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Sunday, March 19, 2017

03192017 - Third Sunday in Lent - “God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!”

March 19, 2017
“God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!”
If you have ever given directions to someone, you probably understand to well the story I am about to relate.  One day, while sitting in my office, I had a phone call of an individual who wanted to meet with me.  This isn’t that uncommon.  But they were not from around here.  So explaining to them how to find the church was intense.  It began by trying to explain that there were only three intersections off of 27 that would directly bring them into ‘downtown Goodland’.  Then since they were not familiar with Goodland, that every street intersection, would not necessarily have a stop sign, they needed to be careful.  But after turning on 12th Street the first stop sign they found, would be Center and then they would need to turn right.  And then turn on the very next street and the church would be at the end of the block.
By grace the person found the church and we had a delightful conversation.  What is appropriate to consider is how many of us who gather here and worship, call Emmanuel our church, but do not at times desire to understand the “Will of God”?
On Wednesday, we prayed that God’s Kingdom would come when we pray, “Thy Kingdom Come”.  And it is our prayer that God’s Kingdom would come quickly.  For God’s Kingdom coming, also has at its core, the Will of God being done.
If you would have asked the disciples, when they were first called by Jesus from their jobs, whether, fishing, collecting taxes or day laborers, they probably didn’t understand God’s Will either.  Just like understanding directions to a place you are unfamiliar with, it is a challenge.  But so compelling was Jesus presence, the way they felt when He spoke and the way they saw others respond and were moved by His miracles, that Jesus like with Noah and building the ark, had a plan in mind, His Father’s Will.
You see, “God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!”  In entrusting the disciples to Jesus their purpose was clear.  God sent them so they could learn what the will of God was for them, but also for all of mankind.  And God didn’t just explain it, but entrusted them with the purpose to tell it to others.  This is why Jesus gave the Great Commission, so the disciples understood, the gift of knowing God’s Will, wasn’t just to be kept, under a bushel basket, but it was to be shared with all people.
This is why we are here today in Goodland, KS.  “God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!”  God has this same expectation of we who gather here today.  We if, we claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ, if we claim Emmanuel as our church, we are called to do the same thing.  We are to proclaim the Will of God.
Some of us might say, I don’t know the will of God.  But truly, God’s will is simple.  God’s will is for all of mankind to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that Jesus died for all of mankind, freely, and Jesus offers us eternal life through the Blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.  That is the Will of God, for all to hear the lifesaving message of what His Son and our Savior Jesus Christ did.  This is why, “God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!
Our calling is to proclaim the will of God, and point to Jesus Christ in our daily lives.  Here in the sanctuary it is easy to point to the beautiful stain glass window of Jesus Christ over our altar.  But in our world, it is difficult, if not impossible, because our society wants to remove any and all connection to Jesus Christ.  This is why “God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!”  For not only are we God’s disciples, we are given the opportunity to ‘proclaim the will of God’.  We have only to open our mouths in faith and trust in God and He will give us the words that we need to speak this truth in love.
We may feel we do not have power, nor authority, but a story recently reminded me, we do have power.  During World War II, the Czech republic was overrun by Germany and slave laborers were used to manufacture the munitions for the flak guns to ‘safeguard’ the cities from allied bombers.
A B-17 crew piloted their aircraft “Tondelayo” into and through the German gauntlet one day.  The pilot after seeing a direct hit of their gas tanks, but not any explosion, had to determine, why?  For the pilot, Bohn Fawkes, it was a miracle.  He spoke with the crew chief to ascertain, why, but also get a souvenir of the one shell he saw hit the tanks.  Bohn found out it wasn’t just one, but 11 shells that were found in the gas tanks when they landed back at base.  When the armorers who would ‘disarm’ the shells opened them up, they found no explosive charge.  However, in one of the shells there was a rolled up piece of paper written in Czech.  An individual was finally found who could decipher the writing and it simply said, “This is all we can do for now…using Jewish slave labor is never a good idea.”

We who gather here may feel we are powerless to ‘proclaim the will of God’, but God like the Jews used them and had a profound impact on the lives of others, especially the bomber crew that day.  The disciples and we who gather here this morning are no different.  For a truer statement could not be said, than, “God sends the disciples and us to proclaim the Will of God!”  AMEN!

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