I have a memory to share, and it begins with an ancient proverb:
A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Perhaps you have heard this old proverb credited to Publilius Syrus, a 1st century Latin writer who had been a slave freed because of his wit and talent and even won the praise of Caesar. The proverb was apparently written to condemn mobility – constantly being on the move. Moss was seen as desirable and so to grow something desirable, one must plant him/herself.
However, today we tend to think negatively of moss, that is, moss is like a weed. After all, moss only grows when something is stagnate. So, most modern folks interpret this proverb as suggesting that if you are stagnate, you will get dusty, rusty and covered with undesirable things. Instead, get moving, be creative, full of new ideas so that you are fresh, clean and setting things in motion. This more modern interpretation turns the original meaning upside down.
One of the most memorable sermons I can recall from my youth was based on 1 Peter 2:2-10 and titled after this more modern interpretation of rolling stones and moss: Living Stones Gather No Moss. I was in high school though I do not remember exactly how old I was. And since I cannot remember exactly what year it was or how old I was, I cannot be specific about what was happening in my life or in the world. I simply remember the story within this sermon preached by Dr. Tony Cartledge, pastor at Woodhaven Baptist Church (my home church during my teenage years). And I remember it as if I was sitting in the sanctuary listening to it right now.
Tony was an amazing storyteller and writer. His preaching was unlike any other preaching I had ever heard. It drew me in. It taught me to hear scripture not just through 3 points, but through narratives, poetry, and metaphors. Scripture, for the first time, became living for me in a way that was beautiful and inspiring. And this sermon that I remember so vividly illustrates this idea in both its form and its message.
Dr. Cartledge (Pastor Tony, to me) has since published a book of several of his sermons from those days at Woodhaven Baptist, including this sermon that stands out in my memory. (And many of you at Hood got to hear him preach back in November 2016 one Sunday when I was away.) Will you join me on this trip down memory lane by reading Dr. Cartledge’s sermon on 1 Peter 2?
Living Stones Gather No Moss (just click the link and you can read in from Google books for free)
If You Missed Last Sunday’s Sermon…
Read Resurrection: Back to Basics – Acts 2:42-47
God’s Words for This Week
Acts 7:55-60 – Then [Stephen] knelt down, praying loud enough for everyone to hear, “Master, don’t blame them for this sin”—his last words. (The Message, v.60)
Psalm 31:1-5,15-16 – I entrust my spirit into your hand. Rescue me, Lord, for you are a faithful God. (NLT, v.5)
1 Peter 2:2-10 – And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. (NLT, v.5)
John 14:1-14 – Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (CEB, v.5-6)
This Week at Hood
Wednesday, May 10, 4:30 pm – Prayer & Inspiration
Wednesday, May 10, 5:30 pm – Snack Dinner
Wednesday, May 10, 6:00 pm – Children’s Class, Adult Workshop on Technology & Social Media, Choir Practice & Yoga
Thursday, May 11, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pastor Jason available for conversation at the Cellar (108 N Wilson Ave)
Sunday, May 14, 11:00 am – Worship – Bring pictures of your mother and/or a mother-figure in your life!