SERMON TITLE: “Renewing Our Resolutions: Witness”
SERMON TEXT: Acts 10:34-48
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: January 30, 2022 at First UMC
A couple weeks ago, I read an article in The Salt Lake Tribune. The article was an interview of Brian Covey, a football receiver for the University of Utah Utes. The article could have been about football plays in the recent Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. But, instead, the interview was a lot more about Brian Covey’s religious faith as a returned missionary and active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
When the interviewer asked Covey if he ever had any football opponents who made his faith difficult, Brian described a situation from his sophomore year, when the Utes were playing against the University of Washington. Brian got tackled by a guy much bigger than him. While Brian was still on the ground suffering from the blow, one of the Washington players walked past and snarled, “That’s what you get, Jesus boy.” Covey reported that he has heard that kind of remark on the field more than once. But he said he hasn’t minded. “I’m happy to be called ‘Jesus boy,’’ he said. “That’s a compliment, you know . . . Football has given me a platform to really show that Christ is the most important thing to me.”*
In this first month of this New Year, we’ve been talking about the vows we make when we join a United Methodist church. As we just witnessed in our worship service this morning, when new persons join our congregation, they make some important promises. But they aren’t alone in those vows, since everyone in the worship service is also given an opportunity to respond with our own re-commitment to participate faithfully in the congregation with our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. Today, we’re exploring that last one. We may not be football players with a big audience. But as United Methodists, we’re still faced with this question of, “How do we represent Christ on the field of life?” What does it mean for us to renew our resolution to participate faithfully as a witness?