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Monday, February 27, 2017

02262017 Quinquagesima Sunday - Christ is love and He abides in us to love one another!

February 26, 2017
Christ is love and He abides in us to love one another!
Today we stand collectively at the edge of a cliff.  Unlike in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, we aren’t in Hollywood.  Unlike standing on the edge of the cliff with fog surrounding us, we as the church can see the path that is unfolding before us and we can see clearly the bottom and what will be required.  For today is as we gather the last Sunday before Lent begins, for we here like the hymn board states, we today celebrate, Quinquagesima Sunday.  But it isn’t about a long Latin name that most forget its meaning from one year to the next.  It isn’t about a hymn sing like last week.  Today we Emmanuel Lutheran stand looking with 20/20 eyesight of what is required of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

You see, only three days from now, we begin the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday.  We as a congregation will confess our sins, receive the forgiveness of God and lay claim to a truth that not only unites us as the Body of Christ, but points us in the direction of transformation of each and every one of us, with the sign of the Ash Cross on our foreheads.  Yesterday I found a few pictures on my phone from previous Ash Wednesday services and they spoke of a truth, we as the Body of Christ are united.

The truth we unite behind is simply this.  Jesus Christ is love and He abides in us to love one another!

The love Jesus Christ has for us is so overpowering and overwhelming that everyone who met Him, not only were radically changed by Him, but His affect upon their lives would like ripples in a pond change and impact countless others and generations to come.  The love Jesus Christ offers us today with His willingness to go the Cross radically changes we who gather here today.

That is what should happen, we should be changed.  But in our world today, we like Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and countless other generations we make a choice to not let nor allow the truth to set us free to be the people of God.  We not only get wandering eyes of the other side of the fence where the grass is greener, but also that we can control the actions of others.  Whether we are teachers, preachers, businessmen or even farmers that make one’s living from the sweat of the brow.

What Jesus Christ is calling we His brothers and sisters in Christ to do is love as He first loved us and be willing to love one another, warts and all unconditionally.  When we love unconditionally in this way, without strings, with the truth as God sees it and not with our own perspective, nor for our own or our little groups gain, but for the gain of all of God’s children, there is nothing that can stop us and nothing will be able to prevent God’s Word from accomplishing His will and His way right here at Emmanuel and in our world.

Why you might ask, would I make such a bold assertion, that nothing can thwart God’s Plan?  It is simply this, God, Who is love and His Son, Jesus Christ have our collective best interest in mind.  From the beginning of creation, God had one destination in mind, His own Son, Jesus Christ restoring creation with His death on Calvary.  No matter the events, no matter the wars, no matter the things that happened, each time.  Every event in human history could have happened quicker if God forced it.  But God didn’t force man.  God allowed man and man’s free will to slowly move the pendulum, especially to the point that the season we are about to enter is the final act in salvation history.

We who gather here today, may not feel like players, but as I told our Lutheranism 101 this last Tuesday night, we like Paul said have but one thing we need to do and do well.  We are at the cliff and only have to Love one another.  For this is what God is calling us to daily do.  Daily love one another.  For a truer statement could not be spoken, that Christ is love and He abides in us to love one another!  AMEN.

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