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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sermon 04282013 4th Sunday After Easter

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray!  God of Heaven and earth, You sent Your Son Jesus Christ to set we captives free from our sin.  But we need You to now send Your Holy Spirit to make known our sins and remind us of Jesus righteousness won for us on the Cross of Calvary.  Enable us to embrace Your Holy Spirit and understand this is part of the needed plan of salvation and the Holy Spirit now makes You known to us daily and continuously reminds us of Your love for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning.  AMEN.

In one sense we are in no mans land this morning.  Just as we are between the seasons with Winter and the snow fall of this past week and Spring with the warm temperatures this weekend.  We are also in between two great festivals in the middle of the church year.  Easter has come and gone and Pentecost is on the horizon.  Just as if we are travelling to Colby, Hays or Manhattan on I-70 early in the morning and the sun is rising in the East, we are at a point in the church year that looks forward to the completion of the festival portion of the church year and the beginning of the season after Pentecost which is also known as the Season After Trinity.

But this morning our Gospel lesson speaks to us of what is needed in order to make known the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  Just as when we travel we need to know where we are headed in order to get there as well as what roads and highways we will take, Jesus is telling the disciples what will occur and what the path is going to be for them and for us today.  In a nutshell this is Jesus message to His disciples and for us today.  “Jesus needs to go so the Holy Spirit could come and make known our sin and Jesus righteousness and to guide us in how to Glorify God.”  Let me repeat it a little bit slower so we can clearly understand the path that we will follow this morning.  “Jesus needs to go so the Holy Spirit could come and make known our sin and Jesus righteousness and to guide us in how to Glorify God.”

Jesus will have accomplished His mission and tasks of living among the people here on earth, healing them of their earthly maladies and going to the cross and dying for our sins.  Jesus has completed the plan of salvation.  Jesus has completed what He was supposed to do here on earth.  Just as those who have served in the military on a tour of duty or even those of us remember being at school and being called to the old chalk board and now the ‘dry erase board’ to complete a math problem or fill in a blank on a sentence, once the task was completed we return to our seat.  Jesus in the same way is to return to the Father in heaven after having completed the salvation of all of mankind.  Jesus actually needs to return to the Father in heaven.
Because if Jesus does not return, then the Third person of the Holy Trinity cannot come and complete His part in the plan of salvation.  If Jesus does not return to the Father, the Holy Spirit will not come.  The Holy Spirit has to come here among us.  If we think about the Apostle’s Creed that we will confess in a few minutes, the Father has the role as Creator, the Son has the role as Redeemer and the Holy Spirit has a role, the Holy Spirit is the Sanctifier or the one that keeps us in the one true faith.

Simply the role of the Holy Spirit is three fold, the Holy Spirit is to make known our sin, point out Jesus Christ righteousness for all mankind and to guide us how to Glorify God.  Without the Holy Spirit we would be like a tractor without a farmer driving it down the road, like a basketball that sits at center court waiting to be bounced and even an organ that has a place of honor in a church without someone to play the music for the prelude, liturgy or hymns.  Without the Holy Spirit, the plan of salvation is incomplete for all of mankind after Jesus ascends into heaven.

We need the Holy Spirit to make our sins known.  This doesn’t sound good to our holier than thou ears, but we need to have the Holy Spirit reveal the parts of our lives that are the dirtiest, darkest and most detestable parts of us.  Those secrets that nobody knows about that we need not just reminded of them, but exposed.  Whether it is how we treated our spouse when nobody was looking or could see us, whether it is how we treat our kids when they have done something wrong, or how we sit back in the pew and expect the young people to do all the work of the church and just give the excuse that I have served my time.  The Holy Spirit comes after Jesus has ascended to convict us of our sins, root them out and remind us that we are not worthy, we are sinful creatures in thought, word and deed.

Once we embrace our sinfulness the Holy Spirit can then enable us to embrace the truth that Jesus Christ came into this world for each of us.  Jesus came to die for our sins, the ones we clearly remember and the ones we do not remember.  Jesus came in order to offer us forgiveness and the Holy Spirit’s job is to remind us of Jesus righteousness.  We cannot save ourselves.  If we believe that we can save ourselves, we mock God and therefore believe we do not need Jesus Christ and His innocent death on Calvary.  This is farthest from the truth.  We need Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection because we cannot purchase or buy our way out of any of our sins.  Our lives are full of sins and the Holy Spirit is called to not only point out our sins, but point us directly to our Savior and His righteousness for all of mankind.

When we understand Jesus righteousness for all of mankind and embrace His calling of and for us and how the Holy Spirit as Luther says, “calls, gathers and enlightens us”, we then can enter into a new relationship.  This relationship is meant for the Holy Spirit to guide us in how to glorify God.  When we glorify God it is not only attending Sunday services regularly, not using bad language, treating someone kindly face to face and even when they are not present, giving money to the projects and programs of the church or community.  It is living out the Gospel message in our daily lives in community with one another.  When we come to glorify God on Sunday the church is like a gas station.  We come to get filled up with the Word of God and sent to do the Work of God in community with one another.  The Holy Spirit calls us to use our gifts, talents, treasures and all that we have to give God the glory.  Whether it is helping someone cross the street, holding the door for someone when they have their hands full, reaching out with a hug of support when someone we know has received bad news or is in need of a hug.  We can glorify God everyday whether in church, school, on the tractor, in the place of business, on the phone, in Wal-Mart, driving along the interstate or even cutting their lawn or trimming their hedges or giving them a ride to school, work or even to church or visiting them when we get off of work.

So you see, “Jesus needed to go so the Holy Spirit could come and make known our sin and Jesus righteousness and to guide us in how to Glorify God.”  There was a purpose for Jesus and the Holy Spirit and now even for each of us gathered here this morning.  We are “called, gathered, enlightened, sanctified” and sent by the Holy Spirit into our community this morning to glorify God.  When we embrace this mission and ministry, God will bless not only the lives of the people we serve, but also our own lives and use each of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel for His ministry of the spread of the Gospel of Salvation for all of mankind, especially including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this morning to Glorify God.  AMEN.
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