Sermon Lent 4th
Friday March 25 was the Annunciation of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary was willing to accept God’s call and paved the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. Mary is called “Blessed”/ she served as God’s human agent within the mystery of the incarnation. (This is why my stole does not match the altar. (Explain a tribute to Mary)
The Israelites have finally entered the Promise Land lead by Joshua. We are invited on this Lenten Journey to a deeper awareness of our sins; and the moments in our lives when we are are at a threshold, between the wilderness and our Promise land.
Joshua place twelve large stones from the riverbed and set them up at the encampment near Gilgal as a memorial of the miracle that made there crossing the Jordon River and into a land of freedom. 12 Stones12 tribes.
Psalm32 is a prayer of thanksgiving; it affirms when we do not hide our sins from God, we can discover the blessings of true forgiveness. The psalm reminds us that when we withhold shameful secrets it can place a physical toll on our bodies. Our bodies and our faith are inseparables. God is a strong hiding place and will deliver us from trouble.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
We are reminded from this passage of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, the primary mission is for reconciliation. When we are adopted as children of God, we are a new people and “Everything” has become new”. As a child of God, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation. Our call is to be ambassadors for Christ to lead others to peace.
Luke’s message for us today is a combination of passages from Luke that focus on reconciliation, forgiveness, and joy of finding that which has been lost. This came from the scribes and Pharisees because Jesus ate with sinners. The focus of reconciliation, forgiveness, and the joy of finding what was lost are in response to the grumblings of the Pharisees and scribes because Jesus, ate with the sinners. These phrases appear to answer some of the parables of grace, they are the answer to judgement. A wonderful experience is to be with homeless at holiday time, to experience not just the food but the companionship and for the beautiful looks of thanks that they have.
We started this today’s sermon with the lost person who went on his own and is lost. It is about reconciliation being ambassador for Christ to lead other in peace.
Just remember “Grace strikes us when we are in great restlessness. It strikes when we walk the dark valley of a mean less and empty life. Remember the voice above is saying you are accepted.