Epiphany 5 2007
Sermon Pardon & Peace
Opening: In our world today there seems to be a lot hatred, fighting, bickering, sadness, unsettledness, unrest: (people are not at peace within themselves and if you haven't peace inside it definantly won't be outside around you.). We as humanity are not at peace.(not the kind of peace that is "end to war" but the true peace that can only come from being right with God. Do you have peace in your heart? In order to have that peace, that true peace that Jesus talks about, that peace and contentment that even allows us to love our enemies (if we did that there would be no wars): we first have to see ourselves as we truly are: (that is not always a pretty sight)
Collect: grant to your faithful people pardon and peace, that we may be cleansed from all our sins and serve you with a quiet mind.
Father Brush: last week wonderful teaching (on our attitude toward allowing Jesus to be close to us) Question- How would you or the neighborhood feel if Jesus moved in to the community?
To go a bit further:
How would you feel if Jesus moved in next door to you? Actually in reality we have to ask ourselves how it make us feel letting Jesus move right in with us? Will we feel uneasy or would He be welcome.
IT'S THE QUESTION ONLY YOU CAN ANSWER!
Let's see. How Isaiah and the apostle Peter responded to God.
* 1st we hear from the prophet Isaiah: He prophesied during the reign of 4 kings of Judah.
* Lived in Jerusalem in the southern state of Judah. Divided Israel since the days of Solomon. Israel In the North and Judah in the south.
* Judah was a nation that was marked with much spiritual decay and so as always god raised up the prophet to bring His people back to himself again. If they listened and repented He redeemed them if not usually disaster befall them.
* The impending disaster was the strong nation of Assyria (to the )
* God raised up Isaiah, son of Amos to go to the people.
Isaiah's vision of God:
1. Sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted.
2. Robe filled the temple. (The whole world)
3. Seraphim stood above the Throne. Angelic beings, three sets of wings. (resemble the 4 living creatures of Rev and Cheri bum of Ezekiel)
4. They were ministering to the Holy one and singing songs to God. (Holy.Holy , Holy ) sound familiar? Version of this trihagion in Eucharistic prayer pg 193
5. Isaiah also saw the throne room fill with smoke and the very foundations trembled.
6. IT WAS FRIGHTENING
Isaiah by now has been made painfully aware of his sinful condition: It has broken him. (heart)
1. Woe is me, I am undone. (Heb. Damah/daw-maw- to destroy. To perish) I'm goanna die!
2. Man of unclean lips:
a. Recognized his own sin. (the lips revealed the condition of the heart.)
b. Saw his unworthiness (Peter in today's gospel recognized the same deep, guilty emotion ("Go away from me Lord for I am a sinful man.")
3. Lived among people with unclean lips:
a. Judah had strayed from God and His laws and statutes. ( it was a strong commercial and military state but it was rotten with spiritual decay and empty ritualism and Idolatry)
Isaiah cleansed from his sin Ready for service:
1. Seraphim touched lips with burning coal (recognizing sin is at times painful, embarrassing, shameful, guilty feeling)
2. Guilt of sin taken away, forgiven, blotted out.
3. God has a ministry for him (mission) but didn't ask him directly. God won't force anyone.
4. Who will go for us. Isaiah excitedly and with enthusiasm volunteers.
5. Jesus trained Peter to be the rock on which the Christian church was built.
Conclusion: Isaiah acknowledged his sinfulness, Peter acknowledged his sinfulness, the stories of all the saints begin the same way, with recognizing the state of the human heart apart form God and acknowledging our sinful state and how we fall short of what our Holy Father wants us to be. (rom 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God) (Psalm14:3 They have all gone astray, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one.)
When we come to that place in our lives where we repent and receive forgiveness and ask Jesus to transform us (knowing He is the only one who can) and with obedience follow Jesus we will have the peace as promised in the scriptures (even in the midst of trouble) and we will be sent into the world with the best most precious and powerful life changing message ever proclaimed. God loves us and God saves us.