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This Weeks Sermons


Confronting Hypocrisy with Humility
Matthew 23:1-12



With Election Day upon us, I thought this text about hypocrisy was appropriate. I am reminded of a story about Theodore Roosevelt. During one of his political campaigns, a delegation called on him at his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island. The President met them with his coat off and his sleeves rolled up.

"Ah, gentlemen," he said, "come down to the barn and we will talk while I do some work."

At the barn, Roosevelt picked up a pitchfork and looked around for the hay. Then he called out, "John, where's all the hay?"

"Sorry, sir," John called down from the hayloft. "I ain't had time to toss it back down again after you pitched it up while the Iowa folks were here."

As we go to the polls this Tuesday I know whom I am going to vote for. Let me tell you who: I am going to vote hypocrisy out of office and humility in. I am going to vote greatness out and servanthood in. I am going to vote honor out and duty in. That's whom I am going to vote for and I wish it were that simple. Truth is, leadership, the way Jesus described it, is hard to find, even among the religious.

So what is it exactly that Jesus wants out of leaders and how do they get there. We will look at that in a moment...

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eSermon.com
Leonard Sweets Sermon


Humvee Holiness and Humble Holiness
Matthew 23:1-12

Halloween is the ultimate holiday of "pretending."


On Halloween we dress up and "pretend" to be someone or something other than ourselves.

On Halloween we "pretend" to believe that the people jumping out at us and scaring us in the "haunted houses" we paid $25 to get into are monsters and zombies.
On Halloween we happily "pretend" that the scariest stuff in life are those things that "go bump in the night."
On Halloween we revel in "pretend" bumps instead of bumping into the terrifying realities of evil and cruelty that appear on any street, in any office, at any school, in broad daylight, on any given day — and that's just a rundown of the terrors of the last two weeks.

Yesterday, the day after "All Hallows Eve," is known in the liturgical calendar as "All Saints Day." "All Saints" is a celebration and commemoration of those who were never about pretense, but who devoted their lives to expressing true faithfulness and genuine piety. The church lives, not by the majesty of its beliefs but by the manifestation of its manifold witness through the magnificence of its "communion of saints."

Who are these "all saints?" The "all saints" are all the everyday, ordinary men and women who live lives of humility and service in Jesus' name and for his sake. They never "dressed up" or "dressed down" in order to exhibit some "pretend" piety. They never paraded their piety in peacock plumage. Generation after generation of these "all saints" make up the great "Cloud of Witnesses" (the church had "The Cloud" before Microsoft) who make it possible for the historic Jesus of the first century to become the living Christ of the twenty-first century.

The community of "all saints" didn't need to play "pretend." Their lives witnessed to the living presence of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, who made them all into "transformers," transformers of lives, transformers of hopes, transformers of dreams, transformers of the world they lived in...

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