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good morning friends how you doing today great to see you if you’re here and joining us for the first mile initiative we’re going out into the community later today we’re delighted you’re joining us in that and if you haven’t signed up if you would like to get involved in some projects we’ll just go and cause dan some problems by trying to sign up last minute and he’ll be fine with it uh don’t worry it’s great to see all those spring images on the backdrop uh how many of you guys are ready for it not to snow again I like we can now I love the snow so I’m like it can snow in the mountains all year I’m fine we can keep going but down here I want to plant some stuff and you know just get involved in spring we are in the middle of a series though we called searched we took some of the most googled questions about faith about walking in the way of Jesus and said how can we answer them so first week we looked at the problem of evil if God is

good why do bad things happen to good people last week we wrestled with this this kind of scary question why does God hate me which is the second most googled question about about life in within the way of Jesus and this week this one’s this one’s a fun one we’re going to wrestle with this question I won’t show it to you actually I’ll uh I’ll hold on for a second the point of these questions is you may not be wrestling with them but it seems like loads of people are you may be okay with all of these things and yet your neighbors your co-workers your friends and family they are wrestling with them and so what we want to do is two things if you’re wrestling with them we want to help clear some roadblocks to faith we want to clear some of the pathways so you can jump into life with Jesus and if you’re not wrestling with them well we want to equip you so you can have great conversations with your neighbors your co-

workers your families your enemies your salesman your dot dot anyone that you meet we had the sales same salesman come to our door five times this week so really it was an opportunity right to just share some stuff let’s start here what is the most ridiculous law that you have encountered the most ridiculous law like think about somewhere that you’ve been and you find out that something is a law and you’re like really that that doesn’t seem like it should be in the rules maybe it’s a speed limit that seems way too low for how wide this road is and how long it stretches and you’re like 55 maybe 155 but 55 just seems too low maybe you have tensions with just different ways that the world operates but I think most of us at some time have encountered something and said really that this is yorkminster in the city of york in england it has these beautiful walls that run all around the city and york has a very particular ridiculous

law this is a law in the city of york except on sundays it is lawful to kill a scotsman in york if he is carrying a bow and arrow so and the lord just go into some more details you have to use a bow and arrow as well reportedly but if he comes inside the walls it goes back to these days whether the english and the scots they didn’t get on so well scotland has famously never been invaded which kind of makes sense when the thistles grow knee-high and the men all wear something that looks like skirts that’s not a nation of people that you want to mess with I’m really upsetting some scottish heritage people here but this law has been in effect for years except of course it doesn’t make sense so someone inquired as to the local council could you tell us an instance where this has actually happened and this was their response after an extensive search of our records I can confirm that there are no records of any scotsman being legally shot

with a bow and arrow in the last 10 years still leaves a lot of open territory there is however a vague recollection of an alleged occurrence several centuries ago which involved a group of men from the nottingham area dressed in green who are enjoying a stag that is bachelor night in york regardless of any ancient legislation in place that has not been repealed we can confirm that it is illegal to shoot a welsh or scottish or any other person regardless of the day location or the choice of weaponry just making sure that they just got everything covered there it’s obviously a ridiculous all right and there’s other laws that you encounter that just I’m just not so sure I found this old photo of back when laura and I were just young things with our first child uh sat there on a train oh kids there’s so much we would have to tell you now you’re not going to sleep for the next 10 years you’re going to be exhausted for forever but I took a little close-

up of the little sign in case you can’t see it and it says please keep feet off seats and there we are rebellious really really relaxing after a day in london and if you don’t want people to put your feet on the seats well don’t put the seats that close to the other seats I mean just asking for trouble we encounter these laws and whether we know it or not we ask several questions we ask things like does this person have an authority or the authority to make a decision on what I should do maybe we ask is the law stupid do I think it should be there and we probably ask something like do I like it do I want to do that we may not realize we do it but somewhere internally we have this whole process maybe we ask am I going to get caught or not maybe it’s just a matter of just you know can I get away with it but there’s these questions that go on and what we find is that one of the most googled questions about life with God is why does God

