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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Highlights from Mayflower Early Service 1-9-2011

Highlights from Mayflower Early Service 1-9-2011

Chris Moore, preaching

The Prayer of Confession:
Gracious God, as we enter a new year, we confess that for too long we have let the nature of our faith be dictated to us. And by rejecting religion the way that it has been presented to us, we end up leading an empty revolution that leaves us still wanting. We end up rejecting all tradition, all ritual and all experience in the name of rejecting the religion that we feel pulls us away from you instead of to you. Help us to find some balance. Help restore in us a sense of tradition and experience that calls us more deeply to you. Help us to find new ways to be baptized into your new life. Help us to be ready for a revolution that leads us to doors and arms being flung open, justice restored and life renewed. Amen.

Scripture Lesson Matthew 3:13-17 (Jesus' baptism by John)

Sermon Title: Ready for the Revolution

In the ancient world, few could swim. Bodies of water were places of death and chaos. When people were baptized by John, it probably was the first time that they had been under water, so it must have felt as though they were literally dying and being reborn.

When one becomes a minister, one takes on a new identity that may seem like a new life. Jesus' baptism signified his new life of ministry announcing the presence of the kingdom of God. It was the beginning of a new world based on repenting our old way of relating to one another and the way we lived and acted in God's creation. We are to live now as God has wanted us to live all along.

If we consider salvation merely an individual act of repentance that appeases a wrathful God saving us from his eternal damnation, then we have yet to undergo the baptism of Jesus. Only by repenting what we have done to exploit the earth and each other can we save ourselves and the world of which we are a part.

That is the revolution to which Jesus called us, which his life is the example.

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