This is the first sermon in a series called "Renaissance". The standard definition of renaissance is “a rebirth or revival” and is usually talking about this revival taking place in an area of culture or learning. For anyone who took art history or even Western Civilization, you’ve studied an entire period of Europe’s history called the Renaissance. This period during the 14th through the 16th centuries saw a time when people had endured the dark ages and the millions of deaths from 13th century plagues. And as with many cases in history and in life, when they left these dark periods behind them, the people grasped onto something more hopeful. They recaptured some of the beauty from art & literature form the classical age. They didn’t just embrace the past but progressed further. You saw new ideas in government, an increased passion in the sciences and a renewed emphasis on overall learning. The culture sought after what inspired them.
For the next several weeks we're going to look at how many false ideas about what the church is supposed to be have created something that Christ never intended. We’re not creating something new. Actually, nothing I can preach is really new. And surely the purpose of the church and God’s plan for us aren’t new either. But sometimes we can forget how vibrant & beautiful God’s plan for us can be. It’s at those times that we need a Renaissance. We need to run away from the dark & dreary past as we grab on to the truly beautiful purpose that God has for us through His church.
Today we are going to focus on how one idea should shape everything we do. We have been called in so He can send us back out. What about worshipping God as the reason we’re here? How about learning about God’s Word? Does taking care of healing emotional, physical, & spiritual needs take a back seat? When you look at the scripture what you will find is that if you do all of these things well, they will simultaneously have the impact of bringing other people in. And if it doesn’t, then we’re not serving God in the way He desires for our lives or our church.
Matthew 4: 12-13, 17-22
John 1: 35-45
Matthew 28: 18-20