|Ash Wednesday, Year A||March 5, 2014||Ash Wednesday, Year A||2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21|
|Last Sunday after Epiphany, Year A||March 2, 2014||Last Sunday after Epiphany||Exodus 24:12-18, 2 Peter 1:16-21. Matthew 17:1-9|
|Seventh Sunday after Epiphany, Year A||February 23, 2014||Seventh Sunday after Epiphany||Leviticus 19:1-2. 9-18; Matthew 5:38-48|
|Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A||February 16, 2014||Sixth Sunday after Epiphany, Year A||Matthew 5:21-37|
|John Hines sermon||February 11, 2014||Daily Office||I Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Ps 84, Mark 7:1-13|
|Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||February 9, 2014||Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||Isaiah 58:1-12, 1 Corinthians 2:1-16, Matthew 5:13-20|
|The Presentation, Year A||February 2, 2014||Presentation in the Temple, Year A||Luke 2:22-40|
|Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||January 26, 2014||Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||Matthew 4:12-23|
|Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||January 19, 2014||Second Sunday after the Epiphany||Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-12, John 1:29-42|
|First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||January 12, 2014||First Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A||Isaiah 42:1-9, Psalm 29, Matthew 3:13-17|
|The Epiphany, Year A||January 6, 2014||Epiphany, Year A||Matthew 2:1-12|
|Second Sunday After Christmas, Year A||January 5, 2014||Second Sunday after Christmas, Year A||Psalm 84, Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a, Matthew 2:13-15, 19-23|
|Christmas Eve||December 24, 2013||Christmas Eve, 2013||Luke 2:1-20|
|Third Sunday in Advent, Year A||December 15, 2013||Third Sunday in Advent, Year A||Isaiah 35:1-10, Matthew 11:2-11|
|First Sunday in Advent, Year A -The Circle of the Church Year||December 1, 2013||Advent 1, Year A||Isaiah 2:1-5, Matthew 24:36-44|
Twenty Fifth Sunday After Pentecost, Year C
Sermon Date:November 10, 2013
Scripture: Job 19:23-27a, Luke 20:27-38
Liturgy Calendar: Proper 27, Year C
As if all the ads in the newspapers weren’t enough, I got this advertisement in Friday’s mail.
“Get Ready!” the cover proclaims.
And yes, it’s that time of year to get ready for the various holidays that are almost upon us—Thanksgiving, quickly followed by Christmas.
But today’s scriptures remind us that as Christians, we are always in a state of getting ready—for our resurrection lives.
Fred Craddock, preacher and theologian, says that resurrection is a conviction about an act of God—“God gives new life in the transcendent world to those who have died.”
Those of us who believe in resurrection life believe that God transforms us into new beings—those beings that Jesus talked about in today’s gospel—those who are resurrected will not die again, because they are like angels and children of God, being children of the resurrection.
Fine, but what does believing in the resurrection mean for us here today, those of us who haven’t yet died?
How do we get ready?
Believing in the resurrection means that we live in hope, even in the face of the great discouragement.
Job’s friends are convinced that Job has been guilty of some horrible offense against God because of the physical suffering and losses that he is enduring. And even though Job complains bitterly, he lives in hope. He knows that he will see God with his own eyes.
We Christians read this passage from Job with Jesus in mind—Jesus, our redeemer, who will stand alongside us and rescue us and transform us—and so we have hope, as Job did, that ultimately, we will see God.
As a child of the resurrection, I live in hope every day, not only in the hope that God has claimed me for eternity, but also in the hope that my resurrection begins here and now–hope that God will take me and transform me—to take what I can give and use it for God’s work in the world.
It’s this sort of hope that led John Bell to write these words that and set them to music.
“Take, oh take me as I am; summon out what I shall be; set your seal upon my heart and live in me.”
We’re going to sing this song—you’ll find the words in your bulletin.
Here’s how it goes.
So we live in hope—hope of being transformed, beginning here and now. As St Paul says in Romans, “be transformed….so that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Because today is the day that we are handing out the pledge cards for next year, I’d like to consider how we live in hope of resurrection as a parish in the ways that we use our finances.
Our transformation toward becoming a resurrection parish has already begun!
You can read about some of the ways God has taken us as we are and has summoned out who we will be as a parish in the letter I’ve included along with your pledge cards.
We’ve grown this year and now have eight children in our Sunday school. And we live in hope that through what we can offer them, they will live hopeful lives—living in hope because they know that God loves them because of what they experience here in this community of faith.
And when Bishop Shannon was here, he commented over and over on how beautiful our grounds were. This beauty is a sign of hope that even as other parts of this town continue to lie in ruin, our church is a place of resurrection beauty. Thanks to Rob Dobson, we have a new bathroom in the Parish House, and thanks to Cookie, Betty and Eunice, we have a beautiful new kitchen floor.
And, we’ve resurrected our organ this year by making some major repairs to the tracker action for the pedal s.
We’ve spent time in fellowship, always a resurrection activity, while learning about the time of Jesus through our Feasting with Jesus series. And we’ve eaten together during Village Dinners, Community Dinners, and Fellowship Dinners.
Outside of our walls, we live in resurrection hope as we’ve partnered with other groups here in Caroline County. Ask Barbara Wisdom about our dinner last Christmas at the Fire House. That dinner was a miracle! How did three pots of soup and some bread feed over 100 people? And we still had left overs. That’s resurrection hope in action, people!
When Marilyn and I went to the jail last Thursday for our monthly Bible study there, we met Charles Garnett, who works at the jail and is a member of Shiloh Baptist here in Port Royal. As the three of us talked, we decided that we would stay in touch, hoping to find some ways that our churches can partner and work together for the good of this town.
That conversation was full of resurrection hope and the desire of all us to be part of God’s work of summoning out what this town of Port Royal will be in the future.
Yes, we are already getting ready here at St Peter’s—getting ready to become who God is summoning us out to be.
At this moment, I’m living in hope of God’s resurrection and summoning of us as a parish when I think about our next year’s budget. I’m hopeful that this year, when you fill out your pledge cards, you will think of your pledge as a sign of your hope to become all that God is calling you to be, and as a sign of your desire to help St Peter’s become what God is summoning us to be together.
Currently, I pledge $ to this church each year, and I plan to raise my pledge this year substantially—because I live in that resurrection hope that I’ve been talking about –the hope that we as a parish can truly be a powerful sign of God’s healing, transforming and resurrection love in this community and in this world.
Together we can do so much more than we can do individually. That’s why our pledges are so important. The money we give to this church helps us Get Ready!
To work toward who God is summoning us out to be!
To be resurrection people! Here and now! In this place! In this town! In this community! And in this world!
Until we all come to share in God’s heavenly kingdom!