Sunday Sermons and Worship

May 24th Sermon
Pastor: Alan Rice





As He is, So are we to be!

Pastor: Alan Rice
Music: Cj Ballard

May 3, 2020





The Weight of an Unseen Crown!

Pastor: Alan Rice
April 26, ,2020
Crossfire UMC has copyright license & streaming license for music. Expires 4/30/2021.




Pursuing Righteousness!
Pastor: Alan Rice
April 19,2020

Crossfire UMC has copyright license & streaming license for music. Expires 4/30/2021.




The Glory of Empty Hands
Pastor Alan Rice
Have a Blessed Easter!

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The Wisdom of God
Stay Safe & Stay Blessed!


The Power Of The Gospel...
Pastor:Alan Rice






Sunday March 22, 2020



Sunday, March 15, 2020

“for the common good”

Crossfire Discussion
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Today for the common good
Today for the common good we are not having our regular worship service, nor shall we next Sunday per the Bishops’ directive. It is not for fear of the Corona-virus. It is instead an act of faith and love for the common good of our neighbors that the spread of the virus might be contained.

Let us begin with a prayer for all the congregations and all of the people in Wilkes County and every county in North Carolina. Let our prayer of blessing and intercessions go to every state in the nation, every nation and every person in the whole world.

May good come out of this. May the common good become the manifestation of Holy Love. May each who suffers be healed and everyone who mourns be comforted.

And all of God’s children say Amen.

Scripture – First Importance Series Theme

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures I Corinthians 15:3 RSV

Scripture – Today’s focus

7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1 Corinthians 12:7 RSV
God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits
1 Corinthians 12:6-7 MSG
The Parade
It was a New Year's Day parade held not in Pasadena but in San Diego, California. There were no roses or floats. Even more unusual was that that no one was allowed to watch the parade. The organizers were the Goff family. It was Bob’s children who complained that New Year’s Day was the most boring of all holidays. The family began to brainstorm together was could they do that would be fun. A parade… Yes, that’s it. Everyone got excited and jobs were assigned. The children would come up with outfits and signs. Bob would be sent to every house on the street to invite them to the parade followed by hamburgers afterwards in their back yard. Maria would help with the costumes and get the fixings for the picnic in the backyard.
Everyone sprang into action. As Bob walked down their small street and knocked on doors, he explained to neighbors they were having a parade. The main rule though was: Anybody who wanted could be in the parade, nobody would be allowed to watch. Surprisingly, no one complained and plenty of the neighbors agreed to march down the street with Bob's kids and join the cookout in the Goff’s' backyard
At the appointed hour, Bob and the family dressed up in their handmade costumes and walked to the end of the street, where they were joined by a few neighbors, and began marching down the street. Good to their word, all of those in the parade went up to all of the neighbors who were just standing in their yard. No watching they said. Mostly it was the children who took them by the hand, converting all parade watchers into parade participants. And by the time they got to their backyard, they had a dozen or more people. Altogether they sat around, enjoying each other's company and hamburgers.
Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (Thomas Nelson, 2009) , pp. 234-237;
Say, should the children’s parade rule, be a rule for the family of faith here at Crossfire?
Paul addressed the Corinthians not working together
In Chapter 1 Paul speaks to the cliques in the church. Some saying the in-group were followers of Peter. Others said it was the Preacher Apollos folks who were the cool people. Some claimed it was Paul’s followers. These church gangs were all lambasted by Paul. He said it is only Christ crucified that matters. It is only the blood washed that are in the Body of Christ. We dare not claim any other.
Then in Chapter 12 Paul say we who are all part of the Body of Christ have been giving the Resurrected Life. We not only get the ruach, the Holy Breath of Life that indwells, guides us and gives to us the Mind of Christ. We were individually given the gifts of the spirt for the holy good of the Body of Christ.
If Foot said, “I’m not elegant like Hand, embellished with rings; I guess I don’t belong to this body,” would that make it so?
If Ear said, “I’m not beautiful like Eye, limpid and expressive; I don’t deserve a place on the head,” would you want to remove it from the body? 1 Corinthians 12:15-16 MSG
None of the gifts are to make any one of us puffed up, but instead to build up the Body of Christ for God’s glory.

