Sunday 04-19-20 2nd Sunday of Easter
Sermon: “Taking Off Our Rags”
Text: Philippians 4:6-7
6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In the New Testament, 9 different texts use clothing as a metaphor for the kind of character that we Christ followers should be developing. Paul says in Romans, “Let us cast off the works of darkness.” And, “clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” RAGS is a helpful acronym for things we should discard as we become more Christlike: Resentment, Anxiety, Greed, and Superiority.
This Sunday we will be focusing on getting rid of anxiety. There are basically two ways that we sabotage life in the here and now. One is to import garbage from the past. All of us have suffered from self-inflicted guilt and regret over past actions. The other way is to import garbage from the future, feeling fearful about things that may or may not happen with the passage of time.
Fear is a God-given, focused response to a threatening situation while anxiety is a generalized, unfocused fear that simply eats away at us. We know this was an important topic for Jesus because he devoted most of his Sermon on the Mount to addressing the un-helpfulness of life -destroying anxiety.
Someone once said that being anxious is like standing under a trapdoor in a barn. Above the trapdoor is a huge pile of horse manure. Every now and then, for reasons known only to God and us, we grab the rope and yank open the trapdoor. As with all choices in life, God gives us complete freedom to do that. But why would we want to?