Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Week 1: “The more important your cheese is to you the more you want to hold on to it.”

Scripture: Exodus 16:1-3; 17:1-3

When using a book or current set of events as the “hook” for a sermon series I cannot assume that people will be familiar with the setting. In the first message I will introduce the main characters: two mice named “Sniff” and “Scurry” and two little people named “Hem” and “Haw.” I will also introduce the concept that the “cheese” represents the things in our lives that we value, they are important to us.

We want to hold on to the things that are important to us. We may hold on to them because they are familiar to us. Let’s face it, change can be troubling. This is especially true for a church!

We will take a look at the things we hold on to as people and as a church. These things can become our identity if we aren’t careful. But things change. The “cheese” gets moved. Yet, we keep doing the same things, hoping that things will change back to the way they were.

In Exodus we see God’s people complaining about being in the wilderness. They long for the way things were in Egypt (they want their old cheese—cheese that they understood). Was life good in Egypt? No way! It was familiar to them.

In our own life and in our church, God continually moves the “cheese” and we will miss his blessings if we insist on having things the way we have grown accustom. The Hebrew people would never have returned to the “promised land” if they had stayed in Egypt. A tremendous blessing would have been missed.

The leadership of the PCUSA and all pastors should read Who Moved My Cheese. It is too easy to long for the past—the things we are familiar with, the things we are accustomed to. The Reformation would never have happened if people had simply held on to the past. The great revivals in this country would never have happened if people just held on to the way church was done in the past.

Where is God moving the “cheese” in my life and your life? What do we need to do to find that new “cheese?” Where is God moving the “cheese” in your church? How tightly are people holding on to the way things have been in the past? Where is God moving the “cheese” in the PCUSA? How tightly is the PCUSA holding on to the past?

Note: This doesn’t mean that we forget the past! We celebrate the past and what we have learned from it. And some things DO NOT CHANGE. Salvation through Jesus Christ alone DOES NOT CHANGE. The message doesn’t change… just the method through which it is delivered.


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