New Year, New You: Food

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 Today continues a New Year’s resolution theme for January, with probably the most-frequently resolved issue:  food. Before you put your hopes and dreams in this message, let me be clear:  I am not a nutritionist.  I haven’t come up with the next diet fad.  I am a pastor, and my area of conviction has little to do with your BMI and much to do with your soul.  But the state of your soul has something to do with you relationship with food… and that’s what I want to talk about. Paul starts this passage – this letter to the Christians in Corinth – with a couple “maxims” related to the body, and one in particular has to do with food.  Maxims were short sayings that were a staple of Greco-Roman culture; J. Paul Sampley calls them “epitomes of truth, of commonly shared convictions or perceptions… they typically function as a ‘given.’” A good analogy might be the sayings we throw around today, like “don’t reinvent the wheel.”  A phrase like that and serves as a kind of proof in and of itself. If you open up to 1 Cor 6 you’ll easily notice these, because they’re in quotes.  Here’s my favorite, one I could easily see us Americans saying:  “Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food.” YES, Greco-Roman maxims!  Food is the best! I’ve always liked food, but most especially, sweet things.  When I was younger I had a maxim of my own:  “Every meal should come with dessert.”  In the absence of a traditional sweet treat, I was known to substitute...

New Year, New You: Forgiveness

Mark 1:4-11 I’m glad to be back in the sermon-writing saddle after being out on vacation last Sunday.  More than just Sunday – my family was out-of-pocket for 8 full days. In our world of work, school, and church, 8 days is a really long trip.  Long enough to have a cornucopia of celebrations:  5 Christmases, 3 extended family meals, an anniversary party, a reunion with old friends, and new year’s eve.  Oh, and a stop for ice cream almost every day – because what’s vacation without ice cream? By the time we rolled back in to town (with Chick-fil-a milkshakes in hand, because peppermint chocolate chip), even the kids were recognizing we couldn’t live this way forever.  “When do we get to go back to school?” Are you feeling it, too? Maybe you, too, are ready for something better for you.  Maybe the last month of celebrations made your jeans uncomfortably tight… or your credit card debt uncomfortably large.  Or maybe it’s something bigger.  Maybe there are things about 2017 that you’d like to leave in last year.  Maybe you want 2018 to include less bad choices and more good ones. If so… this month at Andrews UMC is for you. For the next four weeks we’re going to be taking a look at common new year’s resolutions; topics like food, money, and decisions.  But today we’re going to lay the foundation for all of it with an important first step.  And forgive me, I have little kids so the only way my brain can think it is to sing it:  Let it go, let it go… To...