19Baskets is an independent publisher, but it’s also a network of Christian authors who are working together to gather up the fragments of our own teaching ministries into writing—a format that allows us to carry the fruit of our study, prayer, and thinking into the future for repeated use.
One of the authors on our network is Rick Stawarz, who recently published a sermon Sheep and Wolves on June 22nd, 2014, from Matthew 10:16-33. In it, he writes:
We are now in Ordinary Time, which is designated by the color green. Before we talk about what that means, let’s first take a minute to review where we are coming from; we Christians who follow the ancient worship pattern of the church calendar have just witnessed amazing things.
We entered into the solemnity of Lent, the gladness and alleluia of Resurrection, and the filling and equipping of God’s power on Pentecost. Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday, when we recognized our God is an eternal relationship of love: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Big things, right? But now what? Now you find churches decorated with green banners and clergy are wearing green stoles. This isn’t a terribly exciting color. It’s the color of grass, trees, and turtles. It’s an ordinary color, which is what we call this season: Ordinary or Normal. But, don’t be mistaken. Don’t confuse this with the season of the mundane or the season of boring. And certainly don’t confuse this as a season of rest. As we have seen in our gospel reading this morning, Jesus has other plans for us, doesn’t he? (Full Sermon)
Ordinary Christian Writing
There is so much to commend about this sermon, but I thought his description of Ordinary Time was a perfect metaphor for the kind of ordinary Christian writing that our network is working together to produce. It isn’t clickbait trying to drive traffic by holding out the promise of controversy, gossip, lust, emotional manipulation, or outrage, but rather the pure words of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need to spend more time listening to the voice of Jesus instead of all those vapid voices that tend to fill our Facebook newsfeeds.
There is great power in bringing the spinning dizziness of the world to a halt for even just a few minutes so that we can listen to our Lord address us in his word. The fact that we so rarely do so is the cause of a great many problems in the church.
Unity and Diversity
The other thing I love about how Rick’s sermon/article encapsulates the goals of 19Baskets is in the fact that Rick brought the riches of his Anglican tradition into what he writes. I’m a Presbyterian, so I wouldn’t think of talking too much about Ordinary Time, but it works well in Rick’s sermon. Our network also currently includes the Baptist Micah Simpson. We’re all united around the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we stand in different traditions. There is great diversity, as well as great unity, which is a very exciting thing in the church of Jesus Christ.
Are you at all interested in joining our community, and contributing to the unity and the diversity? If so, I’d love to hear from you. You can get ahold of me here.