care what I do with my body why does God care what I do with my body and this was linked to a whole bunch of other questions questions about who you spend the night with questions about should I be allowed to get a tattoo questions about all sorts of things it was broad and it was wide but you can see it wrestling with that question right yes the question is does God why does God get to decide what I do with my body but there’s all these sub questions of well does he have the authority to do that do I like the fact that he thinks he can do that this is the wrestling that we’re seeing and watch how this question changes its nuance depending on where you put the emphasis why does God care what I do why does this God who’s big and huge if he’s really who he says he’s why is he interested in the details of my small little life why does he want to have a say in that why why is he interested at all doesn’t he have bigger things

to worry about if he spent less time worrying about what I did with my body maybe he could fix that problem of evil thing that we talked about in week one how about this little twist why does God care what I do with with my body there the the there’s the ownership thing right well it’s mine I’m an independent being I can do what I want it doesn’t have the authority to tell me what I can do it kind of a little similar but but a little nuance to it and then finally this one why does God care what I do with my body and there the influence is on the body yes there’s all sorts of other things that I can imagine God having a say in but that very personal thing that that doesn’t seem like his realm why that thing why the body just leave it alone let me do what I want to do let me feel do what feels good just stay out of it God we can have some interaction we could have some sense of like the spiritual thing but but in terms of the body let’s just let it

be what it is why does God care whether we have tattoos why does God care what we watch on tv late at night why does God care what we play with on the computers when nobody else is around all those different things that you could put into the realm of buddy why does God care how many people I spend the night with all of those different things the question is well why why should he get to say should be separate should be my own thing why does God care if I choose to put something like this on my body english professors should care the government the education system should care there’s a whole bunch of people that should care morally I think we’re all a little outraged but does God really care whether I choose to put marks on my skin and because this subject could get so broad we’re going to start off super narrow we’re

going to start specifically with tattoos does the God of the universe really care whether you get a tattoo and and that’s the one I picked because I think it’s fairly unemotional right there’s probably a bunch of you that have a fair few tattoos in the room I have never got one because I’m afraid of doing something like that without thinking about it and it’s with me for life and then there’s a bunch of you that probably say no I would never get a tattoo and I’m not sure whether people should and and yet we’re all fairly unemotional I should suspect about it once we get into some of the other things that this question maybe touches on man it gets deep really quick and we’ll get to some of those but we’re going to start here with tattoos why does the God of the universe care why is he interested and where does he even say that is that even one of the rules if you’re sure what the rules are leviticus 19 verse 28 leviticus is a text that is

probably around 3 000 years old it outlines all of the laws that were put in place to help people live the life that the God of israel wanted them to live and leviticus 19 28 sure enough says do not cut your buddies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself I am the lord when we’re in michigan one of the pastors in toronto which was fairly close by had a leviticus 1928 tattoo down the side of his arm and I couldn’t decide if it was delightfully ironic or just stupid and I’m still a little stuck does that just settle it is it just as simple as don’t do it there it is it’s black and white it’s in the text we can all go home we can get some nap before we go on the first mile initiative is it just a done deal well hopefully if you’ve been following Jesus for a while you’ve learned that there’s always a context thing that raises some questions it maybe isn’t as simple

as it seems on the surface so when we dig a little closer into this this is leviticus 19 verse 28 let’s step back a little bit and let’s let’s look at the little passage that this appears in do not eat any meat with the blood still in it no more red steak for you guys with the blood dripping out do not practice divination or seek omens do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard my haircut is the only male haircut sanctioned in the building but it doesn’t allow anything for people whose family genes do not enable them to grow a proper beard do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself I am the lord do not degrade your daughter by making her a prostitute or the land or turn to prostitution and be filled with wickedness observe my sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary I am the lord what an interesting group of laws of rules it’s hard to figure out right like why are some of them there

