Worshipers’ “Instant Sermon” Questions
For worship on Sunday, August 23, 2015, Pastor Matt offered an “instant” sermon based on questions submitted by worshipers. At the beginning of the service, some time was provided for worshipers to write any faith question—about God, the Bible, worship practices, living out our faith in the world, whatever…—and then these questions were collected prior to the sermon time. The cards were shuffled, and Pastor Matt addressed the questions in the order they emerged from the pile.
Questions Pastor Matt addressed:
- “This week’s New York Times Acrostic Puzzle is the following quote from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: ‘It’s lovely to live on a raft. We had the sky up there all speckled with stars and we used to look up and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened. Jim allowed they was made but I allowed they happened.’ What do you think?
- What can we do in the world to ease the plight of the masses of immigrants fleeing such places as Syria?
- How do we as Christians explain/justify the political climate in this country? (lack of bipartisanship as one problem)
- How can I worship God in a way that will be truly pleasing to Him?
- Why do people believe that there is only one way to believe in God? One finds love, the other hate; one peace, the other war… ?
- If Jesus stated that there is a new covenant—one of a loving God—why do we still hear of God’s vengeance?
- Where do you buy the bread served at communion?
- Jesus taught us to pray “Our Father”, not ‘mother God’. Why do you sometimes refer to God as Mother?
The questions above were only a small portion of all that were submitted. Here’s the rest of what SCC worshipers on August 23rd were wondering about:
- What does “worship” mean to you?
- How do deepen “faith of our fathers”?
- Why did Judas betray Jesus?
- How do you learn to talk to God? And how do you speak to God?
- Guidance in knowing our limits and abilities (individually and collectively) to be the ‘beacon on the hill’
- Can a camel fit through the eye of a needle?
- How can the church appeal to today’s youth?
- What is the title of the sermon you just can’t wait to preach?
- Why, in 2015, are Christian houses of worship so segregated racially?
- How do you / how could we respond when someone asks you to pray for an object? (For instance: a truck)
- How relevant can a confessional church be in a time when the future of religion and God is being seen experientially-based and ____ by ____ and knowledge (could not make out handwriting on missing words)
- Why do many UCC churches use debts/debtors instead of trespasses in the Lord’s Prayer? Is there a significant difference?
- Where did Jesus’ Y-chromosome come from?
- Is it important to have a balance of the 5 types of prayer?
- How do we decide what parts of the Bible are “the Word of the Lord”?
- At Christmas, some people make a “Jesse tree” with decorations for special people in the Bible. The one ofr John the Baptist is a scallop shell. Why? Why some of the other decorations?
- Why do we hear about men (e.g. David, Moses, Jesus) but ignore the women? Esther, Ruth, Miriam, Sarah. Let us celebrate these mighty women! (and ignore the lectionary… be brave & bold!)
- Is creationism or evolution real?
- After Jesus was crucified and resurrected he “walked with” his disciples — for how long? It thought Pastor Nancy had once said 40 days?
- God, Jesus, Holy Spirit. How do they relate and/or interact?
- Jesus referred to God as “Father” multiple times (“Our Father…”; “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”) Why then do we treat God as non-gender-specific?
- Why do ministers dress with collars/stoles/etc? How did those get decided?
- What is your #1 mission in life?
- Why is there so much intolerance and violence in the Bible?
- Tell us how to maintain the Sunday message throughout the week.
- If you could ask God one question, what would it be?
- With assisted suicide in the case of terminal illness legal in some states, will someone who chooses to end their life because of illness , will that person go to hell? What is the UCC view on this? Does your view differ from this?
- How do we reconcile punishment (capital or not) for mass murderers?
- Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?
- Why? Simple… why?
Selections of these additional questions will be posted to our Facebook page in the coming days for your interaction and thoughts (and who knows, maybe some additional input from Pastor Matt…):