Tuesday, October 08, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of October 6, 2019

Sermon: “Connecting Deeply”

The Renaissance of our sacred spaces at Bethany is nearly complete, however the Renaissance of the soul is ever on going in the life of God’s children. Here at Bethany we pledged our church calendar, our labor, and our financial resources to the renewal of our property; yet the greater renewal to which we’ve pledged ourselves is that of us personally! That God would work His transformative power, His restorative Spirit, His … Renaissance in us and then through us has been our prayer.  Guess what?  It was also Jesus’ prayer!

He was preparing to return to the Father who sent Him; the shadow of the cross and the brilliance of resurrection light were drawing near and Jesus gathered His disciples and prayed.  He prayed for their “renaissance” and ours!  Such starts, according to His prayer, with a connection.

God deeply connected to us in Christ!  Jesus became our human brother to become our Savior! He was one in the human experience.  Jesus knew what it was to be hungry and happy, to be cold and lonely yet also warm and welcomed.  He was cherished…”the babe the Son of Mary.” 

He was cheered, “Hail, Hosanna to the Son of David.” He was belittled by His brothers, “No one who wants to be a public figure stays in the shadows…” and He was betrayed by a disciple, “Judas with a kiss?”  Jesus was one with us in the human experience. 

He was filled with compassion for the woman caught in adultery and He was filled with righteous indignation towards those caught turning the Temple into a “robber’s den”; Christ connected with us deeply!  He faced temptations, “Turn these stones to bread, jump off this pinnacle, bow down and worship me.”  He faced temptation, yet was without sin.   He knew adulation as well as opposition.  He was praised for what He did and plotted against because of what He was doing.  Jesus has shared our human experience.  By His incarnation He has connected to us, to humanity – universally; and through the work of His Spirit, gift of faith, He has connected to YOU personally!   And He in His last official prayer during His earthly ministry prayed that you would connect deeply.

You can read this prayer in John 17

Jesus prays that we would be deeply connected to God Himself!  “Father, I pray that they may be one; just as You are in me and I am in You.  May they also be in us!”  (vs. 20-21)  Jesus is talking about connection, relationship.  He and the Father are indeed One, One God.

Though Distinct persons, (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) there is only One Divine Being or “substance”.  {For more about the Holy Trinity see your small catechism, in the explanation of the Apostles’ Creed section}  

Thus, when Jesus prays for our unity with God He is talking relationally, not “substantially”.  That we Connect Deeply to God in and through Christ is what Jesus Himself prays for.  He also prays that we Connect Deeply with one another.  “Lord protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that they may be one as we are one.”  (vs. 11) Jesus gave you His name too!  When His Word was connected with the waters of your Baptism, His name was written on you!  His name given you!  You became His child, and He became Your God.  Thus, He prays that all of His children would be one, connected deeply with each other. Of course, those not connected to Him by faith are ultimately disconnected from everything that matters!

Hence Jesus prayed for them too!  “Father, as You sent me into the world I am sending them.” (vs. 18)  We are Jesus’ intended answer to His own prayer!  He send us to connect deeply with our calling in our community (communities).  To connect the disconnected to God and His children
-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counter