No media available


Micah 6:1-8

Sermon Notes

Teach, Nurture, and Baptise

The second Mark of Mission calls us: “To teach, baptise, and nurture new believers”. I often hear colleagues talking about the importance of teaching, at a minimum, the Apostles Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Ten Commandments. These are significant tools providing a framework for understanding what we generally believe, a prayer that encompasses most of our needs, and rules about how we should live. No doubt, over the years many individuals have successfully memorised these three tools to the approval of clergy and Sunday school teachers. Memorising, however, does not necessarily mean learning.

‘With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt-offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with tens of thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?’

In the time of the prophet Micah, people had memorised the Law. They knew the rules and expectations about how they should participate in worship and what was needed to make things ‘right’ with God. It was almost as thought they had menus illustrating what sacrifice was necessary for each circumstance. People paid their dues and worshipped. The challenge was maintaining a sense of intentionality and integrity in the process. When things are mandated and expected, learning can become route, losing the potential to engage in more critical thinking about what words, prayers, and practices mean. It is then that we need to be reminded: God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

What does the Lord require of us but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God! At the heart of any act of worship is a desire to create spaces through which we can encounter and build meaningful relationships with God. Sacrifices can be intentional acts that put aside our reliance on material things and give back to God to show a desire for transformation whether that is due to sinfulness or gratitude. Every prayer is a conversation with God, proclaiming our faith, saying we’re sorry, giving thanks for God’s gift, or being present to listen to God’s prodding. These acts challenge us to authentically embody what we know about God from our faith, and from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. These acts challenge us to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with God.

 In the second Mark of Mission, these questions are posed to us as we are called “To teach, baptise, and nurture new believers” What does that look like for us? How are we nurturing those in our lives in the faith and life of the Christian community? How are we, by our prayers and witness helping others to grow into the full stature of Christ? How are we nurturing our faith by doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God so that others can be nurtured in their faith? Let’s talk (add comments to sticky notes under “Teach, baptise, and nurture”. Sticky notes will continue to be available).

In the second Mark of Mission, we are called “To teach, baptise, and nurture new believers”. How we embody this challenge connects to our understanding of what the Lord requires of us: to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? May we continually seek to nurture our faith and, by our prayers and witness, help others grow into the full stature of Christ. This we pray as we sing together: (VT) 762 This Little Light of Mine