Time for a Copernicus Revolution?

Order

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Opening Audio (10:15am)
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio

#1 ONE Video #1 (4:41)
Call to Worship
Wisdom Song (Laura Woodley Osman)

Live/OnLine
Prayer                                                         Rick
Story                                                           Online-Hannah/Andrew
                                                                                In Person- Nikki/Dave
Music 1                                                         Abbie & Billy
           Grace Greater than our sin                        Towner & Harriette Johnston
Beyond Our Marketplace                           In Person - Rick
                                                                                 On Line - Rick & Lita Sample
Music 2                                                          Abbie & Billy
            In Christ Alone                                            Keith & Townend
Message    ‘Copernicus Revolution’           Rick
Music 3                                                          Abbie
           Amazing Grace/Chains are Gone              Tomlin, Newton, & Giglio
Community                                                   Rick
Benediction                                                  Online-Hannah/Andrew
                                                                                  In Person- Nikki/Dave
Sharing the Peace                                        Rick


Closing Audio
Spotify - Not In A Hurry Radio

Voices & Words

Prayer

God,

We look at our pain, we cry out in our afflictions, we think all hope is lost, we see nothing but misery.

We remind ourself that our hope is the hope that can only come from you.

We cannot erase the troubles from our minds, the grit of ashes line our throat, the taste of poison sits on our tongue.

We cannot forget, we may be at the bottom of a deep pit, but it is there that we remember hope and on it our grasp is firm.
God, your love never runs out, your mercy never dries up. Your love and mercy is new every morning.

How Great is your faithfulness! This is why we stay, your are our harbor of my refuge.

For the one who passionately waits, and to the other who diligently seeks, you are the hope that carries us through good and bad.

This is why we stick it out, for ultimately, all we have is you.

We stay because you are faithful even when we are not.

Your stockpiles of loyal love are immense and have no bottom.

We gather before you, for you alone are our hope.
Amen.
(Lamentations 3:16-33)


Our Story 

You say you want a revolution.  Well, you know we all want to change the world. You tell me that it's evolution well, you know we all want to change the world.  But when you talk about destruction don't you know that you can count me out…

Count me out?

I think it might be count me in.

Count me in, count me in for destruction?

I hope that’s not right.

Let me amend that…But when you talk about destruction don’t you know that you can count me out, no in, no out, maybe in?

That sounds a lot better.

Does it?

Can I continue?

That depends, are you going to say it’s going to be alright?

Are you going to claim to have a real solution

You are not going to ask me for a contribution are you?

These are not my words, they come from John Lennon, I’m just doing what I can.

Not that I know this John guy, but I agree that can just do what we can do.

I’m not sure that is really what he was saying.

I agree. To say ‘I’m just doing what I can’ is kind of like saying, ‘I don’t really want to do anything that will cost me, anything that does not require sacrifice.”

Which is probably why he was singing about a revolution.

Changing our mind, reversing our self centered attitudes and beliefs, usually takes a revolution.
Sometimes, a revolution produces destruction that is really not destructive, it is actually constructive. It eliminate the wrong thinking, the selfish thinking, and replaces it with right thinking, selfless thinking.
Like the descendants of Noah who traveled from the east and stopped at the same place. They all thought the same, they all spoke the same, they all agreed and never disagreed. Their minds were stuck, they couldn’t even see that they had limited themselves to themselves. They were ignoring all who thought and spoke differently than them. Then dismissed anyone different, anyone who wasn’t them.
They were so stuck that they couldn’t see outside of themself, they could only see themself, soon they saw themself as God.
God saw the dangerous direction they were headed and said, ‘“Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them to places beyond their limited perspective, he forced them to consider life outside their selves. 
They began to speak differently, think differently, disagree, and have to listen and learn. God shook them up and scattered them. God started a revolution - they didn’t even realize that they were part of this significant event. They soon realized that they didn’t know everything and that they couldn’t do everything, and that they were not God.
They saw it as an inconvenience but it was significant beyond their marketplace. Makes you wonder what revolution God is inviting us to join.
So I guess we do want to count ourself in.


