- Jesus has just come back to Galilee.
- Someone comes to him with a request.
- Indirectly Jesus seems to refuse at first.
- The person persists.
- Jesus grants the request.
- This leads another group of people (his disciples, the nobleman’s household) to believe in him.
Saturday, November 9, 2019
Twenty First Sunday after Trinity
Sermon - Rev Jack Arnold
… Grant … thy faithful people pardon and peace, that they may be cleansed from all their sins, and serve thee with a quiet mind …
We ask God to pardon our sins so we might serve Him with peace of mind and do His Work without having to worry about our fate. It is good to have a clear mind when you go into battle, to be free of worry that you might do your best. You do not want to have a foggy mind when you are doing an action that requires your best concentration, so that is what we are asking from Him. To give us clarity of mind that we might do what is right.
We need His pardon and peace to cleanse us from our sins, to enable us to have a mind that is quiet and focused on doing His will. It is a difficult thing to quiet our minds at times, but it must be done, so that we can focus on doing our best from Him. His pardon and peace will help us clear our minds from worrying thoughts and distressed thoughts, if we will but let Him in. The pardon and peace He gives is a perfect pardon and peace, He only asks that we go forth in the world and spread His Word, which will give the perfect pardon and peace to all that accept it.
When we mention peace, it is a very different concept from what people in this world think of it..The peace that God gives us is the calmness and stability in our soul when the world is crumbling around or even on us. When things are going wrong at work, school or home, peace is the feeling that God is with us and that we have nothing to fear from whatever it is that is troubling us. Also His Peeace is the sureness that we service Him who created all things and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for us, that we might have eternal life. It is also knowing that through His Son we have that eternal life and that we do not have to fear death unlike those who do not believe.
It is that peace of mind and soul that comes from knowing that when we die, we will be with God and Jesus and enjoying eternity with them. It helps us to know that this is only a transitory phase. This is only temporary way point on our way to heaven. And if we let it this peace will take the place of worry. This is something that people that tend to worry, such as myself need to remember. You can then concentrate on what you can do and not be concerned with what you cannot do; for if you cannot really do it, it is pointless to concern yourself. That is the whole point of peace, having it will give you calmness and rational thinking to do what you need to do for Him. The peace gives you the confidence to perform actions, even in difficult and very trying circumstances. Once again, action, not diction, is paramount.
Not everyone will accept it though, even though all should accept the offered gift, it does not mean they will. We have to realize this, and some may not accept it at first, but it does not mean that we should give up on them, but rather let the Holy Spirit plant the seed, as He plants a seed in our hearts. As our fallen nature attests, we are not instantly transformed into a different person overnight, but rather thorough many days, weeks and years of practicing Christian beliefs, through reading Scripture and being around other believers. The transformation happens in a gradual process, that continues all of our lives. With some of the non-believers we encounter in our live this might occur, , that seed we plant may germinate in time to bring them to Christ.
Paul gives his clearest definition of the spiritual war between the forces of Satan and those who would follow God. It not only assures us that there is a spiritual war, but it warns us that apart from utilizing the weapons which God has provided for us, we are hopelessly underpowered. This passage tells us what our divine weapons are. Beyond this, these weapons imply the nature of the struggle which we are in. The weapons which God has provided for us are those weapons which best repel the attacks of Satan and if we know how to best utilize them, we will be well ahead of the game in fighting the tricks of Satan.
Now, what to do? We are clearly commanded to take an offensive role, to go where the battle is. We are not called to be at the rear, but on the front lines, in this spiritual battle. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we should be using our tongues boldly as St. Paul says, to spread the Gospel. You don’t play the defensive in this spiritual battle, as in tactical warfare, nobody ever won a battle by being stuck on the defensive. We have to go on the offensive, go out and spread the Word as Jesus commanded. He did not command us to be on the defensive, but instead to go out on the offensive. . The problem with the church today is that they are afraid of offending people and just think the best way to reach the lost people is to get along with them. This is a strategy that will only lead to failure.
We must boldly preach the truth of the Gospel through ought the world and not worry ourselves with what the world will think. For what the world will think is not as important as what God thinks. And by the word bold, we are not to put a holier than thou air and talk down, nor are we to cruelly shout down the opposition, but with confidence in our voice, we will not allow ourselves to be intimidated by the enemy. We will do our actions and say the truth with clarity and confidence. That is what it means to preach the Word boldly.
The Word spreads “by word of mouth” and by action. It does not spread by mouth alone! There needs to be work backing up those good words. Your mouth, your actions!
Speaking of actions, Winston Churchill said, “Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”
Churchill was not the first. God wants us to persist. Consider the case of the nobleman of Capernaum. The man asked Jesus for help for his son. Jesus did not immediately grant the request as He needed the man to persist to make a point for those around him. He responded as he often did to Jews, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” The man persisted and because Jesus saw faith in him, he said, focusing his attention on faith in God, “Go thy way; thy son liveth” or "Be on your way. Your son is alive." In other words: "Do not worry. My Word can heal your son at a distance." The boy was healed in the very instant when Jesus spoke the Word. The father believed this Word. So did his household, wife, children and servants. More than one person was healed on that occasion.
This miracle shares characteristics with the previous healing of the Centurion’s son:
Note the necessity of trusting in Jesus as the giver of life. Jesus led this nobleman from a "miracle" faith to a true faith in His Word. He does this to us also, but only if we will let Him into our hearts and guide us there.
"Be on your way. Your son lives." This Word of Jesus was not only a prophecy. It had the power to heal the sick boy. And this Word took the nobleman's worries away. As it will take ours away if we will let it.
As we see in the Gospel, persistence is a very important part of the Christian life, it helps build our character in bad times, and also in good as well. No matter what we are going through, the persistence in faith is what builds us up as Christians, to keep going in times that are less than pleasant, as we continue to progress as pilgrims to Our Father above. In distressing times or late at night it is often easy to forget this, but we must remember that we need to keep going, no matter how hard it seems. It is a comforting fact that He is with us in these most distressing times.
We are asked to let God forgive us our sins and go to battle in this world with His armor. With Him all things are possible; when we depend on our own pitiful resources, the outcome is in doubt and the result unlikely to be favorable in the end. When you believe in our Lord and act on that belief, victory is certain in the end.
Consider also that God, through our Lord, offers forgiveness. Forgiveness lets you restart your life, regain your foothold, strengthen your soul. If you accept the forgiveness and go forward you can do great things. If you will not, and likewise you will not forgive, you will be bound by the prince of this world and doomed to failure. You will never attain the greatness of which you are capable with God’s grace and help.
Do what is right, I would say no matter if there is no one looking; but He is always looking. It is not that hard. Believe, take His help, act on the belief you profess, never ever give up.
Heaven is at the end of an uphill trail. The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit.
The time is now, not tomorrow. The time has come, indeed. How will you ACT?
The time to act is NOW. Will you act? For whom will you act? Will you count the cost before you act?
Action, not diction, is what counts. It is by your actions you are known.
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God