Monday, July 6, 2009

The Road to Emmaus and Church Growth

A couple of Sundays ago I heard Rev. Stephen Cole preach at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral. His sermon, "Burning Hearts," was about the story of the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)—particularly the part where the disciples say to each other, "Did not our heart burn within us, while He spoke to us in the way, and while He opened to us the Scriptures?" (Luke 24:32). (To skip the music click on "Lessons & Sermon Only" and then click the play button.)

He talked about how the disciples were so excited that they walked all the way back to Jerusalem and said,
This kind of infectious enthusiasm fired up the early converts to Christianity and spread the gospel of the Lord’s Advent. This kind of infectious enthusiasm can inspire us as well in spreading the gospel of the Lord’s Second Coming.
He tied this story in with the teachings about why the New Church will only be with a few people at first in Apocalypse Explained 732.

Why I liked this sermon:
  • I feel like there's a perception out there that conservative ministers aren't interested in the church growing but here's Stephen Cole, a conservative minister, talking about how the church will grow.
  • He makes an interesting point about how to understand Apocalypse Explained 732. You'll have to listen to the sermon, though, if you want to know what it is. :P
  • I also liked his explanation of what it is to have our hearts burn within us and what we can do to make progress in having that experience.
You can read a summary of the sermon on page 9 of the July 2nd Bryn Athyn Post (PDF).

See May Our Hearts Burn Within Us for another great recent sermon on the road to Emmaus.

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