Andrew Fountain - Rituals or Reality


Full sermon notes - Rituals or Reality

Korean ancestor veneration

Korean ancestor veneration

Image source: Joseph Steinber

  • Talk with Larry Frank (photographer) about our church.
    • What kind of a church are you?
      • We don’t have rituals, we have reality.
    • He kept wanting to turn it into self-actualization
      • Do we have any rituals?

Jewish Rabbi: Haym Soloveitchik

  • Religious Jews now seek to ground their spirituality not so much on an unattainable intimacy with Him,
    but on an intimacy with His Law, avidly following Its intricate demands and saturating their daily lives with Its exactions.
    Having lost the touch of His presence, they seek now solace in the pressure of His yoke.
  • Slightly paraphrased from Rupture And Reconstruction: The Transformation Of Contemporary Orthodoxy, Haym Soloveitchik, p.40
  • What do you think about that?

Jesus: Matthew 11:

  1. “Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  2. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”
  • Article in the Toronto Star, Dec 2009
    • A woman who had given up any kind of religious beliefs when she was still a child.
    • Found an emptiness in her life
    • Recently went to church, so a very formal ritualistic meeting.
    • Felt a strong emotion and tears came to her eyes
    • But she is still an atheist and doesn’t belief in any kind of God

John 6 – Taught by God

  1. Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”
  2. Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
  3. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
  4. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me—
  5. When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?
  6. But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this?
  7. Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?
  8. It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
  9. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.)
  10. And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
  11. After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.
  12. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
  13. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,
  14. and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

taken from a number of translations including the NET Bible

What is the work that God wants?

  • To believe on him that God has sent
  • To believe is to follow
  • His yoke is easy, his burden is light
  • Don’t settle for the external stuff
  • Only settle for the reality of God’s presence and his intimacy

Updated on 2014-12-07 by Andrew Fountain