Sunday, August 12, 2018

Sermon: The Fourth Letter to the Holy Ones

The Fourth and final Letter to the Holy Ones

I write this letter to you as an ambassador on a chain.
I write it to you the Holy Ones who continue in the faith of Jesus Christ.

          In my first three letters I have written many things:
-I have continually thanked God for you Holy Ones who continue in the faith of Jesus Christ.
-I have insisted that God is reconciling and uniting all people through Jesus Christ.
-I have proclaimed that the goal of God’s action in Christ is a new creation.

          And you all need to know
because God’s goal is a new creation,
because unity in Christ is how that is happening,
because you are folk who continue in the faith of Jesus
Therefore your life will be forever changed!
          Therefore all the rules in this world, from the 10 commandments to common courtesy—they have changed for us, haven’t they?
          Getting angry or tearing someone down… when you can be thankful instead… is downright diabolic.
If Christ is uniting us, one to another… then lying to your neighbor is the same as knowingly lying to yourself.
           Theft is just downright illogical… instead it is our holy logic that we share with those in need, recreating the world for Christ’s sake.

          Oh my family, do not grieve the Holy Spirit, do not become unfeeling, do not lose the compassion that is yours from Christ, such a loss would be a win for the devil.
Lose all bitterness, wrath, anger, wrangling, slander, and malice
Gain a tender, kind, forgiving heart—for God in Christ has forgiven you all.
          Be little Christs, children of God, imitating God.
Walk in love, for he walked the path of ultimate love for you.

          It is all worship, delightful to God, salt that flavors, and light that illuminates—that’s what we are, what right worship is.
          It is all worship, giving thanks and praise, being astonished by all that is good, all that is from God—notice it and give thanks!
          It is all worship, every role we have in the world, every relationship we have—-----—in everything you are, be mindful of Christ.
-As a crossing guard, be mindful of Christ,
as a student, be mindful of Christ,
-as a parent or grandparent, as a child, as a spouse—be mindful of Christ
-as a tax collector or rabble rouser, carpenter or fisherman
-as a teacher as a tinkerer as a truck driver,
-as a nurse as a night watchman as an anesthesiologist
-Ditch digger and a dime store clerk… every vocation
…in everything you are, be mindful of Christ.
Be empowered by God whoever you are,
and know that there are no second-class citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven!

          I write all that like it is easy or something…
it is not…
it is hard, it’s impossible even
…this journey we are on together, the way of Jesus, following after our savior…
it’s hard, it got him killed didn’t it?
So, bring with you enough bread for the journey… God’s justice
So, be swaddled with all that is from God…. Salvation and Spirit
Be bound tight by our loving Lord so that we can follow… enfolded in faith
Be clothed and protected in God… that peace that passes all understanding.
Be empowered by the Lord, after all there are plenty of powers that push against you,
powers that shall be overcome by the Lordship of Christ
—the diabolic kingdoms of this world shall come under the reign of the Kindom of God!
I write all of this to you in utter confidence and without fear, for I wear the very garments I offer up to you—Justice, Peace, Salvation, Faith, and Spirit… I have faced the worst of the world and yet been reconciled and redeemed, and so shall all that is be reconciled and redeemed through Christ Jesus.

Peace to the whole community, and love with faith from God the Father and Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace be with all those who have an undying love for our Lord Jesus, the Anointed.