First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, a Member Church of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. and More Light Presbyterians

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Bible Study – 8:15 a.m.
Worship – 9:30 a.m.
Childcare is available for infants through preschool age, downstairs in Rooms 4 and 5 for morning and evening services
Fellowship Time – after worship
Out to Lunch (Hickory River Smokehouse) – 11:30 a.m.
From the Pastor/Head of Staff
“Device to Root Out Evil,” sculpture by Dennis Oppenheim, which is located in Vancouver, Canada.
“I find that preaching during the summer months is most enjoyable. The overall pace of church life slows down, leaving more time to reflect on the lectionary passages. The pace of life for members changes to pleasant summer routines. We spend more time outside. We travel. Ideally, we relax. Perfect preparation for the shock of some the summer, ordinary time scripture passages, like two that we will hear on Sunday. The first comes from 1 Samuel 8, about the people of Israel wanting a king, and the second comes from Mark 3, about a time when the family of Jesus thought he was crazy. Maybe you found the video clip of Episcopal Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon where he cites this text, and in which he argues that “we need more crazy Christians.” If you haven’t, look it up.
I happen to agree with him, which is one reason I love Oppenheim’s controversial sculpture pictured here. It portrays the work of the Church in a crazy way. The church looks like it has been through a tornado. But if we are doing what we are supposed to be doing, if we are being faithful to Jesus, then the resistance we experience from the world, will leave us like this. Evil does not want to be rooted out. It fights back. It wants the church to conform, to fit in, to be “like the neighbors,” to look successful. And this is why Jesus said, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” To the world, the realm desired by God, intended to be manifested by the community of Jesus, looks upside down, just like this sculpture. It looks crazy. But that is exactly what we are to be about. Join us on Sunday as we hear, maybe are shocked by, and contemplate the scriptures for the day.