Breath of Spring 050513 Sermon
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Sixth Sunday of Easter
Revelation 21:10, 22—22:5
A Breath of Spring 050513 Sermon
Good Sunday morning to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ., if it is finally spring! But people are starting to act like it’s spring, and so are plants and animals. These sudden cold spells, and even late snow, make us all wonder.\ what’s going on. I saw a local photograph of snow covering a purple Lilac
People, including myself tend to feel spring in exuberant ways—sometimes celebrating or singing out loud, but almost always we tend to reappraise our lives,
our careers and maybe even our relationships and start off like spring—rapidly, with great energy and intent. It’s hard to remember to do this, but can I suggest that each of us take the time to ask God for direction this spring. Paul, in Acts 16, hears God telling him, leading him to go Europe, to preach the good news to the Macedonians
(the Greeks) and to cross over from Asia Minor to the coast of Europe, in Macedonia. We are so schooled into thinking that Paul was a woman-hating, racist man that we are not
accustomed to recognizing that for a Jew to be called and to go to the land of the Greeks and to Europe was very radical and extreme. To do what Paul and his friends did in Acts required the voice of God. It was a direction and a mission likely to lead to execution, arrest,starvation and shipwreck. For Paul it led to all of these.
With this spring, I hope for God to speak clearly to each of us—to lead each of us in a newdirection, a new mission for us all.
For one, I am praying for a church, a communion of disciples that seeks to know Jesus Christ,and to follow him. It has been said that Christian churches are self-serving lodges of self-serving people—who come together for socializing and food, but forget to feed the poor, the widows and orphans and forget to visit those in prison.
So, I;m trying to envision a church that is NOT what I desire, but would be a church to serve others and designed to serve others rather than to serve the
desires of the founders , the leaders, the elders.
In John 14:31 Jesus says “Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.” and maybe it is—maybe it is time for all of us disciples to leave behind what
church has become, and begin to be something new.
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The Message (MSG)
A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come
over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We
went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia.
All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had
called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.
11-12 Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied
up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We
lingered there several days.
The Message (MSG)
67 1-7 God, mark us with
and blessing! Smile!
country will see how you work,
godless nations see how you save.
God! Let people thank and enjoy
Let all people thank and enjoy
Let all far-flung people become happy
shout their happiness because
You judge them fair and
you tend the far-flung
God! Let people thank and enjoy you.
Let all people thank and enjoy you.
Earth, display your
You mark us with blessing, O
God, our God. You mark us with blessing, O God.
four corners—honor him!
The Message (MSG)
9-12 One of the Seven Angels who had carried the bowls filled
with the seven final disasters spoke to me: “Come here. I’ll show
you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” He took me away in the Spirit
to an enormous, high mountain and showed me Holy Jerusalem descending
out of Heaven from God, resplendent in the bright glory of God.
The Message (MSG)
me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of
God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of
Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of
fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for
healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne
of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God
service—worshiping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads
mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need
lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the
light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after
The Message (MSG)
world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he
will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll
move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my
words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message
of the Father who sent me.
things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit
whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain
to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m
leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I
don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling
abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you
would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father
is the goal and purpose of my life.
ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the
confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking
with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world
is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no
claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the
Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to
the last detail.
“Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.”
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