The Rock Church Worship Service


Not To Us
Faithfulness (Like the sparrows flying freely)
Never Lose The Wonder (So I thank You for the day when You washed my sin away)
One Heart Under Your Blood (I am a famine my heart is a drought)


Tonight we are parabling it up
Next week were starting a new series of Philippians
We’ve never been through that book before, it’s a book of joy mixed with suffering

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables;

I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 13:31-35 ESV)

Jesus was speaking to peasants and revealing truths to those religion deemed unclean and unworthy of God’s blessings
Jesus stands in solidarity with these peasants
Subversive styles
Coming to people and opening their eyes
Empowering people to experience God
Things are not what them seem
The kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed
And it’s like leaven
Not a place to go after we die
He’s talking about a community of people willing to take upon them the decrees of their king
Do you want to stand with the type of people that Jesus stands with
Mustard seeds were considered illegal
When planted, they were aggressive and took over everything in the garden
So first century listeners considered this scandalous
The kingdom of Heaven are those who are pushed out in the margins
The peasants would be blown away that life to the fullest isn’t just for the religious elite?
Leaven represented corruption
Or it may appear to be that way
May actually be the work of God in people’s lives
Parables cause us to ask the question”is my version of reality accurate”
Do I see things clearly? Am I standing with the people Jesus would stand with?
What about uprightness and morality?
Things are going to get really messy and complicated
Over 17 years ago at Bel Air Presbyterian church Shannon and I stepped into our first ministry position
Children’s program full of yuppies and kids from urban gangs
I had meetings with parents who would say to me “I’m not comfortable with my kids being with those kinds of kids”
Big house was the big church
Eric always wore a hat and always hung back but started to experience
A usher approached Eric one time and told him “you need to take your hat off – its disrespectful to God”
Apparently God hates hats
So I had a talk with this usher
Do you know how difficult it is for this young man to walk into this place and hear the gospel?
Eric was turned off and never wanted to go back there again
And he told me that he felt more love from his gang than from that place
Months later Eric was killed in a drive-by shooting
You think Jesus cares about hats? Or what you’re wearing?
He was standing with prostitutes and cripples
Jesus is inviting you into this community that doesn’t judge at people
From that moment, I have vowed to never be a part of any community that loves radically
Leavening was always done in a dark, stinky place
And this place that looks so distasteful and Jesus was there
Do you really think God doesn’t understand your kid
I’m not sure I agree with this is something you can to pack here
The messier the better
The more complicated? Awesome!
Sticky and messy! Welcome to the kingdom of heaven on earth
Would you feel safe if Jesus was your pastor? With the types of people he brought in to your presence?
I’ve never met a person that Jesus doesn’t love
Here’s an observation
If Jesus is leading us and directing us, we can’t control who Jesus brings in to this community
Somehow God conveniently decided that you should go somewhere else
Maybe God wants you to grow up and work with the relationships
We had better be ready to receive people with grace
Who is God? (???)
Mercy upon mercy upon mercy upon mercy.
Change may seem like it’s not happening because its small and it’s dark and its complicated
You may need to alter your view of reality
Just because we think someone can’t change
Jesus is at work in all of us
Jesus doesn’t give up on people
Be very carful as to what you perceive God to be doing in the world
Be VERY careful if you say ” I’m not sure God is in this”
He is working even on the hardest of hearts
When you’re ready, come partake of the body and the blood
Communion was still given to Judas and Peter who both betrayed Him



My Jesus I Love Thee (If ever I loved Thee my Jesus, 'tis now)
This Is Love


A couple of years ago there was an article in Easy Reader about Matthew Kennedy
Stumbled into our presence in 2001
A drunkard and a cocaine addict
Matthew today is now a pastor
Now he’s a redemptive story still unfolding
Someone made a comment about that article: “apparently they’ll take anyone at The Rock”
Best compliment we’ve ever received
Were learning how to work through life
What seems like corruption is the kingdom of Heaven breaking through
Maybe you’re working in a way we can’t understand, please give us clarity

Leave a Reply