why are they mixed in with all these different ones does God really care as much about whether I trim the sides of my of my hair as he does about rule number five do those belong in the same category and what about this thing about sabbaths where does that fit in with whether we should eat meat that has blood in it certainly practicing divination may seem like it might be out but the meat thing that just doesn’t seem right these laws seem to fit together poorly it’s kind of hard to make sense of well why are they all even there and and for us three thousand years later as followers of Jesus are we supposed to obey all those do those all still apply let’s give it some more context this is going back to the start of this passage we’re in chapter 19 still but we’ve gone back to verse one or two and we get to see some of why this has been said the lord said to moses speak to the entire assembly of israel and say to them be holy because I the lord

your God I’m holy now if you’re new to this Jesus thing if you’re still figuring out faith when you see the word lord that may seem a bit of a strange word that was a personal name that this group of people the israelites had for their God it was a name that he had given them and so really what you’re seeing is the word God in a different language the the lord said to moses speak to the entire assembly of israel and say to them be holy because I am holy the lord you I the lord your God I’m holy this nation israel lived in amongst another group of nations this other group of nations all had particular practices and God said to them I want you to be different from them I want you to stand out whenever you see the word holy in the old testament you’re seeing this word qudos which means holy set apart different belonging in a special context we probably think of holy as maybe a church maybe a religious ceremony or

something like that but when they thought of holy specifically it was about how is it different how does it stand out and it seems like God’s instruction to this group of people is I stand out I am different I am sacred special in a specific context and I I want you to do the same so when you live amongst these other nations there’s things that they do that I specifically want you not to do I want you to be very clear that you are different to them live a different way in the ancient world the ancient world was centered around a split between what was sacred and what was common there was this decided split they knew very clearly when they were on sacred ground and when they were on every day ground so you might say that in terms of these buckets in front of us I’ll take one and say that on one side you have now the reason that we tape the second service not the stream the second service and not the first one now is because

I got those all wrong in the first service it was absolute incompetence so this just gives me a second chance you’ve got sacred and then you might say there’s two options I’ve got here for you you might say sacred and not sacred it’s the best description I could get other than common the people of three thousand years ago three and a half thousand years ago were very clear that there were some things that were sacred and there were some things that were common and they were very aware of which sphere they were operating in at different times so when this group of people leaves a land called egypt God takes them into the desert and he says I want you to build a tent and in this tent my presence will dwell that’s where you will experience and encounter me when they got to the later land israel they built a temple and God said my presence will be in the temple that is sacred then there is everywhere else there is

not sacred there is one day a week the sabbath day that is sacred it is a special day it is set apart it is holy there are the other days they are not sacred there is the tithe of your possessions the ten percent that they would give to the priests those are sacred and then there’s the other stuff that is not sacred but when you were an unholy person just a normal everyday person that had all of these failings all of these faults and you had to move from this realm to this realm well how did you do that how did you have access how did you make sure that it was going to be okay how did you make sure this great big holy God didn’t just strike you down for not being good enough and so there were these set of rules that enabled people to do that so roughly you would have the sacred place a temple or something like that and a sacred man would help you figure out how to make the transition so someone doing something like

what I’m doing right now would say I’m going to make sure everything is right for you to move from here to here and to do it safely and that sacred man would have a sacred text it would have a list of laws and it would say to you this is what you do to make sure you operate in the sacred realm when you’re used to operating in the common realm this is how you move from the one to the other this is how you make sure that you’re okay and this is how you get to have access to this garden even these laws that they were given were broken down into maybe three categories so you had ceremonial laws how you did the religious services how you came into this space or something like it and operated well then you had civil laws that said well how do you treat your neighbor what do you do if someone accidentally kills your donkey how do you do that in a way that’s fair and then you had these big moral laws behind the scenes things that

people have known really forever when you are with someone you don’t kill them when you go away you make sure they’re still breathing still healthy still in the condition that you arrive they were in when you arrived these laws enabled them to operate these spaces and to do it healthy you moved from sacred to the common and common to sacred and the rules made sure it all worked well the the rules of the common realm essentially assured that you could come to God in that sacred moment and everything would be fine in the ancient world they had a very clear idea of what belonged in each bucket six days a week a common one day a week is special the land is common the temple is special is sacred they had a definite sense of how all of that operate and we have some of that still lurking around today this is a picture of saint paul’s cathedral in london many of you or I including I may walk into and say wow this place feels holy

