Love's Lowest Level
Christopher B. Harbin & Karen E. G. Harbin
Psalm 146:5-10; Isaiah 35:1-10; Matthew 11:2-11
(This sermon is written in two voices)
Chris: We like to think big. We want super-sized meals, grandiose homes, large-screen TV's, and big cars. We want life to run on the level of power, grandeur, and all the world calls great. The gospel just does not seem to fit with that mold. Can the meanest, lowest level of love's expression be of any real significance? Can it really change the world?
Karen: CBF Global Missions seeks to make a difference among the most neglected. In many ways, that concept is what took us to Brasil as missionaries. We chose the challenge of equipping 5000 Baptists in a state of 10.5 million to reach the rest of the state for Christ Jesus. Along with teaching at the seminary and the seminary extension program, we found a group of 4.2 million with whom no evangelicals were working. They had been pretty much written off. Could two Americans make a difference among so many? God can.
Chris: John the Baptist's quarters were dark, like the rest of Herod's dungeon. It was a far cry from the banks of the Jordan, preaching to crowds in the open air. There wasn't much to see or do. No TV, library, exercise equipment, or walks in the prison yard. There was no prison yard. There was nothing much to see or light by which to see it. Unlike most prisoners of the day who were held as a workforce in labor camps, John seems to have been kept in a holding area under close watch. He was held as one whose execution could become troublesome. Many prisoners so held eventually would die from disease, exposure, or malnutrition.
Karen: Afro-Brasilian Spiritism holds a dominant influence over the lives of the people. Sure, Brasil is reportedly 85% Roman Catholic, but 75% of the population is involved in various Spiritist practices. One often sees a blending of Catholicism and Spiritism. Many live their lives in fear and hopeless ...
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