“Moving Toward the Resurrection”

Sermon – 08-25-19 – Proper 16 – Cycle C
Scriptures: Isaiah 58:9b-14; Psalm 103:1-8; Hebrews 12:18-29; Luke 13:10-17
Sermon Title: “Moving Toward the Resurrection”

Jesus is in trouble! With whom? Is he in trouble with God? Or, is he in trouble with humans? What did he do? This holy Jesus did something holy on the Sabbath. Jesus healed a person who had been crippled for eighteen years. So the religious leaders of that day want to make Jesus look bad. However, Jesus stated his case. This is the day for this woman. This is the day on which she needed to be healed. It is the day that she and Jesus happened to be in the same place at the same time.

Accident? Not in my book! This is one more step on the road to Calvary for our salvation. Jesus versus the religious leaders of the day is the action to follow. God’s plan it is, leading straight to Resurrection Sunday – the ultimate “This is the Day” Sunday. This is the day, this is the day Jesus rose again!

“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy!” Straight from the Ten Commandments which we can find in Exodus 20. What makes anything holy? I would say that holy is when God is involved. It pushes worldly ideas and actions aside. The long version of the Ten Commandments says that God worked for six days and then he rested. This pattern is not meant to be punishment. This pattern is meant to be life-giving. Working at work for seven days without pause is not healthy! We need the refreshment. We need to relax. We need to allow “peace” and “joy” and even add “love” to flow into our souls just as the Conners sang for us.

My own version of what we should do and not do on the Sabbath is a test of sorts. We shall ask ourselves:
Does my activity on the Sabbath refresh me?
Does my choice of refreshing activity help my family to be refreshed and relaxed?
Are we sharing peace, joy, and love with each other on this holy day?
Do we invite God’s presence so we have true holiness?
Are we ready to start another six days feeling closer to each other and closer to God?

This sounds really good. How can we bring it to reality in our lives? Maybe our own goals need to come into alignment with God’s goals for our lives. Maybe we should sing over and over. This is the day when the Spirit came and comes and stays. The Spirit of God will direct and guide our choices for the Sabbath and each and every day.

As our young people and our teachers start a fresh new year, may the Spirit carry them and enfold them. May they not be threatened, bullied, and defensive. May the Spirit keep them from being a bully, causing fear. May students and teachers alike leave school each day singing, “This is the day when the Spirit came.”

Sing with me about the Spirit bringing rejoicing and gladness. (It is our first hymn, verse 3.)

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