feels set apart interestingly it was built in the 16th century and when they built it uh the descript the reason they chose this design was because they said it was awful and artificial it was awful and it was artificial it just so turns out that 400 years ago the word awful meant full of God’s presence or an artificial meant that they’d considered all of the designs and it was very artistic today it sounds like an insult then it was a huge compliment but we walk in and we say things like wow this this feels like a holy place how many of you that grew up in church had a special suit of clothes that you wore just for church how many of you wore shoes that was specifically reserved for church how many of you were told don’t run in this space you are in church there were all these different things different ways that you had to operate because whether they phrased it like this or not you were in a sacred space you weren’t in a common

space and we would get home we would rip off our church clothes we would throw them into a closet somewhere and then we would get on with every day life we had had a moment of access we had had our moment of spirituality we had had our moment of sacred and now we were back doing the everyday stuff my question is this is that how was supposed to operate and what did Jesus have to say about the bucket system what did he have to say about sacred and common and how did he think you moved from one to the other and did he think that that’s what you did at all what did Jesus say about buckets and about operating this system so let’s jump into john chapter two if you have a text you can open it we’re in verse 13 we’re going to read a fairly large chunk of it when it was almost time for the jewish passover Jesus went up to jerusalem in the temple courts he found people selling cattle sheep and doves and others

sitting at tables exchanging money now what were they doing I always thought that they were doing something wrong and they knew they were doing something wrong as I got older I started to read it and I started to think I actually think they think that they’re doing something right and everything’s okay they are helping people move from the common to the sacred in their minds they are helping people navigate this whole system you need a sacrifice to make here it is I’m selling it on the doorstep you get to buy it you get to go make your sacrifice and you can do the sacred thing you can experience God you don’t have the right money you can change your money here then you can buy your sacrifice and you can experience God I think they think everything is good so when Jesus turns up and made a whip out of courts and drove them all from the temple courts both sheep and cattle he scattered the coins of money changes

and overturned their tables and then says this to those who sold doves he said get these out of here stop turning my father’s house into a market his disciples remembered that it is written zeal for your house will consume me my suspicion is that they actually think what’s his problem why what what why is this wrong that we’re just operating the system how is it it’s always worked people need to access guard they need to get into this sacred space and we’re making it happen and look at their their response sort of leads into that suggestion the jews then responded to him what sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this we’re just following the rules we’re just following the system there’s the buckets of sacred and common and we’re just making sure people can get where they need to go where the sacred man in the sacred place with the sacred texts and the sacred laws and Jesus answered them destroy this

temple and I will raise it again in three days their response understandably is confused they replied it has taken 46 years to build this temple and you’re going to raise it in three days but the temple he had spoken of was his body after he was raised from the dead his disciples record what he had said they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken when Jesus says I’m going to destroy the temple they assume he means the physical one in front of them and the question is it’s been here longer than any of us can remember it’s been here for years and you think you’ll destroy it and he very pointedly says well no I’m talking about something else and john unpacks that for us as he always does in his helpful way the temple he had spoken of was his body and after he was raised from the dead the disciples record what he had said then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken let’s jump into

matthew for just a second different biographer of Jesus life john writes a little bit later matthew writes a little bit earlier and this is matthew describing what happened in the moment Jesus died matthew 27 50 and when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice he gave up his spirit at that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom the earth shook the rocks split and the tombs broke open matthew is the only writer that goes into detail and the fact this curtain splits he seems to think it’s significant and think what is happening here they have this holy place that they go where God’s presence is it’s right in the center and a curtain blocks anybody from going in anyone encountering this God in his most real closest form when the curtain splits what does that mean well it means a couple of things right one it maybe means that everybody has access one it potentially means that anybody can now go in there is

