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This week's sermon:

             Luke 12:32-40  -  "People Get Ready!"
             
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A few years ago Curtis Mayfield passed away. At the height of the Civil Rights struggle Curtis Mayfield, the lead singer of The Impressions, wrote his most memorable lyrics. Listen to the Chorus:

 

People get ready

There's a train, a comin'

You don't need no baggage

You just get on board

All you need is faith

To hear the diesels hummin'

Don't need no ticket,

You just thank the Lord

 

In that turbulent decade Curtis Mayfield was calling people to a higher purpose. The chaos of the 60’s left this nation in much confusion--from the Six-Day War to Viet Nam, from the assassination of JFK to Martin Luther King, . There were many reasons to be afraid during those ten years. But Mayfield, like many others, understood that something great was on the horizon. He could hear it like the distant hummin’ of a diesel engine. You don’t need no baggage; all you need is faith; don’t need no ticket; you just get on board.

 

People get ready. This is the very message that Jesus is giving to his disciples. They are to be ready. They are not to be afraid; they are to sell their possessions—don’t need no baggage. They are to be dressed for service and ready to open the door when the master returns.

 

The train is coming. One day Jesus will return and we must be ready. But how are we to prepare ourselves? For the answer to that question we must look closely at our text this morning for there are three ways for the people of God to get ready.

 

I.   We are to get ready by ridding our lives of fear.

II.  We are to get ready through spiritual discipline.

III. We are to get ready by watching for the Master's return.

 

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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....

 

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