Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of August 25, 2019

Sermon: “Back to School… ‘er Church. The Three R’s – Relaying to Christ”

He was angry with the pastor and the congregation and thus had not been in worship for a very long time.  The anger had grown to animosity toward God too and so he’d not welcomed His presence lately either.  A positive cancer diagnosis, with negative outlook led him to the hospital and moved his wife to make a call and request a visit.  It just so happened the congregation had a brand new vicar who had no history with the patient so he was sent to make the call.  “What the heck are you doing here?”  The vicar was asked….he didn’t actually use the word “heck”… I came to pray with you replied the vicar, not really sure what to say nor even what to pray.  

Three decades later that vicar does not remember a single sentence spoken in the supplication…but he remembers like it was yesterday what happened next. The door opened, medical personnel walked in, dumbfounded they explained how the latest scan was clear of any tumors and said there was no explanation beyond the miraculous.  For the first time in quite some time anger left the man; and for the first time in a long time the man attended church on Sunday, reconciled with the staff, was reconnected to his congregational family and knelt at the Lord’s table.  A day later the hospital called, distraught and apologetic to explain that there had been a mix up with the files and that he needed to get to the hospital immediately.  The next time he was in church was for his funeral. 

In between however he asked the pastor to come with communion and welcomed friends from church to stop in for a visit. The vicar learned a best lesson he could about prayer through the event: The power of prayer is NOT in the communicator (the person praying) but the recipient (He to whom our prayers ascend in Christ Jesus).  The purpose of prayer is not in the life of the recipient (God) but the communicant (the one praying) and/or the supplicant (the one prayed for).   The expanded lesson includes the reality that prayer connects us to our Creator and to His creatures and creation; as well as the realization that prayer helps us learn to listen to God and learn to listen to others.  So it goes without say that the Spirit would move the apostle to invoke us in praying… “Devote yourself to prayer…”  Colossians 4:2 
-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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