no longer a block no longer a thing that says no this is not for you no moving from the the common to the sacred but maybe on another hand it also means that God moves out that he no longer operates this particular area this particular place that suddenly Jesus is starting to say well there isn’t sacred space and common space God is present everywhere you don’t have to go to a specific building to experience him and by implication all of those rules that you had to follow to navigate the process all the things that enabled you to move from common to sacred I didn’t get those the right way around tonight yes thank goodness all those things you had to do to navigate from common to sacred you don’t have to do them anymore you as you are can come and have access not because anything you have done but but simply because this Jesus has done something Jesus death and resurrection broke down the ancient buckets of sacred

and common every part of existence was included in his redemptive work there’s multiple ways to talk about this death and resurrection of Jesus it is the sacrifice for sins it’s the payment for the things that you and I have done wrong it is also the victory over sin and death that we talked about on easter sunday but it is also the changing of the bucket system the common and sacred thing according to Jesus it no longer applies the temple is ripped and God moves out you have access you have access because as we talked about on easter you are transformed this is our butterfly from the caterpillar that we gave out on easter sunday that moment of transformation is a gift and that gift says you don’t have to worry about how you move from one to the other anymore he took care of that the rules aren’t necessary anymore there is no need for people in the marketplace selling doves so that you can move from common to sacred

there is no common and sacred God’s presence moves out and now is everywhere around us 6560 is not south this building isn’t south we the people are south and that could be anywhere there is no sacred space but here’s the problem with all of this it’s good news but it leaves you with a question what laws still apply think about all of the laws that we read think about just the little passage that we read the sum they feel like they should still be there right but there’s others that you look at and like well I don’t know how I feel about red meat anymore should I still be cooking my steak rare should I still be able to get knowledge is power tattooed in bad grammar on my arm should I get no regrets or something like that what what’s the rules now and yet there’s others in the list that you’re like no but I definitely want to keep that and think about the big moral law codes that have been there for years that do not murder I still think

that’s a good deal right when we leave a place people should live we probably shouldn’t be stealing other people’s stuff and it would be really nice and simple if there was a list given of which ones still matter and which ones don’t but there isn’t there isn’t a list and yet we know instinctively that there’s some rules that you’re like ah that’s got to make sense so when the question is asked uh why does God care what I do with my own body and that’s broadened to multiple searches that say what about tattoos what about sex before marriage what about dot dot dot dot the question is well how do we know anymore and for years the early church wrestled with this question and we’re going to look at a couple of churches and see how they dealt with it and hopefully leave with a good application for how me we might process it in a church in a place called galatia in a letter that a guy called paul wrote to a church that he called

it galatians they kept everything this church in this town in this place called galatia they kept all of the rules they said we’re going to keep doing everything we’re going to keep the sabbaths we’re going to keep eating the right meat we’re going to keep making sure that we do all the things that the people did before they essentially said we’re going to keep thinking about how we move from common to how we move to sacred all those rules they’re gonna stay and this is paul’s response to them you crazy galatians did someone put a spell on you this is the message version in case you didn’t guess if you’re new to faith the message version is it’s a bit more like a paraphrase and sometimes it’s good and sometimes it’s great and in this case it just nails what it seems like paul is getting at did someone put a spell on you have you taken leave of your senses something crazy has happened for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified

Jesus in clear focus in your lives his sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough paul feels like Jesus did away with this system I wanted to do like a bobby knight throwing the chair across the basketball court when I got rid of the buckets but I decided someone would get injured and it would just not go down well let me put this question to you did how did your new life begin was it by working your heads off to please God or was it by responding to God’s message to you are you going to continue this craziness for only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God if you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it how do you suppose you could perfect it in current in glacier they kept everything all of the rules stayed in place and in a town called corinth they did the opposite as they figured out what rules still apply they kept nothing they

said anything’s up for grabs now we can just do what we want let’s celebrate when paul this writer in the first century writes to them he responds to this question or the statement that they’ve made to him it seems in their own letters in their own engagement I have the right to do anything when the question was posed to the the people of corinth what why does God care what I do with my own body their response was essentially he doesn’t care he doesn’t care we can do what we want now God has done something inside us that’s spiritual and now we can do whatever we like let’s party let’s celebrate there’s a spiritual chord to us somewhere now let’s jump into whatever physical pleasures we like and this is paul’s response to them just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate if I went around doing whatever I thought I could get away with I’d be a slave to my whims you know the old

