“A Love Letter From God” May 6, 2018

Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Sermon Archives

“A Love Letter From God” Psalm 98 Acts 10:44-48/ 1 John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17   I think we all might agree that one of the most brilliant minds that ever was belonged to one Albert Einstein. Although he was best known for being a theoretical physicist and winning the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics, Einstein had a human side that was not only blessed by his intelligence but was also colored by his understanding of humanity and of God. It was while reading through our gospel text today from John that I chanced across Einstein’s last letter to his daughter, Lieserl, that somehow makes God’s command to love a whole lot easier to swallow. I would like to share this with you now: “There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE. When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love. This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will. To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits. After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer. Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet. However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released. When we learn to give...

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“Ain’t That Good News?” April 29, 2018

Posted by on May 12, 2018 in Sermon Archives

“Ain’t That Good News?” Psalm 22:25-31 Acts 8:26-40/ 1 John 4:7-21 John 15:1-8 He was 92 years old. And he was invited to preach an anniversary service. People in the pews were restless, wondering what the hoary old clergyman might do. Would he drop dead in the middle of the sermon? Would he go on and on and on? Slowly he made his way forward. He had no notes in his hand. He steadied himself on the pulpit and said, “When I was asked to come here today and talk to you, your pastor asked me to tell you about the greatest lesson ever learned in my 50 odd years of preaching. I thought about it for a few days and boiled it down to just one thing that made the most difference in my life and sustained me through all my trials – the one thing that I could always rely on when tears and heartbreak and pain and fear and sorrow paralyzed me. That one thing is: “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong, we are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me…the Bible tells me so.” This little story is usually credited to the Swiss theologian, Karl Barth which I find slightly hilarious; hilarious because this is the same Karl Barth whose volumes and volumes of writings on the book of Romans alone have caused many of his students to pull their hair out wishing he would simply get to the point. But that’s the thing about scripture: it can be both simple and drive-you-crazy complicated all at the same time. Today, I think we’ll stick with the simple. In our text from the book of Acts, Luke tells us of an encounter – an encounter between Phillip and an Ethiopian who had been to Jerusalem to visit the temple. Now, right off the bat you have to wonder what this guy was doing so far from home. He was obviously a man of means – he had a driver and carriage – but what gives here? He was also a black man and a gentile, and so was surely denied entrance into the temple itself. Yet, he came. He had heard of the God of Israel, had heard of the healings and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and he came. We can only imagine the suffering this man had known, and even though he was now in charge of the queen’s treasure and lived a comfortable life, the words he read from the scroll of Isaiah had to have touched a nerve. (Is 53:32) Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. These were powerful words; powerful words for a...

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