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The Call by God

Abram and Sarai

September 19 Sermon: God’s Call — Genesis 12:1-8

The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when Abram set out from Haran. Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So Abram built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to Abram.

Create a timeline of your life.  When and where did you experience the call or presence of God?

The Journey of Abram and Sarai

The Creation

September 12 Sermon: The Creation — Genesis 1:1-2:3a

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness God called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning — the first day.

And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above the expanse. And it was so. God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning — the second day.

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters God called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in the fruit according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. God also made the stars.

God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning — the fourth day.

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” And there was evening, and there was morning — the fifth day.

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created human beings in God’s own image, in the image of God they were created; male and female God created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground — everything that has the breath of life in it — I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work God had been doing; so on the seventh day God rested from all this work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on the seventh day God rested from all the work of creating that God had done.

What aspect of creation is God’s greatest gift to you?

What does it mean for you to be created in the image of God?

Davinci's Sistine Chapel

 

What do we learn about God when we look at other people?

(photo credit: LECY Design/Logos Productions)

“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16-17

This fall, I will be working through key stories from the Bible that shape our journey with God: our creation, our call by God, the exodus, etc.  The little picture above provides an overview of the journey we’ll go on together.

We begin this journey this week by focusing on the Bible.  We United Methodists used to be called “Bible Moths” because we spent so much time hovering around the Bible as a bright light.  An illustrated Bible sits on our Table of Holy Communion.  The Bible is God’s Word that contains all things we need to know for our salvation.  The goal of our reading the Bible is to transform our own lives and the world around us.

As I will do each week, I invite you to share your comments and responses to help me prepare for preaching the Word.  This week, where does the Bible intersect with your life?  What are your favorite Bible stories?  Has the Bible made a difference in your life?  As we speak together on this blog, we will find an authentic Word from the Word of God for all of us in these days.

To participate fully, I invite you to either subscribe by email (there is a link right under my picture on the right-hand side of the home page), or add my blog to your feeder (for the computer nerds among you, a little click at the top-right-hand side of the home page).

What does the Bible mean to you?

What difference has the Bible made in your life?

Hello world!

Welcome to my first post on my first blog: pastorandylangford!

At a Spring 2010 meeting at Central UMC, several members urged me to consider new ways of sharing my thoughts, and especially my sermons, with members of our congregation and maybe even a wider community.  They urged this old dog to try a new trick.

I thank my daugther Ann Green Langford Duncan for setting up this site for me, and for you.

Each week, I hope to share the Scripture for my next sermon, some initial thoughts about how to hear and respond to this Word of God, and maybe even some art to stimulate our thoughts.

I then invite you to share your comments and responses to help me prepare for preaching the Word.  Where does the Scripture intersect with your life?  What is happening in our community that this Word addresses?  What does the congregation at Central need to hear this week?  Together, we will find an authentic Word for all of us in these days.

This fall, I will be working through key stories from the Bible that shape our journey with God: our creation, the call by God, the exodus, etc.

To participate fully, I invite you to either subscribe by email (there is a link right under my picture on the right-hand side of the home page), or add my blog to your feeder (a little click at the top-right-hand side of the home page).

I expect to be stretched by this process and by you.  You may also engage with God, others in our community, and me in a new way.  May we together grow as the Word of God guides us in our spiritual journeys.