saying first you eat to live and then you live to eat well it may be true that the body is only a temporary thing but that’s no excuse for stuffing your body with food or indulging it with sex since the master honors you with a body honor him with your body God honored the master’s body by raising it from the grave he’ll treat yours with the same resurrection power until that time remember that your bodies are created with the same dignity as the master’s body you wouldn’t take the master’s buddy off to a whorehouse would you I should hope not there’s more to sex than this skin on skin sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact as written in scripture the two became one since we want to become spiritually one with a master we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy leaving us more lonely than ever the kind of sex that can never become one when the question was posed well why does

God care what I do with my body the the response was he doesn’t care when the question was posed about tattoos he doesn’t care when the question was posed about who you spent the night with the response in corinth was he doesn’t care when the question was should I stay up late at night messing around with stuff on the computer he doesn’t care that was how the people of corinth chose to live in their minds the buckets were slightly different it wasn’t as much about common and sacred as it was about this there was the physical realm the stuff that you could see mata the body all of those different things clothing food all of that good stuff cars not in corinth obviously not even bicycles at that point horses and carriages for them and then there was spiritual there was physical and then there was spiritual physical and then there was spiritual and what you did in the physical realm had nothing to do with what was going on in

the spiritual realm you were free to do whatever you liked and paul’s response is that is the most absurd thing that I have ever heard or didn’t you realize that your body is a sacred place the place of the holy spirit don’t you see that you can’t live however you please squandering what God paid such a high price for the physical part of you is not some piece of property belonging to the spiritual part of you God owns the whole works so let people see God in and through your body in a place called galatia they returned to the old buckets of sacred and common in a place called current they created new buckets of physical and spiritual but still the old separation still God is interested in what happens at a particular time a particular place or in a particular sphere not God is interested in and cares about everything and yet it seems paul’s response to all of this is something like this you are an integrated being living in the way of

Jesus is a holistic choice God made and loves all of you he phrases it something like this right at the end you were quite an expensive purchase so glorify God with your body when we asked the question why does God care what I do with my body the answer is well he made it and he believes he knows what is good for it and you can’t detach body from spirit you can’t say that what happens in the physical doesn’t affect what happens in the spiritual it’s all related you can’t say what happens in the common space is okay and what happens in the sacred space is different they’re all related you can’t say I’m gonna do what I like six days a week and the seventh day of the week is special it just doesn’t work that way we are integrated beans and it all is affected by everything else what we eat affects us in the way that we operate in the spirit you can’t just keep destroying your body by eating foods that are bad without and continue to

stay healthy all of these things it seems connect and it leaves us with maybe a little bit of a pickle because there’s no simple rule anymore this is tom wright’s sort of explanation of one corinthians chapter six instead of just laying down a simple take it or leave it rule paul wants christians to think things through for themselves in other words discover how to live the truly human life which brings glory to the God in whose image you are made and whose own unique image his son Jesus died to rescue you from all that will stop you being the person he longs for you to be it seems that God’s longing for us is to have relationship with all of us we can’t just say there’s a spiritual thing going on and the physical doesn’t matter so somewhere in around 1960 we started using a word that had been around for a while in a new way the word is spirituality you may have heard it maybe you’ve even used it yourself you may have said I’m not

religious I’m just spiritual now on one hand there’s nothing wrong with that you’re trying to get to the heart of a problem I think it has some uses because what we’re trying to say is this there’s some ways that religion operates that I don’t think are healthy and so I’m trying to do this spiritual thing that is separate from the religious world and given what we just looked at that makes a little bit of sense given that we looked at the idea that religion is about a sacred man helping us move from common to sacred it kind of makes sense to say that well I’m going to kind of figure this out by myself and if God is everywhere God is present and you can come into relationship with Jesus by yourself and have access to this God who loves you then then that kind of makes sense too but the downside is this one of the implications of this constant use of the word spirituality is well there’s a thing going on inside but it doesn’t really affect

