Sermon Notes 09/20/2020
Our theme for today is “open minds.” Last week our theme was “open hearts.” One of the great barriers to people having open hearts is that they have shut their minds. This is what a prejudice is. To be prejudiced is to pre-judge. When we are prejudiced it means that we have made up our minds about somebody or something without getting to know them. It means we close our minds to any new truth that might shatter a long-treasured stereotype.
How can we still be arguing over who has rights and who doesn’t have rights in today’s world? How can we still be arguing over who deserves dignity and who doesn’t deserve dignity? If we are a follower of Jesus, we must accord every human being dignity as a child of God. It matters not their religion, their race, their gender, their economic status or even their life style. We treat them as Jesus would treat them.
Jesus did not always agree with their lifestyle choices and decisions. But he treated them well and found openings to bring change into their sinful world. He told the woman caught in adultery, after her accusers had all slunk away after been rebuked by Jesus, to go and sin no more. But he earned the right to speak those words because of his kindness and love.
Jesus’ last prayer for us before his crucifixion, as recorded in John 17, is for the unity of all believers--unity that transcends culture, skin color, gender, economics, language, etc. That kind of unity can only come through open minds. Open minds see more beauty, creativity, and love in the world. Open minds are humble. Pride closes off avenues of learning and discovery. Open minds are courageous. Fear and suspicion of others’ erects walls between us, mentally and physically.
Remember, I am preaching on having Open Hearts, Open Minds, and Open Doors in these last few weeks with you because I believe God has a great ministry opportunity for this church in the future, but it may not look or be like you expect. Will you have an open heart and mind to see it? And will the doors of the church be open to receive it? That’s a question only you can answer.