Manual Rest In His Love, Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ

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They talk, and Jesus leads that conversation to the truth — the truth that is his word and his life.

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The truth that Jesus is the word and is the life. For the victory that Jesus receives and gifts to each of us in our baptisms, is the gift of new life; the gift of a renewed and resurrected life in those holy waters. We hear this story on the last day of our church year. This is a question that many of us seek to find an answer to. It is the question that continues to be on the forefront of our minds in the midst of a turbulent time in the life of our country.

There are many who think the truth is in military power, or in political words, perhaps in the latest technological marvel, or in intellect and experience. And none of those things are truly bad. Depending how they are used. In more ways than one, those things can distract us and pull us away from the truth that is spoken and by the one who speaks truth. For we know who calls us towards the truth. We know that voice that calls us by name. That voice full of care, and grace, and love, and power.

That voice that leads us to see the kingdom around us. That voice that directs us to see God at work in our lives and the life of the world. That voice that is always at work — proclaiming, serving, being with all of creation. And as we listen, we see our lives being led by our king — our Christ. Though in those moments of confusion and unknown, we do know that our King — the one who speaks truth — looks and sounds a lot like the ones who serve those in need, who proclaim love and grace, who are present among those cast to the side by our world.

Newsletter - Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church: Home

The truth that is spoken to us — the voice that we follow — speaks that language of love for the world. How that is made known in our lives is different for everyone, but the voice still calls out to us, still leads us, still pushes us, to see the truth and love that is in the world. This truth that boldly walks to the cross for the sake of the world and is victorious over sin and death.

And as we end this year in the church, we look forward for the ability to wait and to make space for the truth — for the voice of Christ — who calls to us and leads us out of grace and peace and love. Because more often than I care to admit, people want to know what this means, what does this text point to, is this the end of the world as we know? And should we feel fine? And, just so you know no one else has been given a book like that either. Jesus even warns against those individuals in our reading today as well, we should probably keep that in mind.

As I read this text, I know many want to focus on the terribleness that Jesus describes.

The Question of Rest Still Lingers from 1:9

With his talk of nation rising against nation where the more accurate translation is probably people rising against people. Earthquakes, famines, and more. Where fathers will turn over sons, families will rise against one another, where there will be such awfulness in the world all because of Jesus and what calls his followers to proclaim and live into.

To be safe in the knowledge that as a faithful person of God, you are going to be OK. Let the rest lose it and sort themselves out accordingly. Where there are those who would proclaim that as faithful people following the ways of Christ, we are to remove ourselves from this terrible world and just wait.

But, the more I think about it; the more I look at what Jesus proclaims to us throughout all the gospels; the more I read into the words of Paul and the prophets; the more I cannot help but think that Jesus has no intention of us removing ourselves from the world. Putting blinders on while the world screams in chaos around us.

Turning away from people in need. In fact, as I read of these awful things, I look to what is sandwiched right in the middle, Jesus briefly states that these awful things are but, the beginnings of the birth pangs. And that got me thinking. Birth, for the most part, has wonderful news at the end. New life awaits. New opportunities. Changed life. Changed views. Welcoming one into the world that needs to be cared for in order to survive. But, even before we get to the outcome, labor still needs to be endured.

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Perhaps not getting down there and catching the baby, but providing space, calling for help, being present. Someone is giving labor. I like to believe that most people would be there for someone going through labor. To care, to provide for the need that is around them. Because it is a vital, intimate, and incredible event. Yet, we are drawn to help and care for the one in need. It is one of the things that no matter who you are, where you come from, how you speak, we all share in common.

My Redeemer Jesus Christ (feat. Micah Massey & Dee Wilson) (Live)

We all come into the world the same way, and all our mothers endure that labor. We as faithful people of God are called to gather around when tragedy strikes.

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When turmoil and pain are experienced. We see it as we hear of news of more mass shootings in our country. We see it in the devastation of natural disasters of wind, water, and fire upon our tv screens, phones, and monitors. We dive in and help in the ways that we can. And I believe that God is calling us to continue to help, to invest in the lives of others, to be with those in their time of need. This morning we hear Jesus speak in ways that can terrify us — it sure terrified the disciples as they heard this news and then pulled him aside to explain what he means a little more.

We have been in the midst of birth pangs since Jesus boldly marched to the cross and those around him continued to spread the Word and Truth of who he is — the Son of God, the messiah come down, the flesh incarnate, the love poured freely into all creation. What Jesus speaks to has already begun and has been a part of our very lives and the history of creation for over years.

Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley

Instead, I feel drawn to care, to proclaim, to continue to live into the love that God has brought into the world and that the Holy Spirit continues to guide me and all of creation through. I call upon each of you — those gathered with us today, and those listening in on the radio now — to come and join into this radical movement of love, grace, and forgiveness that challenges so many cultural norms. The love that causes people to rise up, that can and at times does drive families and friends a part because it is so radical in its welcome and hospitality to those on the fringe, to those whom the world casts out and puts aside.

The church, the body of Christ, the world, all of creation has been experiencing birth pangs since God tore the heavens apart and became flesh into the world. Let us all gather in, provide care, encouragement, guidance, love, and grace to a world in desperate need to hear of the good news that waits at the end, the good news of new life.

The good news of forgiveness and welcome and love. Gather in. Live out this love. So, this is always an interesting text to read. And believe me, the subtlety or lack of it is not lost on me as this gospel reading is slated for the day that we have our annual meeting where we vote on our ministry spending plan for and vote for endowment fund by-laws.

Let it be known that this is a happy coincidence and spirit led time. But, the context in which this text is read, and how we get to hear it this day is not really the reason why I find this text interesting. It has more to do with the fact that as I read of this poor widow giving all that she has to the temple, I cannot help, but want to rush to her and get her to stop. Save your money to care for yourself. And frankly, I hope many would see the goodness and faithfulness of doing that as well.

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Part of the reason for that failing is that those who are in charge of caring for the poor and widows care more about how they look, how they speak, where they get to sit, and more. They care about themselves. In fact, the greatest sin they have is their apparent indifference to the care of the poor and widows. So, all of that is rolling through my mind as I read of this woman giving all that she has to the temple.

There are so many reasons for her not to give in order to care for herself. But, then I stop. I pause.