anything that happens on the outside there’s a thing going on in my heart God is doing something somewhere internally in there but but it doesn’t really affect how I operate in the physical sphere same problem is it in current what we see in current is the early ideas of something called gnosticism it was the separation of the physical and the spiritual and maybe we see the same today and maybe we don’t just see it in the world around us maybe we see it in the church and I can give you an example that is somewhat humorous but also very sad as well there’s a story of a man who comes up to his pastor and he is very sort of agitated and he says to the man look I’ve got I’ve heard some terrible news and I need to tell you about this there’s a lady who comes to the church and she’s run out of money and she’s been kicked out of her apartment and the landlord is merciless he just won’t sort of give her any grace at all and

and we don’t know what to do about this I don’t you know what what can we do what can the church fix and the pastor says well I want you not to panic it’s okay we have a fund for this we have benevolence we’re gonna pay for a month of rent for her and then we’re gonna make sure that she uh can find a place if she needs a new place and we’re gonna go to our food pantry and we’re gonna get her a whole bunch of food and we’re gonna we’re gonna give that to her to make sure that she’s okay and the man says ah so glad to be part of a church that can do that kind of thing and he goes away and as he’s leaving the pastor system just could I just ask you I hadn’t heard about this situation could you could you tell me how you heard about it and the man turns around and looks at him and says oh I’m the landlord I’m the landlord I’m the landlord now that story gives us an insight into how religion or spirituality can operate at its

worst it is a man who has the potential the possibility to do something about a situation but says well no no that that’s not my problem I have this spiritual life that goes on in the church realm maybe I’ll lead a prayer meeting every now and again maybe I stand up and pray in front of other people maybe I dress really nice maybe I get up early and arrive with a smile on my face but my spiritual life is separate from what happens everywhere else we have a tendency if we’re not careful to operate this bucket system still even though Jesus says the bucket system is done with some of us are still wrestling with what it is to move from common to sacred we are still trying to access this Jesus thing out of our own strength out of our own energy we are the church in galatia constantly trying to work our way to impress God and paul would say to us it’s not how it works you don’t need to do that anymore you are gifted given access this is a

Jesus thing that he has done for you it is as styling as the transformation from a caterpillar to a butterfly and some of us are still struggling with the current system we have found a convenient way to split the physical from the spiritual we found a way to go back to a system where we can identify six days a week where we can do whatever we like we found a way to operate certain realms that say well that doesn’t matter that’s not a church thing and and I’d love to just show you some of this really quickly how do you identify which belongs in which bucket if I write work on there where does it go is it physical is it spiritual is it common is it sacred and our tendency most of the time is to say well I have this work life that fits over here it’s common it’s physical tell me I got it the right way around this time it’s common it’s physical it’s separate how about something like money where does it go it’s mine right I get to do with it

what I want I have it it’s mine so it goes over here in my physical in my common bucket God doesn’t need to speak into that sex relationships who I spend the night with very easy to put that over here when we have a decided split between spiritual and physical we get to take so much of our lives and say I’m gonna separate that thing what happens here is my business and what happens here is God’s business and what happens is the realm that God gets to operate in our lives gets smaller and smaller and smaller and so when we ask questions like why does God care what I do with my body even if we believe he does the answer is but he shouldn’t because this doesn’t belong to him maybe another way that you thought about buckets maybe another way that I’ve thought about buckets could be labeled like this and the thing gets smaller and smaller and the thing gets bigger and bigger and we separate the two and yet the word it seems

that paul would have for us is that well no it all is integrated I tried to write a goofy sentence and it might stick with you so I’m going to show it with you even though I didn’t really like it afterwards mata the thing that makes up life does matter but it isn’t all that matters so focus on everything that matters which is everything there is this combining of the spiritual and the physical it seems like Jesus says I am interested in all of it and life in my way life in the way of Jesus involves the surrender of some kind of internal spiritual thing and also the physical life that we operate in it is all up for grabs it is all important it is all included in what new ways might God be asking you to respond today how have you and I chosen to bucket what is sacred and what is common are we constantly finding ourselves having to move from one realm to the other there is this joke that works here but it doesn’t work here and so I have to figure out

