Friday, August 22, 2008

For Sunday, August 24 - Getting the Keys!

Matthew 16:13-30
Time to get back in the sermon saddle this week. It's been good to take a break while on vacation and I'm quite thankful that we have such good folks to preach while I'm away - like Everett Curry and Peter Clay. Several people have said how good their sermons were. Our first week of vacation was fun time with family - camping near Mt. Shasta at Lake Siskiyou. Warm water, swimming, basking in a windy sun, campfires and smores at night. The kids read a ton, I swam a fair amount, and it was generally a quiet time with Ana's family. The second week was sort of vacation, sort of work as I got ready for the El Salvador mission report in worship and the Community BBQ in 100+ degree weather. Now, back to reality...
This week we're taking a look at the back side of a familiar story. Jesus asks, "What are the people saying about me - who do they think I am?" And after a bit of chit-chat, Peter pipes in, "You're the Messiah, the Son of the Living God." Good answer! (applause). That's what we normally focus on when we look at this passage and, indeed, that's the focal point here. But on the backside of discussion, Jesus makes a statement that has three (insert sermon points here) key parts to it. He makes statements that have perplexed theologians and thinkers ever since:
1. "On this rock I will build my church"
2. "The gates of Hades will not overcome it"
3. "I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven"
My head's been swimming with all of the opinions I've read about each of these statements this week. The least controversial is #2, the most is #1. The most ignored is #3. Jesus only bothers to give an explanation to #3, but even those words are open to wide interpretation. If you'd like to chime in with your thoughts about these, go for it! I value your comments. Check out the question too - I may use replies in my sermon intro. I have a good memory from my youth I'll be sharing as the sermon intro.

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Thanks for posting!