Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 23:1-15

Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 23:1-15

God created two institutions: Home and Church. Humans organized three institutions: Profit (Company and Business), Non-Profit (Cancer Society, Homeless Shelter, INC, and schools), and Distributor organizations (Power, Resource, and Opportunities, for example Government). Those institutions that God created should guide and lead the human institutions.

Profit organizations tend to seek only for profit. They need to be guided to take social responsibilities also. Non-profit organizations tend to pay attention to only those groups that they intend to care. They need to be supplemented by broader perspective and actions. Schools, for example, tend to teach technical information and skills and give license to the graduates. However, graduates from the prestigious schools sometimes are arrested by their crimes. Governments tend to side with the powerful and need to be reminded that the powerless are also precious citizens of the country.

However, we cannot just “occupy” the street and criticize those groups to solve our problems. We need to raise citizens who have moral character and mature personality. They can go into those three areas and lead them into the right direction for the people that God loves.  For this purpose God created homes and churches.

In the Bible, when God created humans, God created us male and female and blessed us to be fruitful and multiplied and rule over the creation. God created a home to care for God’s creation! (Genesis 1-2)

But the first institution that God created to care for the creation was broken when we sinned (Genesis 3).  Husband and wife blamed each other and one brother killed another out of jealousy (Genesis 4). Violence and wickedness were rampant all over the world (Genesis 6). Even after the Flood (Genesis 7-10), humans still built the tower of Babel to reach to the heaven (Genesis 11).

To fix this problem, God called out Abram (Genesis 12). The first thing that God said to Abram was to “leave your home town and your kindred.” Then God promised Abram to be a blessing for all peoples. This means that God created a new family, which is not united by the blood but united by the faith. Apostle Paul says this principle in this way: “In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring (Romans 9:8).” This is Church! Our church is created by God to do the work that homes could not finish.

Home and church are the only places where God’s love grows. Those two institutions are created by God for us to practice God’s love. These places are where we experience forgiveness and care. When we are compared and defeated by others in human institutions we can come to these God-created-institutions and recover our strength and restore our identities.

That is why Jesus in today’s Bible passage rebukes the legal experts and Pharisees. They did not practice the unconditional love but practiced judgment. They did not serve people but demanded services. If people cannot find love and recognition at home and in church, where can they find them? Church is the hope for this broken world. Church should work with homes to provide safe havens for the lost souls and nurture them to be strong leaders.

Churches will strengthen homes through their ministries and homes will support churches through their participation. Together we can transform this world by raising disciples of Jesus. There is no quick fix for the world problems. We have to have patience and nurture people one at a time. That is why we have mid-week program for our community. That is why we bless our children and youth in our midst. Together we can build a community of love where people can experience forgiveness and the second chance. Would you be a part of this wonderful mission for God’s Kingdom? God has great expectation for you and me!

  1. In what way, would you support this wonderful mission?
  2. What are the things that we can do to strengthen homes?

 

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About biblepreacher

United Methodist Church Pastor. My wife, Hysung Hong Lee, is also a UMC pastor and my children are all grown and have their independent life. We have now empty nest. I and my wife are collecting some mission eggs now in that nest!
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