where I am is there a way that we have to dress over here and a way that we get to dress here there’s all of these different ways where the bucket system still comes up and it grabs at us in what ways have you chosen to bucket what is physical and what is spiritual is there a way that you get to operate with a computer late at night that fits in this realm but you would never have it in this realm are the relationships that you’re living in that would operate well in this realm but you would never bring into this realm and that’s not a judgment of you that’s not a criticism that’s a recognition that we all wrestle with these kind of things and and it seems like God is not happy with saying take that physical thing and I’ll just take this spiritual thing it seems like he wants all of it you are an integrated being I am an integrated being I am spirit and physical and I can’t operate in one one way and one in the other it all matters I’m going to invite

aaron up onto stage and we’re going to move from the text into a time at the table so those are you unfamiliar this is sometimes called eucharist sometimes called the lord’s supper the table mass all these different words it is this process of remembering Jesus who came and gave his life so that we could have access that that ripping of the temple cur and yes it invites us into access to this God but it also means that God is present in every area in every realm and yet what is incredible about this especially today is this communion thing operates both in the spiritual and the physical it operates both in the common and the sacred it breaks down the walls it breaks down the buckets that we so often build Jesus took real bread and real wine physical stuff and he said this is my body and my blood shed for you it is physical and it is

spiritual Jesus said do this in remembrance of me whenever you gather together it is both common and every day and it is also sacred it is a remembrance of the pivotal central moment of all human history the death and resurrection of the son of God for you and for I when we come to this table we allow the physical and the spiritual divide to break down we allow the common and the sacred divide to break down and we say God I come in this moment simply by grace simply by your favor and your love for me I come surrendering spirit and physical I come surrendering the internal religious life that I try and separate try and divide and I come surrendering the physical life that I try and hold to myself come surrendering my time which I think of as my own and the day that I give to you on sunday I come bringing the money that I would hold as my own and the money that I give to your kingdom I come bringing the

relationships I would hold as my own the ones that I would own in your kingdom all of those different things that we seek to split off we come and we bring all of them we bring all of them in remembrance of the son of God who gave his life for us who gave it for all of us I take you back to paul’s words first corinthians 6 20. you were an incredibly expensive purchase so honor guard with your body I’m going to invite you to bring all of yourself to the table and bring it under the sway of God’s good love and care so aaron is going to lead us with a song and I’m going to invite you to stan what you can do now and as you ready in the contemplation of your heart come and take the elements take them back to your seat and ask yourself God how are you asking me to separate or to unite spirituality spiritual and physical how are you inviting me to unite sacred and common how have I operated the bucket system have I constantly tried to

earn my own access have I tried to keep things to myself and the night that he was betrayed Jesus gathered with his closest followers and we’re told that during the supper he took the bread and broke it and handed it to each of them with these words this is my body broken for you in the same way he took wine said this wine is my blood shed for the sins of the world as long as you gather together do this in remembrance of me and we do this in remembrance of Jesus who ensured we had access to God who broke down the walls of common and sacred we do this in remembrance of Jesus who didn’t just die for some internal spiritual life but gave himself all of us who redeemed all things who is redeeming this world bringing new life out of brokenness who one day will restore it to what it was made

to be who invites us into his kingdom who invites us to surrender the throne of our own little kingdoms our own circles of influence and place him in the center instead as you ponder one of the things we believe about this time is that the holy spirit the spirit of God comes and he begins to talk to each one of us some of us we haven’t listened yet if you’ve never chosen to follow Jesus for yourself as I said earlier it is a transformation that you have nothing no part to play in other than saying yes Jesus came and lived this life and died of death and rose again so that you could have new life and you’re invited to begin relationship with him today by saying yes for those of us that have operated bucket systems for a while he invites us to lay them down and to bring all of ourselves to whenever you are ready as aaron players come and take  the elements and take them in your own