Sermon at First Presbyterian Church Lockhart

"Love In,- The Father"

Acts 16:16-34,  Psalm 97,  Revelation 22:12-21,  John 17:20-26

May 16, 2010

by James Greene

 

           The title of today’s sermon is Love In,- The Father.  Now back in the ‘60’s the term Love In reflected a counter cultural movement that went against the grain of the society in the US.  It claimed that its focus was upon Peace and Love to and for all mankind.  It was idealistic in its focus, and rebellious in its nature.  The focus included behaviors that were against the social laws and norms in the society.  It used the words “ripping off” to give credibility and acceptance to the behavior of stealing people’s property.  Love was something that was a convenience and people were disposable.

There was little permanence in the relationships that the “modern” generation was engaging in.  It was nothing close to the intimate relationship displayed within fellowship of the Trinity that we see in the text this morning.  That kind of Love is intimate and everlasting.  It is the Love of the Father, to the Son, with the Holy Spirit.

           In John Eldrige’s book “Epic”, he uses the image from the beginning of the movieThe Last of The Mohicansto describe the intimate relationship of the Trinity.  The three men are running in concert through the wilderness, each one in tune with the other as they were hunting.  It is a conversation without words.  It is an understanding without the need to explain.  They were working in concert, and they were in relationship, and they moved as one.

           Eldrige uses this example to explain how there was a timebefore” the creation when there was a relationship within the God Head of the Trinity.  It is the intimacy that we see in the readings from the texts this morning.

 

In our reading from Acts, we see Paul and Silas in prison.  In spite of their trials and hardships they continued to pray and sing hymns to God.  They were faithful in their circumstances.  They were faithful to the guard who was their jailer.  They saved him from death.  Because of their relationship to Christ, they changed his view and he came to believe in God through their example and their fellowship.  This changed not only the guard, but also his entire household.  

 

           In Psalm 97, God reigns in all the earth.  God has power over all the earth.  The Lord calls everyone to worship him in Judah and in Zion to be glad and rejoice because of God’s righteousness and judgments.  God’s light and love shines upon those who believe in Him; those who reflect his righteousness and his love.

 

In the reading from Revelation reveals Christ, coming in his righteousness and his glory,  to bring his reward to those who believe in him, and are apart of his Kingdom.  It is about his being in time and before time and the end of time, and how the righteous will be with him, in fellowship, in the New Jerusalem.

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In the reading from John, we see the amplification of the intimate relationship within the Trinity, between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Just like Eldrige’s example of the Trinity, Jesus demonstrates that example by praying for all believers in the church of the future, that they will hear the Apostle’s preaching.  It reveals that Christ is praying for us.    Just as we, as followers of Christ, are called to pray for each other.  It is all part of the concept of being one with each other and being one with Christ.  The church should live near, with, and in God, just as the church should be nearer to each other.  The one way we see this example, is with our evangelical brethren who call each other “Sister”, or “Brother” because we are called to be in relationship.  It is through The Word, that believers are brought to Christ.                                          When we worship God, as the fellowship, it draws us together.  We, even as different denominations, sing the same hymns, and we have the Love of God in us and about us, as Christ’s followers. 

 

In this passage we also notice, that Christ gave away His gloryWhat is his reason for sharing and giving away his glory?  It is so that they may be one, just as He and the Father are one.  It is so the world would know that the Father had sent Him and that the Father loved them, as he demonstrated that love to the Apostles.  We see God choosing to love the creatures and the Creation.

 

           The text is confusing when we first read it with all of the in me, and in you statements.  But the key focus is still, to demonstrate that intimate relationship within the God head, and the demonstration of the same intimate relationship with Christ and among believers.  It is the innate atmosphere of the Trinity, and call of the fellowship of the Church to reflect that atmosphere.  Just as we have seen in the previous weeks, this form of Agape love, a love of total acceptance in the spirit, is the kind of love we are to reflect as followers of Christ.  We are called to share that Love in, the Father, just as Christ has shared and demonstrated the Father’s Love towards the Apostles and towards his followers.  It is all focused upon the relationship that is within us, and demonstrated through us, to those around us.  We are called to share that love in the Father, to all we come to meet, like Paul and Silas with the jailer, and with each other  

 

           In the Name of    the Father,   the Son,   and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastoral Prayer                                                                                                   5/16/10

           Dear Lord, we give thanks for the Father’s Love revealed to us through you.  You are the Lord that points us, to the Father.   In our praise to you, we give thanks for the unity you offer to us, your people, -  turn us towards You, and towards each other.  Help us to live in your love, in the fellowship of the church.

           O Lord, we pray for Your Spirit that teaches and sustains us in and through your Word.  Bring about your Oneness with you in our lives.  Help us to live in the intimate fellowship of the Trinity revealed in Christ.  Turn our hearts to you, help us to live into your love, and will.  We give thanks for your provision for us.

           We pray for those in leadership in our government that their focus is in Your Word and Your Will. We pray for our President and those in Congress. Watch over the men and women in our armed forces, who answer the call to serve You and our country.  Stand with and comfort them on their duty, and in their service; be their comfort, defender, and shield

           We pray for the capping of the well in the Gulf, that it would prevent further damage to the creation.

           Your Son laid down his life for us, in Righteousness. 

Help us to live our life in Your Love and Righteousness as The People of God.                                   

           We pray for those who's spirit need our comfort.  For the Wilson and Hoffman families in the loss of their mother Estelle.  Let us be your helping grace.

We pray for those who are sick, or in the hospital, or in need of your healing compassion.

name:

*George Miller for healing,                            *Tom Miller for healing

*Leticia Frausto for healing, and chemo       *TheWallace family

*Betty Burton for strength                              *Kimberly Preweet – for recovery chemo

*Pastor James Lee for strength                                *Kay Duffield – for strength and recovery

*Lyle Looger -for strength and recovery       *Tom Bennet – for strength

*David Koch - for healing and recovery.       *Wayne Casteel – for recovery

 

           We pray for those we name, in our hearts, … and to remember that all things,

including this life,  is a gift  from you. 

We give thanks for this Christian fellowship, that sustains us in our trials and problems;  You hold us in the comfort of your loving care. We know Salvation is found in you alone.  And help us to live our lives and trust in you alone, through your living Word,

Jesus the Christ,  -who taught us to pray:

 

Charge and Benediction

 

           "The grace of God, which passes all understanding,                                 TBoCP

           keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God,

                      and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord:

           And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

                      be amongst you and remain with you always."