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Sunday, August 4, 2013

07282013 Ninth Sunday After Trinity

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!  Jesus Christ, thank You for Your choosing to serve and sacrifice Yourself on the Cross of Golgotha for all of mankind.  Without You, we would not be able to spend eternity with You and all the saints of Emmanuel in heaven.  AMEN.

When a soldier is taken captive and imprisoned, the United States military in basic training instructs them that they are to only give their name, rank and serial number.  This identifier along with their uniform is individual and clearly marks them as an individual who serves as a soldier in our military.  The soldier and individual has chosen whom they serve with and for and even to what degree or how much sacrifice they would be willing to endure, even to the point of giving of their life in order to insure the freedoms they are willing to fight for each of us to have here in the United States.

Are we as Christians any different?  Whom do we serve?  Do we serve God or man?  From our Gospel this morning, Jesus Christ tells the parable of the manager in order for His hearers and each of us today to clearly understand the importance of asking the question, “Whom do you serve?”

Jesus makes it very plain, “No servant can serve two masters”.  We cannot serve two masters because as Jesus said, “either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”  This truth cuts us very clearly and closely especially this summer.  We are in a drought and our wheat production was slim to none, unlike other years.  We look forward to the corn harvest and pray we get some rain and the pumps keep up with the corn growth so we can at a minimum break even with a crop of corn.  We as a collective community mourn, but also as individual farmers and owners of property know that even though we planted the wheat and it died without yielding a crop and now the corn in some instances is in the same condition we mourn and are angry about not having a harvest.

“Whom do you serve?”  I return to this question not to minimize the loss we feel, but to reframe for all of us the reality that we serve a God that created this planet, world, solar system and our very existence out of nothing.  Jesus fed the 4 and 5 thousand from a few loaves and fish, Jesus hushed the storm when the waves were tossing and flooding the boat the disciples were on, Jesus raised Lazarus a dead man.  But even Jesus knew that what He did was not a parlor trick, it was not a show, Jesus knew Whom He served, His Father in Heaven.  Jesus knew by His life, His death on the Cross of Calvary and His resurrection we would receive eternal life and live with Him in His Kingdom.

“Whom do you serve?”  Do you serve a farm, job or land that lacks moisture?  Or do you serve a God that gives moisture and eternal life?  Do you serve in a church that looks at relationship as something to be manipulated or treating others in an unchristian manner because of what they have said or done?  Or do you serve a God Who understands relationship even to giving His life?  Do you serve with attitude and sacrifice others on the altar of gossip?  Or do you serve a God Who builds You up with service and joy and wonder by spreading His message of salvation for all mankind?  We have a choice to make Who and Whom we serve.

This week our congregation has served the community of Goodland, KS.  In partnership with Sky Ranch Day Camp we have reached people that initially may have not wanted to hear the Gospel of Salvation.  This week the Story of Jubilee has unfolded for the kids and this morning we have seen some of the fun songs, experienced the activities and seen how God has made a lasting impact upon the lives of and for the people that brought their kids and we proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ for this entire week.  This week we chose Whom we served, Jesus Christ and spreading His mission and ministry for all of mankind.  Thank you for Your service and choice.  As Jeff said Thursday night, thank you for your service and choosing Whom You serve.  For our choice of serving Jesus Christ includes all of mankind including to and for all of us saints that are gathered here this morning here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
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