Date: August 27, 2017
“ROCKING THE WORLD”
SCRIPTURE: ISAIAH 51: 1
6; MATTHEW 16: 13
GRACE COVENANT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, ASHEVILLE, NC
August 27, 2017
The Rev. Dr. Marcia Mount Shoop, Pastor
51:1 Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the
LORD. Look to
the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug.
51:2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one
when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.
51:3 For the LORD will com
fort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places, and will
make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and
gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song.
51:4 Listen to me, my people, and give heed to me,
my nation; for a teaching will go
out from me, and my justice for a light to the peoples.
51:5 I will bring near my deliverance swiftly, my salvation has gone out and my
arms will rule the peoples; the coastlands wait for me, and for my arm they hope.
:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens
will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on
it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will neve
16:13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his
disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
16:14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, but others Elijah, and still others
ah or one of the prophets.”
16:15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
16:16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
16:17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and
not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.
16:18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the
gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
16:19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you
earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in
16:20 Then he sternly ordered the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
Do you have a rock? Is it a
person? An idea? A
practice? What keeps you steady,
what grounds you, what is the thing you can count on to be there?
Think about it for a minute
I have lots of people who love me in my life
solid people who I trust and love. And I
ot of other things that fr
ame my life
, that ground me in tumultuous times
animals, the night
sounds, writing, riding, yoga, running, breathing.
But if you really want to know who my rock, it’s Jesus.
He’s never let me down
and more than that, he’s be
en with me through some hard
he knew the truth when I was afraid to tell people the truth as a teenager
aulted and stalked; Jesus
abided with me in two difficult
pregnancies when I could do nothing but lie in bed and be stil
was a companion with me in move after move after move in my adult
life when I had to start over and felt lonely and grieved. He’s been with me as I sit
vigil with dying ones and
attend to the emergence of new life with birthing
He’s been with me when I have been called into leadership for our denomination in
like conflicts over sexuality, race, and destructive people
He’s been with me when John and I advocated for collegiate athletes against a bil
dollar business who did not want to hear it.
there when my heartbreaks and when my heart sings.
Because of Jesus I
have never understood myself as being alone
even though I have been through
some lonely times.
ve never made a decisio
n when Jesus
didn’t orient me to
what really matters the most.
Including the decision to say yes to your call to serve this church as your pastor and
head of staff. I came here because of my rock
because it was clear to me that
following him meant saying
yes to you. A year ago today we celebrated my
installation to this position
and the Stated Clerk
of our denomination, J Herbert