Second Sunday of Advent
Sermon: “Preparation” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 3:1-6
is an opportunity for church members to share their gifts, talents, and passions with others in the church and in the community.
Sermon: “Between Alpha and Omega” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: Revelation 1:4b-8
Sermon: “How Then, Shall We Live?” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: Hebrews 10:11-14, 19-25
In my sermon last Sunday, I referenced a quote by William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury, who said, “The church is the only institution that exists primarily for the benefit of those who are not its members.” It reminds me of Jesus’ teaching to his disciples: “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
In this issue of The Word, you’ll see how we are trying to live out the Archbishop’s quote and the teaching of Jesus. This past weekend, our Youth and Young Families participated in a Rake-a-thon, serving our neighbors who are not our members. You will also find options for serving others this month through the mission opportunities lined up by our WMU (Woman’s Missionary Union).
Even as we consider ways to serve those who are not our members, we do not neglect our members. Last Sunday, our Deacons hosted a wonderful Harvest Luncheon that served over 120 members and their guests. In this issue, you’ll also find descriptions and members of all our Deacon-led Circle of Caring teams that seek to serve both members and non-members alike.
During our stewardship season, we are reminded that offering our service is another way that we can be good stewards of God’s gifts, so that we may live into God’s plan that gives us hope and a future.
~ Blessings, Michael
“I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:10 |
Sunday, November 8 : Brett Lissenden – “How UBC Has Opened My Heart to Ministry Beyond Ourselves”
Sunday, November 15 : Jackie Lockwood – “I Have Confidence in God’s Leading Us Into the Future”
Sunday, November 22 : COMMITMENT SUNDAY
God has called University Baptist Church to minister to the University Community and to the residents of the Greater Charlottesville-Albemarle Community serving as agents of Christ’s love and justice for those in need and offering a vital family of faith. (UBC Mission Statement)
Sermon: “The Extravagance of Two Coins” – Dr. Michael Cheuk
Scripture: Mark 12:38-44
This week I’ve been reading Walter Brueggemann, a prolific scholar of the Old Testament, who writes about the “dialogical” nature of our relationship with God. Tracing ancient Israel’s two-way dialogue with God, he notes the ways the psalms of lament call God to account, demanding the divine faithfulness that has been promised: “Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?” (Ps. 89:49). Brueggemann contends that our faith communities continue to engage in a dialogical relationship with God, through prayerful, communal truth-telling in the face of injustice and suffering.
For the past year, I have served on the planning team for the BCM (a.k.a. BSU) fall retreat, which was held at Eagle Eyrie this past weekend. On Saturday, the (very loud) band was playing a song I didn’t know, and as I hummed along distractedly, the words on the screen suddenly jumped out at me: “So remember Your people. Remember Your children. Remember Your promise, Oh God.”
It is true, of course, that theologies both profound and problematic inhabit the often-contrasted worlds of hymnody and contemporary Christian music. Yet as someone most accustomed to traditional music, I sometimes find myself approaching contemporary worship music with reservations, even a smug suspicion. The auditorium packed with enthusiastic college students felt worlds away from the ivory tower of Old Testament scholarship, yet here were words echoing the essay I had been reading a few nights before, a dialogical pleading with God.
I realized, all over again, that although our worship styles and instrumentation are different, at the heart of our worship is the same God, the same yearning for God’s grace, and the same plaintive cry for God’s presence when the seeming absence of the divine is unpalatable.
So this weekend I am grateful: for diverse expressions of Christian theology and worship, for the contemporary songs I learned at Eagle Eyrie and those selected by Alba and the youth at UBC last Sunday, for our traditional hymns and anthems, and for a congregation willing to stretch ourselves to listen for God’s voice in well-worn and unfamiliar ways, as we “sing to the Lord a new song.”
Youth Sunday Sermon: “New Beginnings” – Lindsey Belt