Music 1
Grace Greater Than Our Sin
    CCLI Song # 31690
    Daniel Brink Towner | Julia Harriette Johnston
Verse 1
Marvellous grace of our loving Lord
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilt

Chorus
Grace grace God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace grace God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Verse 2
Sin and despair like the sea waves cold
Threaten the soul with infinite loss
Grace that is greater yes grace untold
Points to the refuge the mighty Cross

Chorus
Grace grace God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace grace God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin

Verse 3
Marvellous infinite matchless grace
Freely bestowed on all who believe
You that are longing to see His face
Will you this moment His grace receive

Chorus
Grace grace God's grace
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within
Grace grace God's grace
Grace that is greater than all our sin


Music 2
In Christ Alone
CCLI Song # 3350395
Keith Getty | Stuart Townend
Verse 1
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light my strength my song
This Cornerstone this solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love what depths of peace
When fears are stilled when strivings cease
My Comforter my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

Verse 2
In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

Verse 3
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

Verse 4
No guilt in life no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand


Message        ‘Copernicus Revolution’

Change is difficult, it is uncomfortable. When change intersects with the established norms, it can become dangerous and deadly. Even change that is accepted and firmly rooted often finds that it is never fully secure. Think about revolutions aimed to make right the ingrained wrongs right and just.

Consider the revolution in Tunisia which officially began in Tunisia on December 18, 2010. The metaphoric and literal spark for the revolution took place the day before, December 17, as a 26 year old street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire to protest injustices. His death embolden thousands to take to the streets and even spread to 19 other middle east nations. This week, Tunisia’s first democratically elected president announced that he will rule by decree  decimating the gains of the revolution - change is just difficult, sometimes it takes too much work, sometimes it is easier to go back to the comfortable miserable ways things were before.

In the mid 1500s two revolutions took place reverberating around the globe impacted everything from religion to astronomy, economic systems to social systems, calling out arrogance and abuse. They did not take place with force, but there were some afflicted and a handful of casualties. These revolutions began in the heart of a small handful of individuals who found that they could not remain blind to truth, that they could not ignore injustice, that they were not able to be silent. One began as a young monk stepped out on the city square and proclaimed his confrontation of the established church by nailing his complaints, 99 of them, to the church door. The other began as a mathematician, astronomer, economist, religious leader hesitantly and slowly began to share an equation he had formulated.

When Martin Luther challenged the well ingrained religious system that had held onto unquestioned power and political influence for over a thousand years he was surely aware of the scorn that would come his way. When Nicolaus Copernicus began sharing his equation with his contemporaries he feared their rejection and dismissal.

Luther’s battle cry was ‘Justification by faith alone’ - Copernicus was ‘We are not the center of the universe.’ Luther’s study of the Bible led him to the conclusion that many of the practices and teachings of the church were errant and often abusive, practices that were seemingly set in stone. Copernicus study of astronomy, mathematics, and even religion brought him to the conclusion that the earth, indeed, is not the center of the universe, another deeply accepted theory.

When your audience sees no need in change, persuasion is like banging your head against a brick wall. Just ask the prophet Isaiah, or Jeremiah, or any of their contemporaries who were confronting the heartless religion of the Hebrews. The were preaching to a crowd that took pride in their diligence to religious practices and their holy sounding words.

Sometimes a change of heart and mind is the most difficult revolution attempted. If you narrow it down, both men were fighting against s likeminded close-mindedness. Luther was fighting against a religious institution that had their massive roots deep and secure since 300 years after Christ.  The power of those being questioned who had never been questioned before was outrageous. Luther was fighting against an ingrained belief that the church was the center of the universe. Copernicus too was in a battle against ingrained, seldom questioned, misconstrued, deeply rooted errant beliefs and at war against the belief that the earth was the center of the universe.

Being the center is the naturally desired place to reside. It is our human nature to look out for self first.

Accepting change is difficult for all of us, listen to the words of  Martin Luther as he sat around a dinner table discussing Copernicus.

"There is talk of a new astrologer who wants to prove that the earth moves and goes around instead of the sky, the sun, the moon, just as if somebody were moving in a carriage or ship might hold that he was sitting still and at rest while the earth and the trees walked and moved. The fool wants to turn the whole art of astronomy upside-down. However, as Holy Scripture tells us, so did Joshua bid the sun to stand still and not the earth.”
Martin Luther

This is what we do, when reality does not match up with our view of truth, our interpretation of scripture, we turn our back on reality, and in this case science itself, and embrace failed views of scripture. Luther used Joshua 10:10-15 to ignore the possibility that his view of truth was incorrect. We all do that.

