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Sunday, October 12, 2014

10122014 Seventeenth Sunday After Trinity

Sermon Audio

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

Are you plugged in?
This morning I’m going to talk about connections.  Before us we have two household items that need no introduction nor explanation, but both require a connection.  Without a connection to an outlet to provide electricity these items are useless and unable to perform as designed.  [Unplug the fan] The fan as everyone knows provides the movement of air and can cool us down on a hot summer’s day.  The extension cord does exactly what it says, it extends the distance one can be away from the outlet that provides electricity.  We use them both inside and outside, but both the fan and the extension cord need to be connected to not only be useful, but fulfill their purpose as their inventor designed them.

We are in need of a connection
These two items are a perfect metaphor for we the members of the church and our need of a connection to each other and the church for the fulfillment of our purpose that God designed us to fulfill.  Paul in the Epistle reading this morning from the New Testament states clearly how we as members of the church are connected with one another in a simple saying, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”.

When we understand our connection to Jesus Christ and have faith in what He has done for us.  And our clear connection to Him through our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection, we then can clearly understand and see our need of connection with Jesus Christ through our baptism to Him and the church.  Just as the fan needed a connection to a source of electricity, we as God’s children need the connection to each other, the church and Jesus Christ to fulfill what God calls us to do and designed us to be as members of the Body of Christ, the church, but more importantly God’s Children.

We sometimes feel disconnected
But the reality is we sometimes are and feel disconnected here in the church.  We sometimes don’t want to be or feel connected to each other and we feel we do not connect to God, nor feel connected to God when we gather together.  Just like the cord for the fan and the extension cord, we sometimes feel unplugged, sometimes from God, but also disconnected with each other.  For some being unplugged is purposeful, because of something that has happened in the church, in our lives or even with people who call our church home.  The reality is though we may feel spiritually unplugged by choice from one another or from God, we have the greatest opportunity to reconnect with God.

God is calling us to plug in
God is calling us to plug ourselves into His power and His majesty.  God wants us to be connected and Paul shows us what the connection is for each of us, in the saying, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”.  We have one Lord Who came and died in order that we might be set free.  Our faith in what God did on the Cross of Calvary connects us clearly with God all because we have been baptized into our Lord Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.  By our laying claim to our personal connection through our baptism, we are plugged into the power that God is offering us in being connected with Him.

What can we do as the church?
We like the fan when unplugged from God feel useless and cannot fulfill God’s design nor our purpose that God instills in each of us.  What can we do as the church?  [Plug fan into outlet from altar]  When we plug into the church and the power of God that comes directly from Him through His Son and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  We like the fan can come alive.  We can make a difference in the community we live in, the church we gather in and as God’s agents of action and connection can be the church Jesus Christ died for on Calvary.  Today, we as the church can ask God to plug us into His power, majesty and purpose for our lives.

We need to reconnect today
Last year before Christmas, the Film of Faith our congregation sponsored was “The Ultimate Gift”, which “The Ultimate Life” our current Film of Faith is a follow up story.  “The Ultimate Gift” was a story that showed the importance of relationship, not with the world, but how Emily, one little girl that was dying knew that her mother Alexia needed someone to connect with to survive after her death.  Enter the rebellious rich spoiled kid, Jason Stevens, who only knew how to live for his own wants, needs and desires.  What Jason learned in the death of his grandfather Red Stevens wasn’t about money, but the importance of connection.

As Jason learned about each of the ‘gifts’ and the lessons that came with them, Jason met and connected with Emily and Alexia in ways that were far beyond what he could have imagined.  Jason grew into a person of character that was entrusted with far more than he could have ever imagined.  Jason in a simple relationship with a little girl and her mother found the connection and grounding he so desperately needed.  Jason found a deep connection with his grandfather Red, but also with a woman who lost her connection with her daughter, but gained the connection with Jason who helped her to learn to love and trust even in the face of death.

God wants to connect with You
We who gather here this morning may be seeking an intimate connection as well.   The connection we seek is encapsulated in the phrase from Paul, “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism”.  God is trying to connect with each of us.  It is as simple as plugging into God here in the church as His children.  May we today find the connection with God in our faith through our connection with Him through our baptism into His life, death and resurrection for all of mankind, including all of us saints here at Emmanuel.

Let us pray, dear God, thank You for connecting with each of us today through Your Word and Your Son Jesus Christ.  Though our connection may be hurt by loss in our lives of relationship, understanding or pain, You offer us today the opportunity to connect with You in a more intimate way through Your Son Jesus Christ.  Let this be the first of many opportunities to connect with You and trust You and Your plan for each of us and for all of us who gather here at Emmanuel.  We ask this Lord in Your most Holy and precious name of Your Son Jesus Christ.  And all of your saints join together saying AMEN!

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