Paul said it plainly:
7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:7 RSV
Churches have differing characteristics for the their mission as well
It is not that we can speak in tongues, but rather that we speak in the tongue of those to whom we speak to of Christ so they can understand.
It is not that we share we are going to a land fairer than day where the Son shines forever with holy, glory light, but that we shine in the darkness where people are now suffering in pain and shame.
It is not that we are on the Way and confident of arriving by grace through faith, but that we make known the “more excellent way” which surpassed faith and hope, which is undying Holy Love.

Today take a moment and read the holy love chapter of I Corinthians 13, and when you read the word love, substitute the word Jesus… Then read is again and substitute the word Body of Christ, the church… substitute Crossfire:

Discussion: Where are the places and missions we, Crossfire could join with others, other people, other congregations and other organizations to more fully be part of the witness of the Body of Christ for the common good?
Notes from Discussion
Wouldn’t be denominations – just be one church
Hope for humanity
More apt to serve to the homeless , hungry, children alone at home after school
Seek out where the most hope is needed
Less murders, rapes, spouse abuse
We would be able to keep doing what God calls us to
Communicate better- talk to each other
Better ways to get the word out
Ask one another what the needs are
Get to know one another
Get the word out better
Pray for direction
Serving breakfast in the mornings out of the church kitchen 6-7:30 am during the week
Cross the lines – get other churches involved
Do the job God wants you to do
Help others see God
Use all the talents
Skills here - Nursing, bankruptcies, foreclosures, prayer list, bulletins, medications,
Expand community garden
Grant for breakfast (2500)
What are our resources? Where is God leading us?
Literacy, transportation, encouragement,
Getting people like Subway to donate
Monthly inviting pastors to come together to pray
Free garage sale to the community
Corporate worship with community churches
Set up communication board for churches (TJ)
Domestic violence shelter and support services
Help neighboring churches/communities get involved in developing homeless shelter in their own community
The parade of Christ
During Paul’s day in Rome, he would have witnessed Roman military parades. The prisoners of war would be marched through the streets in shame as loses. Part of the parade though was baskets and garlands o of flowers carried in honor of the sweetness of victory for the army. And then there were perfumed smoke coming from the incense being burned to their gods in thanksgiving. The spectators and those in the parade all breathed in the sweet smelling fragrance. At the end of the parade though, many prisoners would be put to death by wild beasts or sword. Depending on whom you were in the parade the aromas were either the smell of celebration and victory or they were the smell of death.

So it was that Paul wrote the Corinthians in the second letter these words about our being the parade.
15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ 2 Corinthians 2:15-17 RSV

What do you smell?
In the parade to eternity
In the parade to eternity, we are either:
the unsaved who to them the parade speaks of soon coming death
peddlers of God’s word: that is those who are of the factions, the divisions and dissensions who are not a pleasing aroma to God. They may even be unaware that their holiness is hypocrisy, or
the blood bought by Christ the victor: we testify in Christ and seek to be like Christ Jesus.
There are no spectators in the parade of Christ to glory. We will all arrive and all shall be judged.

Only those who by grace thorough faith and through faith working by love are the true aroma of Christ.

There are no spectators. Beloved do you have the confidence and Holy Spirit assurance of who you are in the parade?
Can we make is our prayer not just for our individual witness, and even beyond our witness as Crossfire, but that together, for the common good we seek to be in the parade with all of our blood bought brothers and sisters in Christ in Wilkes County and beyond.

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus you have called us, consecrated and commissioned us
together as the Body of Christ.
Holy Spirit lead and help us to be the aroma of Christ
…walking and witnessing the more excellent way in Christ’s holy love.



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