Worship sermon

Tokyo Calvary Church Sermon Pastor Ryo Kasama March 19, 2023
"Trial and Error" Acts 9:23-25

From last week, putting on and taking off a mask indoors is left to the individual's discretion. We discussed this at the board meeting, and I would like to be free in principle even at worship. From today, we will also stand and sing hymns at worship services. I can't say it's the end of corona, but it looks like I'll finally be able to resume full-fledged activities. However, I will do my best to take measures against infection, so it may be a little cramped for a while, but thank you for your support.
I went to the East Branch General Assembly last week, and I was keenly aware that the corona virus had weakened the church overall. I never say that I haven't done anything. As you should be able to see right now, we are using cameras to stream online, making signboards that stand out, and starting in February, we are offering coffee services. I hope this helps to make the church known. I would like to think about what I can do on weekdays, so if you have any ideas, please let me know.
These are all things that lead to evangelism, but you have to actually try them and see if they produce results. The title of today's sermon is "Trial and Error," which is unusual in horizontal writing. This is a word that means "trial and error". In Japan, it seems that it is often said that it is a bit reserved and "try and error". The meaning is to search for success while repeating trial and error. I hope that by continuing these activities, the church will become rooted in the community. Evangelism means telling about Jesus. Let's keep trying to do that.
"Today's scripture is about Saul." Paul, who was an opponent of Christianity, became an evangelist of Christianity. Rather than his speed of change, here is the figure of a person who has awakened to the truth.
In a sermon last week, Saul said that he had awakened in his troubles, and from there he was able to spread Christianity to the world by evangelizing so strategically. His mission turned Christianity into a world religion.
As far as the results go, Paul's evangelism was a great success, but that doesn't mean that his evangelism was entirely successful. There were also many failures. However, the fact is that by learning from that failure, he was able to build the foundation for evangelism efficiently.
Even if you read today's passage of scripture, you can see that it is a part that shows the trial and error. In the first 23 verses it says, "After many days the Jews plotted to kill Saul." In the first place, Saul came to Damascus to persecute Christians, but when he entered Damascus, he instead became an evangelist of Christianity, so everyone was confused, and eventually it turned into murderous intent. . To the Jews, Saul was nothing more than a traitor.
They tried to kill Saul, but Saul realized their intentions and decided to escape with the help of Christians in Damascus. The method is written in verse twenty-five. As it is written, "So Saul's disciples brought him out during the night, put him in a basket, and let him down by the wall of the city." Unable to pass through the gate, Paul escaped along the city walls.
A little explanation is needed, but towns in the Middle East are basically surrounded by walls. This is to protect the town from enemy attacks, but also to keep the soldiers from escaping. The gates to enter the town are limited, so if you keep a watch there, you can keep anyone out, or you can catch them. That's why I had to do this.
His stance of preaching even if he was about to be killed is admirable, but the fact that he was so hated by the Jews that he was murderous meant that the image of Christianity in this city had deteriorated. Saul's preaching in .
This is because what Saul did in the city of Damascus was "demonstrating that Jesus is the Messiah" as in verse 22. Saul said the right thing, and in verse twenty-five there is also the phrase "Saul's disciple," so we know that there certainly were people in this city who became disciples because of Saul's words.
What Saul did here was to tell him straight about Jesus. That method is correct, but this method is close to imposing progress and has the problem of not looking at the surroundings. To put it in Japanese terms, he preached without reading the atmosphere.
It's common for believers to say that when they have faith, they want to tell them all the good things, and that they tell everyone about it, destroying their friendships, and I do too. have the experience to say If you say so, you will most likely fail.
If this were modern Japan, it would simply end with no one nearby, but depending on the times, such evangelism can also be life-threatening. In particular, evangelism that ignores people's feelings sometimes makes them feel murderous. It was a negative for both Saul and the Christian church. Furthermore, Saul could no longer stay there and had to flee, so it could be called a disaster.
However, this failure was rather encouraging for Saul.
"Don't tell anyone about Jesus, but tell people who need it." And from here you will learn the meaning of communicating correctly. Today's sermon title, "Trial and Error," is exactly that, failure is the foundation of success. Damascus also took some time after this, but it is said that it was transformed into a Christian city. It never seemed to go to waste.
Not all of Paul's successes as Christian evangelists may be more than failures. However, in that failure, he learned and learned how to convey Jesus.
You can also learn from Paul that it is important to try even if you fail. Let's do it first.
This page is translated from Japanese by google translation.


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