Posted on Mon, Jul 12, 2010
Rev. Jim's Cowboy Sunday Sermon
A Holy Ghost Revival in God’s Corral
Rev. Jim Merritt
Trinity MCC of Gainesville
July 11, 2010
YEEEE HAWWW. I’m just so proud to be back here with you in this place on a Sunday morning. You know I really wanted to be here last week. Let me just say that trying to get through the Mexico City Airport was like trying to walk peacefully through the biggest cattle stampede the world has even known. Rather than lines they have corrals.When we arrived back in Gainesville very late Sunday night I wanted to jump off that water buffalo, better known as an airplane, and kiss the Gainesville soil. The only thing that stopped me was fear of getting a mouth full of asphalt on the tarmac at the airport.
Would you pray with me: “God we come now to hear your voice. So I pray now may the words of my mouth and the meditations of all of our hearts be pleasing to you, our God and our Redeemer. AMEN.
When I began working on this sermon, I called it “Inheritance of Saints in the Kin-dom of God.” When we settled on the theme for today’s Cowboy Sunday, I kicked it up a notch and called it “A Holy Ghost Revival in God’s Corral. My brothers and sisters, I want you to hear this. There is a revival going on in our church and in our community. God is at work in wonderful and amazing ways and I stand here this morning to tell you we are on the verge of a Holy Ghost Revival in God’s Corral. Can I get a witness? And there is a sub-message that comes along with that message and here it is: When revival comes, freedom is not far off. You remember these words from scripture:
Are you with me, Saints? Here’s the bottom line – Revival brings about the truth of God and the truth is always setting us free! What good news that is. We can proclaim freedom to the captive, freedom to the political prisoner, freedom to the oppressed, freedom to those who experience discrimination and yes, freedom to all of our sisters and brothers who have suffered acts of spiritual violence at the hands of churches that said we weren’t good enough, that God could not love us, that we could not be called by God, that we could not serve God. The truth is, sisters and brothers, all of that rhetoric is filled with hateful lies of the devil. Because when the spirit of truth comes and when revival comes the truth sets us free to we can be participants in and recipients of the benefits of this Holy Ghost Revival that is and is going to take place in God’s Corral. Amen! Oh that makes me excited and I hope you are catching the excitement, too. 1 Peter 2:9 tells us we area chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that we may declare the praises of God who called you out of darkness into God’s wonderful light.
I love this word from Out in Scripture, a resource provided by the Human Rights Campaign. “In reading Colossians 1:1-14, and considering the similarities between that small, strange (dare we say "queer"?) collection of believers in a frequently hostile society and our own strange collection of faith-filled people in our community. What power is available to us if we can receive the blessings this writer wants to pass on to that struggling first-century Christian community! We have a share in the inheritance of the saints in light! We have been rescued from the power of the shadows and transferred into the reign of God! This is all for us, not just for someone else.
Finally, we know that with the privilege of fully experiencing God’s amazing transformation of our lives, comes a constant responsibility. This responsibility can be very exciting. As Rich McCarthy says, “We get to be the message-bearers of light to others! We invite lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and all those who have heretofore been excluded, into a legacy that is not closed off, but is open for all." We invite all of them and all of us into this Holy Ghost Revival in God’s Corral.
I hope you’re excited about this word from God. Let’s make this property, this church and all of our work together an outpost of God’s Corral. Let’s live in the truth and in the light of God’s transformative work in our lives. Let’s participate in this Holy Ghost Revival. Let’s welcome everyone. And let’s shout out together…FREEDOM, in the name of Jesus.
Will you pray with me?
God we thank you for the Bible that inspires us. We thank you for the gift of your Spirit forever and always present in our lives. We want to be a part of the revival that is both occurring and coming in our world. We want to be messengers of your incredible promise of freedom as we live into your truth each and every day. Guide us along the way, empower us with your Spirit and help us to hear your voice every step of the way. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN.