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Sermon for Easter 6C 2007

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Sermon for Easter 6C 2007

Children’s Message:  This a night light.  We have a couple of them in our home.  They are plugged into the sockets all the time, but they only come on when it’s dark.  They are always ready for us if we need them.  The love and teaching of Jesus is always here for us.  All we have to do is turn to Him to see the truth about the world, and go to His Word to understand what He wants us to do.  Jesus called Himself the light of the world that will never be overcome by darkness.

Sermon Text:  John 16:32-33 (ESV) 

    Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  [33] I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Moments of Remembrance

A.   Our grandson Tyler

a.     My personal anguish

b.    My anguish for his dad

c.     My anguish and amazement at Tyler’s Mom, our oldest daughter

B.   My mother

a.     How she misses my dad

b.    How she isn’t the same mom I remember

c.     How I receive glimpses of who she was even in the midst of her memory loss.

C.   My wife

a.     What a great mom she has been

b.    What a joy it is to see her loving our grandchildren

c.     The current role reversal—the child caring for the parent.

In the midst of my personal anguish, Jesus gives me the blessed assurance that I am not alone.

The Creation of Humanity

A.   Adam—the first human being

a.     Made in the image of God

b.    Made to glorify God

c.     Made to care for the world God has placed him in.

B.   Adam & Eve

a.     It was not good for the human being to be alone among the animals

b.    God divided the Adam into two complimentary beings

c.     Such a division is another sign of God’s nature and how He has chosen to reveal Himself.

C.   The Fall

a.     The two human beings believed & used Satan’s lies to rebel against God.

b.    Sin stained forever the relationship between God and humanity, and among human beings.

c.     The roles of mutual service, complimentary vocation, leadership, child raising, and discipleship have been twisted and marred.

In the midst of our sin and rebellion, Christ can & will bring us peace when we turn to Him.

The story of Hannah & Samuel

A.   Hannah was not fulfilled

a.     She could not have children

b.    She was ridiculed by the other wife and disrespected by her community

c.     She sought the help of God through the priest Eli

B.   God gives her Samuel as a gift

a.     In response to her faith

b.    In acknowledgement of her sacrifice to give up Samuel to the Lord

c.     To demonstrate the love of God for His children

C.   Hannah gives God all the glory (Read 1 Samuel 2:1-5)

Whatever our circumstances may be in this life, God is always with us.

Our culture today

A.   The importance of mothers

a.     A mother is required to come into this world

b.    Mothers are the means of sustenance for the first year or so of life.

c.     Mothers protect and care for their children.

B.   Place of mothers

a.     Mothers impart to their children all manner of things needed to grow & mature

b.    Mothers were at one time revered in our society, and they should still hold a place of high honor (4th commandment)

c.     Satan has convinced many men, and a few powerful women, that God’s original plan for complimentary love and service is not the way that people should live.

C.   Mothers keep the faith & provide nurture in the faith

a.     Mothers are faithful to God because most know what a wonderful gift He has given to them in their children (& husband!)

b.    Mothers cling to their in the midst of their trials and tribulations and heartbreak involving their children.

c.     Mothers serve as another sign of the love of God so graciously bestowed upon His children, even though we still often turn away from our Lord.

We have nothing to fear, because Jesus Christ has overcome the world.

Christ is always with us.

A.   In our sorrow

a.     Our personal failures

b.    Our personal sin

B.   In our tribulation

a.     The trials of life from the early years to the later years

b.    The disappointments of vocation, marriage, family, and children

c.     The troubles of sin, disease, death and the devil.

C.   In our loneliness

a.     The loss of a life mate

b.    The loss of children

c.     The loss of freedom, independent living, and health

d.    The closing in of the world upon us in our later years

In these times when Christ sometimes seems to so distant, we have the presence of our mothers, or the memories of our mothers--the kind word, the light touch, the goodnight kiss, the warmth of her love.  Sometimes even the scolding for things done wrong, but then the sharing of a cookie to make things right again. 

          The church is the “mother” of those who Christ claims as His own.  In His temporary physical absence, Christ has instituted the Church, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to be His bride, and therefore to be the mother of all who come to believe in Him.  As our “mother”, the church is called by Christ to be about the motherly work of loving, teaching, nurturing, and feeding those to whom the Holy Spirit has given spiritual birth. 

          Through our mothers, our great and gracious God has given us a lovely and clear illustration of the work of the Trinity in the relationship of Christ and His church.  Jesus as the Son has been given the authority and responsibility by the Father to bring fallen humanity into God’s Kingdom.  Jesus as the obedient Son has gone to the cross to be the means of salvation for all people.  Jesus the fulfiller of all His promises sent the Holy Spirit to establish the church, to be the bride of Christ, on Pentecost Day.  Jesus the Bridegroom cares for His bride, the Church, through the Holy Spirit for the purpose of raising up His elect unto faith, and instituting His Church as the means of communicating the Good News to the world so more can join in the blessedness of knowing our Savior and joining all the saints in heaven.

          As we see our mothers today, we understand how God’s wonderful creation was started with a single human being, who was divided according to God’s plan, with the purpose of male and female being joined together to continue the expansion of humanity for God’s glory.  We celebrate today our mothers, and all they do for us, and we also look to our church as the bride of Christ who is preparing for that time to come when we will all join Christ our Bridegroom at the heavenly marriage ceremony to which He has called each one of us to attend.

          In my view, Jesus is surely what He claims to be—the Son of God.  But in His Sonship, He also gave to His disciples, even Peter, those very important instructions that are the essence of what God had in mind for mothers to be:  Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, and feed my sheep

    Through our mothers, the words of Jesus bring us love, comfort, joy, and hope:  Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.  I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

And now may the peace of God that surpasses all human understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, who has overcome the world for our sake, Amen.

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