Sermons on following Jesus
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they…
The opening lines of the movie Amadeus highlighting the genius of Mozart and the divine gift of his compositions, begins with words of an aged Antonio Salieri, speaking from a place of despair and ridicule, and reflecting on the first time he heard the beginning notes of Mozart’s Serenade No. 10 in B flat major — “On the page, it looked simple, nothing. The beginning simple, almost comic. Just a pulse. Bassoons, Basset Horns. Like a rusty squeezebox. And then,…
I say the same words each week to many people, but, they never become mundane or repetitive, because it’s the same invitation Jesus makes to John’s disciples in today’s gospel, “Come and see”. These words, repeated weekly from my heart to yours are, “The body of Christ, the bread of heaven” or in Lent “The body of Christ, broken for you.” These words, uttered often soft and pensive, as they come from the soul place of my being, are designed…
We can’t stay in or return to that place of utter communion we all experienced in Brian’s hospital room this week, but we can be determined to live out of that moment. We can allow the sense of shared love, of openness to one another and God, to be what defines us as we move forward. We can allow God to give us the ability to see without blinking, to open our hearts to the wholeness which can and will be ours again. And we can allow God to hold us, tenderly, fiercely, and with steadfast love. For in that release of our souls into the heart of God, we will find and fall into the truth of God, and we will be restored and saved.
Today, Jesus throws another complication into the delicate balancing act of our life. Jesus invites us to move from traveling alongside him, to being his disciple. And in doing so, is asking us to re-order our loyalties and affections that might normally claim first place.
Living within the tension of what we believe the Kingdom of God is all about and the harsh reality of our world can be very difficult. We, like the many who marched alongside Jesus on the descent into Jerusalem, imagine a better world, one where love rules, where truth prevails, where people are respected, where voices of the innocent are heard, where the vulnerable are protected, where reconciliation is the only option, where God’s dream of love becomes real.
This story becomes real for each one of us when we make that mark of the sign of the cross on our hearts and faithfully follow Jesus into the places that no rational person would traverse. That’s how we find Easter in our lives. Amen.
It is important for us to remember that God’s call to us is not limited to what we should do when we grow up. In fact, the majority of calls from God are daily nudges throughout the day to help us build the Kingdom, one interaction at a time. But even these calls can and do evoke the same responses in us as the big ones do. The best part is that God insists on calling us out of ourselves and comfort zones over and over again—- and then leads us into great adventures in love.
Jesus claims the meaning of being named the Son of God in today’s scriptures. We explore what it means to live in and be propelled through the gap between who we claim to be and who God desires us to become.