Friday, October 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 8th

We had our fourth night of our Heritage Revival services and the preacher was Rev. Dr. Bill Ritter, he is a retired Methodist minister from the Michigan Conference (Pictured Above). Dr. Ritter is also a Duke Divinity School professor of Preaching and Church Ministry. Rev. Ritter preached from Matthew 25.14-30. He preached a dynamic sermon --- taking us all on a wild ride of highs and lows --- and he did all of that after telling us that is what Matthew does to us in the book of Matthew. In the book of Matthew you oftentimes will find the writer ending a parable on a down note and that is why Rev. Ritter says it is his least favorite Gospel. In this passage that he read we are talking about the parable of the talents and it ends on a low note as well. It says in Matthew 25.30: "As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Rev. Ritter said that we are tricked into thinking that this parable is a success story. Instead it is revealing that this servant was focusing on his fear ---- rather than on the master. He was letting fear govern his life. We need to be reminded that the book of Matthew is written for the Church and we should not let our fear govern the decisions we make. We should put our trust in the master and not be content with where we are. He then said that some revivals are in the church and some revivals are of the Church. He asked for us as a church to be revived --- to commit ourselves to not be governed by fear. Instead to not be content with where we are, but to grow in faith and in our faithfulness to reaching out and making disciples.

I wanted to say thank you to Rev. Dr. Bill Ritter and the choir from Warren's Grove for coming and sharing the gifts that the great giver of all gifts has trusted them with. I am thoroughly impressed with what God did during this revival. May we as a Church continue to grow deeper in our commitment to God as we seek to live into the calling God has for our lives.

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