9/7/03, P13B

“…they proclaimed it even more.”
Mark 7: 24-37

he spread of the Gospel is totally dependant upon talking and telling.

Professor Donald Davidson died last Sunday at the age of 86. He influenced a generation of thinkers with his penetrating insights into linguistic analysis and the nature of truth. The major theme of his lectures, as a distinguished professor in twenty major universities, was the notion that language was the basis for society. If this is true then we will need to keep retelling the old, old story of Jesus and His glory, how He gave His life on Calvary to save a wretch like me, and you.

In our text we find the Disciples telling the story, even after they were told not to tell. Indeed, a recurring experience in the Gospels is this compulsion of those who had been touched by Jesus to keep on proclaiming it more and more, even unto the ends of the planet, and until the end of time.

Social interchange was happening in the spectator stands at the Carrollton/Newnan high school football game on Friday night. Talk, talk and more talk. It was hard to keep our focus on the game; and I was right in the midst of the talking and telling. It seemed like most of the fans were my members, neighbors or friends that I have made already in my new home town. We experienced Americana at its best!

I overheard several telling the story about our church and our Lord. Amidst the worded world, something was happening that Prof. Davidson would have called social exchange. In events like that God comes in and creates relationships that can become the springboard of evangelism. Perhaps someone is here today because you were invited Friday night.

Folks keep asking me how things are going in our new church and community and I get to proclaim the Good News: “Things are going great; I have to pinch myself to make sure that I am not dreaming.” I tell them that this church is made up of the finest folks that I have ever known; not a bad apple in the bunch! I tell how most of you don’t seem to know just how much the Lord is blessing us in this great city and church, and I tell them that it is all because of the power of the Gospel.

It is a true miracle how the story goes round and round. In line for supper at the I.L.I. Annual International Conference of Christian leaders from over 30 nations, I started a conversation with a handsome African couple. “Have you been to the U.S.A. before? What cities were you in?” The small town of Brevard, North Carolina was named and I interrupted, “Who could you know in Brevard?” Alfred Kalembo became excited when he said, “My spiritual parents, the people that introduced me to Jesus, were from there, Morris and Vanelle Davis.”

It’s good to have good news to proclaim! Perhaps we can identify with the folks in this Sunday’s sermon story whom Jesus encouraged not to tell about the miracles that were occurring as a result of his ministry, but the more he asked them not to tell, the more they shouted it from their housetops. Sometimes it’s just hard not to tell the good news of what God is doing in this world through His people.

Down through the ages the engine that has kept the Church moving forward has been this same process of telling the stories of Jesus. As public relations experts have learned, the best advertisement is the word of mouth sharing of a satisfied customer.

The power that will continue our momentum in our beloved church is your sharing of what God is doing in our community of faith and in our personal lives. So, share with someone today the good news about what is happening in our midst.

It is not by human power that the Gospel goes round and round. It is by the power of God’s Holy Spirit at work through us that takes up our words and utilized them for His Kingdom’s goals.

Our modern world provides many of ways to tell the story of Jesus. Preaching has been and will forever be the chief tool of the Holy Spirit to reach persons’ hearts. It is the most common tool for communicating the Gospel and winning persons to Christ. However, the written word is increasing in its reach. The internet has become an increasing way to reach out through words. Internet access is gradually replacing books. Television and radio are still vital ways to grab people’s hearts. Christian radio and TV are still expanding.

Today we celebrate the pageantry of Holy Communion. It will forever be the sacred acting out of Jesus’ Last Supper and a reminder that we are saved by the blood of the Cross and that our hope is through the Resurrection. In Communion we become actors in the world’s most popular drama.

It is not that we are saved by participating in Communion for it is a reminder of something beyond itself. It conjures up deep feelings and connections to God’s Grace in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit takes it and re-seals our bond as believers.

We come now for a renewal and resurgence of our faith as we make our humble confessions to Almighty God. We invite all Christians who are willing to witness in your coming that you are a true believer in Jesus Christ as your Savior. This Table is open for you. Come and visible tell the story!

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
9/7/03, P13B