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Sunday, June 29, 2014

06292014 Second 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.

“Love, love, love, all you need is love”.  This lyric by the Beatles ran through my mind as I read this week’s Epistle Lesson.  Yes it dates me, but it is a classic that I know Jesus Christ and John would agree with.  And this is exactly what we here at Emmanuel have shown this week.

Thank you to the congregation for the love and spreading the Gospel message of Jesus Christ by supporting Sky Ranch.  This week, we as a congregation opened up our doors, our hearts and our love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ here in Goodland by sharing the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  By providing a place to stay for the staff, giving of food for the snacks for the kids, donating your time and effort for God’s message of ‘Growing in Christ’ and ‘Fully Rely On God’ we have honored God.  Thank you!!

What we have committed to with our bringing Sky Ranch here to Emmanuel is a Kingdom Commitment!  We as the congregation of Emmanuel have stepped up and out and made a commitment to not only the community but to ourselves as well that we will not be silenced about the message and the mission of Jesus Christ!  I am proud of Emmanuel Lutheran Church!

The message of love shared this week of Sky Ranch Day Camp is extremely clear from the singing of the songs, the sharing in the bible studies and the kids being kids, but learning about Jesus Christ.  John in the epistle from this morning shares this as well.  At first John warns us that the world will hate us, why, because it takes commitment for a program like this, it takes time and it takes investment.  John writes, “Do not be surprised, bretheren, if the world hates you.  We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren.”  By our not only sponsoring Vacation Bible School, but opening our doors, we will be ridiculed, even questioned by some who wonder if the output of money is worth the cost.  But the questioning and ridicule is worth it, because what we are doing is kingdom work here at Emmanuel and for Goodland.

John says, “We know love by this, that He [that is Jesus Christ] laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  Yes, this is about what Jesus Christ did on Calvary and He did that not only for the kids we invited to come, but also for each of us here today.  God came in order that we might be set free from that which binds us and lead kingdom lives as we have this last week with Sky Ranch.

Some of you may have heard about the man who saved a little child from certain death.  While performing his duty as of all things a tow truck driver, this man saw a little baby crawling and about to enter the highway.  After stopping and insuring this little girl would not be harmed, he spent the next four hours cuddling, caring for and being exactly what John wrote about for this little girl.  When she would get antsy and not want to settle down, he played gospel music on his phone for her, because it helped him settle down and the same was true for this little girl.  This self-sacrifice was clearly a gift from God for the little girl, but it was a result of God in this man’s life.

Previously, he had been a drug addict, been in jail and did not have anything to look forward to in his life, but one day through the work of God in a strange and mysterious way, he was set free from his former life.  And on this one day, he understood why God had freed him from his former life.  It was so he could be the angel looking out and seeing and rescuing this small, fragile little girl who would have certainly become the victim of certain death if it were not for him.

This is the impact that we with our Sky Ranch Day Camp and counselors have had upon Goodland this week.  Unknown to us right now is the impact we will have, but we have definitely followed God’s plan for us and John’s ending statement in the reading this morning.  John concludes, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”  We have done that for countless children this week here at Emmanuel and thank God for the gifts He has given us, especially of His Son Jesus Christ who died for all of mankind, but especially all of us saints gathered here to celebrate Sky Ranch this week here at Emmanuel.   AMEN.

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