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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

05212017 - Fifth Sunday After Easter - “We are to be effectual doers of the Word so we can be blessed by God (James 1:25)”

May 21, 2017
“We are to be effectual doers of the Word so we can be blessed by God (James 1:25)”
In the last two weeks I have been doing extensive personal study of the Book of Concord, which we affirm not only in our Constitution of Emmanuel, but also which I pledged myself to uphold in my ordination vows.  Clearly, Martin Luther and all of the Reformers of his time were clearly encountering a culture that wanted to ‘thwart’ the true intent of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he stood his ground against those who wanted to hide their true intent of making the Gospel and its mandates disappear.
What has been very clear from my study is that Martin Luther emphatically would have endorsed what we hear from James this morning.  Last week we heard that we have received the Word of God implanted in each and every one of us and the Word of God will save our souls.  Today’s reading builds upon this.  As James says, “We are to be effectual doers of the Word so we can be blessed by God”!
Just as a child looks up to their parents and wants and desires to hear words of affirmation, praise and blessing with everything they do, we as God’s children desire this as well.  God wants to bless us and give us gifts that are beyond our wildest imaginations.  God’s love for us and necessarily His blessing is meant to give us not always what we want, but what we need.
Consider the circumstance and weather we have received here in Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Oklahoma in the last three months.  From the fires that destroyed many farms and entire cattle herds and included the loss of life here in Kansas.  The snows that brought moisture that was much needed, but also has caused for some the winter wheat crop to be destroyed and many cows to be lost due to the extreme of the weather during the most delicate time of calving season.  To the extremes of the seasons both of snow and rain in the last few days and we are only a little more than half way through the month of May.  We want and need the moisture, but if we only look at the loss, we lose sight of what the true blessing is from God, His walking with us through these times even when we face loss.
You see, God’s love of us does not change.  God’s desire to bless us does not change.  God does not cause calamity, destruction or doubt to fall upon us.  This is the wheel house of the devil and this is why we need to understand and believe that God does want to bless us each and every day of our lives.  God’s greatest desire out of His love for us isn’t for the earthly things of this world, for they will pass away.  God’s desire is for a greater purpose, an eternal purpose that James points to when he says, “We are to be effectual doers of the Word so we can be blessed by God”.
How can this come to fruition?  Simply to work in God’s Kingdom and willingly work in order that God’s Glory and love can be revealed for each and every one of us.  A stellar example of this is the Apostle Paul.  It is clear, Saul as he was originally named, was clearly against Christians as a good Jew, but after his personal revelation and experience with Jesus Christ on the road to Emmaus, Paul became the most prolific, tireless and effectual doer of the Word of God that has been recorded, remembered and revered in all of Holy Scripture.
Some would say, how can we claim Paul was blessed by God, since he was imprisoned, beaten and ultimately killed.  But what we do not realize is Paul, looked past his own current circumstance, his own thorn in the flesh that he carried with him daily and looked with eternal eyes to how God had blessed him and would bless him in eternity.  This is why Paul was willing to take up the Cross of Christ and die in order to be a ‘doer of the Word’ and ultimately be ‘Blessed by God’!

This is our opportunity daily as well.  Paul and James inspire us to look with eternal eyes.  Look how we can work here on earth not only learning about the Word of God, but also and especially how we can be doers of the Word and fulfill our mission as Christians to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ, fed by not only the Word of God, strengthened by the Sacrament of Holy Communion which we receive today, but also called by God to as James implores us with these words.  “We are to be effectual doers of the Word so we can be blessed by God”!  AMEN!

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