The Holy Spirit works often times by making us squirmish in the face of our reality and doctrine. The Holy Spirit works to bring us to an uncomfortable place which serves as the catalyst to dig deeper, to search further. Instead, we often ignore reality and the Holy Spirit, we seek to discredit the experts, especially the scientists, we hold firmly to a human held theory of God’s truth. We become lazy, we look at the obstacles and decide that they are too huge and we are too small. So, we choose to accept falsehoods dismissing the reality that lies in front of us, we go backwards instead of forward in our relationship with God.

Consider the tower at Babel. A story of a group of people who had placed themself at the center of their belief and their faith. The story of Babel is not really a story about building a tower, but about the people themself. Their endeavor came from a wrong perspective motivated by an errant philosophy. They sought to secure their place, to make sure the world knew that they were the true center of the world. The problem was this group of people were the descendants of the three sons of Noah - a severely flawed group that grew as a people from a single perspective of the universe. In their eyes they were important, they were essential, they were always right. God had rescued them alone allowing everyone else to perish - they had to be the VIPs of the universe. Building the tower was an attempt to proclaim this fact. God saw this group of inbreds, a people who heard no voice except their own, a people who saw themselves as the center not only of the universe, but as equal with God. They had no other voices to hear or perspectives to see. They alone reigned, they alone were powerful, they alone were were the center. God saw the power of this acceptance, this blind adherence, and he scattered them. He mixed up their language so communication would be difficult and require work. God scattered them to new perspectives and to new opinions, and different voices. God shook up their comfort and sent them out. God put the seed for revolution within them. It was now their choice, what they would do with this was up to them.

Another revolutionary, over a thousand years before Luther and Copernicus made an uncomfortable stir among the people and their institutions . Jesus stood in front of a crowd of thousands and proclaimed God’s call to faith. Jesus’ words were unfamiliar, they were uncomfortable, they made the most confident squirm. The words challenged, shook, confronted, and even outraged. Words that tore at deeply held beliefs, and assumptions that had become their perceived truth. The words were in direct conflict with their own stance at the center of the universe, words that were foreign to their reality.  Jesus said…

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.“

You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”

You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”

You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being filled with care, you find yourselves cared for.”

You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”

You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s  when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”

You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.”
Matthew 5:3-10 (MSG)

British Theologian, John Hicks, argues that it is past  time for us to have a theological revolution like that of Copernicus in which ‘God assumes the prime place at the center and Christianity joins the orbit of the great religions circling around. Like the scientific revolution, this one requires the surrender of the primary place and privileged view. Absolute truth moves to the center of the system, leaving people of faith with meaningful perceptions of that truth. This does not require anyone to give up the claim to uniqueness. It only requires the acceptance of unique neighbors, who concur that the brightness they see at the center of everything exceeds their ability to posses it.’
Barbara Brown Taylor, Holy Envy

Is it time for Copernicus Revolution in your mind and heart?


Music 3
Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)
CCLI Song # 4768151
Chris Tomlin | John Newton | Louie Giglio

Verse 1
Amazing grace how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see

Verse 2
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

Chorus
My chains are gone I've been set free
My God my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love amazing grace

Verse 3
The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

Verse 4
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine
 

Community
Community
Work Day Thanks
hin·nê·nî  (Here I Am) - Bible Studies begin
Next Sunday - ‘Jesus said what?!?’
Covid Update/Thanks
    
Bendiction Blessing

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ezekiel 36:26-27

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today we would listen to his voice! Psalm 95:6-7

The prophet Isaiah said: ‘You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn—and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear. Matthew 16:14-16

 As we leave this place and enter our marketplace, my the world see a new heart and a new spirit within each of us.

As we venture into our public square, may we engage with all others as Christ engaged with them.

In our journey here and beyond, may we allow God to be or shepherd and may we listen for his voice.

In all that we do may our eyes be open and may our ears listen to hear.


Closing Peace

May God’s grace, peace, joy, love, hope, and squirmy revolution, go with you.

And also with you.

Let’s take God’s instruction to open the doors of our hearts and minds into the marketplace and the public square. Let’s go to show the world that the Kingdom of God is near, let’s go and bring peace along with us to share, let’s go speaking words of the Father, let’s go expressing gratitude for all we’ve been given, let’s go letting the world see the Incarnate Response of God. Let’s us go taking advantage of all our squirmish moments. Let’s go willingly being a revolutionary avenue of God. Let’s go!

Published by rickanthony1993

Husband of Andrea, Father of five, pastor of Grace Fellowship Norman OK.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: