Adapted from a previous sermon series at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, Kansas
and inspired and using ideas and content from the Rev. Chris B. Herring
preached at Westminster Presbyterian Church of Saint Louis. Original citation lost.
So we’re continuing on in our sermon series
inspired by Paul’s words in the letter to the Galatians
where he says that the fruit of the spirit
is love, joy, peace,
patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control
I was planning for this sermon series about a month ago
knowing I was going to be heading out to the Wyoming wilderness
yellowstone and the grand tetons
home of elk and bison
moose and bear
it made me imagine the possibility of
Isaiah’s peaceable kingdom come to life
that’s what we call this reading Larry offered for us today.
I had this hope that we would go to to the national parks
and experience the utopic vision come to pass
it was a delightful vacation, indeed
but I did not once see a bear delight in the company of a pronghorn
as they sat calmly aside one another
I saw animals behaving as they do
along with my kids behaving as they do
and all moving along as life seems to do.
But the picture of Isaiah is for a time when all of nature
and all of humanity, will be reconciled
where these forces that feel and seem destructive
are harnessed for the good of all creation.
Today, for our reflection, we pair that image
with words from Jesus,
words that come to us from the Gospel of John.
Listen for the Word that comes to us this morning:
‘I have said these things to you while I am still with you.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit,
whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you everything,
and remind you of all that I have said to you.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled,
and do not let them be afraid.
You heard me say to you, “I am going away, and I am coming to you.”
If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father,
because the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it occurs,
so that when it does occur, you may believe.
And may God bless us our reading
and our understanding
and our applying of these words, to how we live our lives. Amen.
Think of it, if you want, as Jesus’ legacy:
His closest friends have gathered around him.
It’s his last hour with them, that time before his arrest, trial, and execution.
And he’s trying to get them READY
for what will happen to him, and happen to them.
Jesus has no possessions to leave to those who have given
three years of their life to follow, and learn, and serve…
Jesus has only what he wears, and soon even that will be stripped from him.
He has amassed no goods to share,
he has no mementoes of any kind to distribute,
to parcel out among those whom he has loved
and who have loved him in return. [Read more…]