You and I are not in the church to impress one another or to win power struggles; we are here to minister to one another in our weaknesses. We are here to be hospitable.

Richard W. Patt, All Stirred Up, CSS Publishing
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Identifying With the Poor: 9 Steps to Third World Living

First, take out the furniture: leave a few old blankets, a kitchen table, maybe a wooden chair. You've never had a bed, remember?

Second, throw out your clothes. Each person in the family may keep the oldest suit or dress, a shirt or blouse. The head of the family has the only pair of shoes.

Third, all kitchen appliances have vanished. Keep a box of matches, a small bag of flour, some sugar and salt, a handful of onions, a dish of dried beans. Rescue the moldy potatoes from the garbage can: those are tonight's meal.

Fourth, dismantle the bathroom, shut off the running water, take out the wiring and the lights and everything that runs by electricity.

Fifth, take away the house and move the family into the tool shed.

Sixth, no more postman, fireman, government services. The two-classroom school is three miles away, but only two of your seven children attend anyway, and they walk.

Seventh, throw out your bankbooks, stock certificates, pension plans, insurance policies. You now have a cash hoard of $5.

Eighth, get out and start cultivating your three acres. Try hard to raise $300 in cash crops because your landlord wants one third and your moneylender 10 percent.

Ninth, find some way for your children to bring in a little extra money so you have something to eat most days. But it won't be enough to keep bodies healthy--so lop off 25 to 30 years of life.

Adbusters (Winter, 1998) (Poverty, Third World)
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Mind Your Manners

I heard it when I was growing up. Didn't you? I was getting ready to go to a birthday party, to a cousin's house, or to a Sunday School event. The last thing I heard at the door as I was leaving was this: Mind your manners!

I knew what it meant. It meant that I should behave myself at the party in ways I was taught at home. It meant that I should act in ways that would not embarrass myself, hurt other people, or bring disgrace on our family. Manners were important because values were important. The way we behaved toward other people showed our values. If we valued family, friends, and our relationship to others, we would act in ways that were respectful, courteous, mannerly.

In the Gospel lesson for today, Jesus was the dinner guest in the house of a religious leader. The host and the guests were watching what went on. Jesus observed the manners that were being practiced there at the meal and he saw the values that were being played out. Jesus interrupted the party to do some teaching about values and manners. He taught about values that belonged to the kingdom of God and said to all in the house: Mind your manners!

Roger Van Harn, Mind Your Manners


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The Pastor's Parking Space

Maybe you've heard the humorous story about the pastor who was having difficulty with his assigned parking space on the church parking lot. People parked in his spot whenever they pleased, even though there was a sign that clearly said, "This space reserved." He thought the sign needed to be clearer, so he had a different sign made, which read, "Reserved for Pastor Only." Still people ignored it and parked in his space whenever they felt like it. "Maybe the sign should be more forceful," he thought. So he devised a more intimidating one, which announced, "Thou shalt not park here." That sign didn't make any difference either. Finally, he hit upon the words that worked; in fact, nobody ever took his parking place again. The sign read...

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