Messengers – Sermon Reflections

Sermon Reflections from Sunday, Nov. 5 
By Andy Gilstrap 
In 2 Corinthians 4, we are asked to be messengers, errand runners, carriers of the Message.   Going.  Doing.  Being.  Traveling.  We are described as, “unadorned clay pots”.  Clay pots were purposeful, functional, useful, and in-use.  


You’ve heard said again and again,”Life is a journey”…and we are all on it. We feel the weight and the miles of a well-traveled life. Heavy. Hard. Long. Unpredictable. Joy and adventure, balanced with the tension of trials and heartache. How are we to carry a precious message when we don’t feel so “precious” ourselves?  Why even choose to use a vessel that is cracked, unassuming, battered, or thrown-around?  


The further along in life you are the more you appreciate what is ahead of you, what is around you, and where you’ve been…but the longer and more difficult traveling becomes.  We are suppose to carry this message, but we don’t carry ourselves very well…do we?  We stand on street corners looking at the road ahead questioning the effort it takes.  We feel as we’ve been dumped on the curb.  We feel as if we have been beaten in the wake of passing cars, covered in dirt, weather, and trash.  Journey?  It doesn’t always so adventurous, does it?  Sometimes life takes its best shot.


We catch our breath and once again have that feeling that we are suppose to move.  Called to go.  Something to do. Somewhere to go.  Life moves. The road calls. As Jack Kerouac said in his novel, On The Road,
“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer days to go.  But no matter, the road is life.”
In verse 6 MSG, (before the scripture from Rachel’s sermon) the author writes, It started when God said “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.


In the Message’s version of 

Revelation 1:16, what John saw in the face of Christ is translated as perigee sun.

 Perigee is when an object, or satellite in its orbit is at its nearest point to the center of the Earth.  Perigee sun is when the sun is closest to the Earth. God is both warmth and light. Sunlight reveals. E. Peterson comments, “Christ’s face reveals all that is dark, both in us and around us. But that’s not all it reveals. It also reveals beauty and order.” Light also does something else. It brings forth life. Think of a seed lying in the soil. Dark. Damp. Isolated. Seemingly void of life.  It needs sunlight. Sometimes we feel buried and alone.  Left to our own.  Stepped on.  Not knowing which way is up.  In the dark.  Are we dormant?


All the while the light is breaking in, breaking through. Shining on us. Life-light. We aren’t thrown out on the curb with no where to go, no life to live.  This message  we carry, it is life teeming within us.  The sun is at its closest. Its there all along.  We are “thrown down, battered, bruised, but not destroyed”…like a well worn and most trust suitcase on the journey.  We carry around in us everything we need.  The message.  Life itself.  We open the case and let life burst forth.  In the midst of trials and loneliness, Christ has dawned new life, new light. Your bags are packed with this truth.  You are alive. Just like a seed, you are being raised.  


“…But no matter, the road is life”.  So we travel on, toting this message  deep within.

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