Sermons

V Easter

May 14, 2017

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. AMEN.

Listen to this list of miracles of Jesus for a moment:  Changing water into wine,  twice catching a large number of fish, calming a storm,  walking on water,   catching a fish with a coin in its mouth,  cursing the fig tree with no fruit,  restoring a severed ear,  healing 33 people, raising three people from the dead, and feeding a total of 9,000 people with only a few loaves of bread and some fish.

Can you imagine what it must have been like to travel with Jesus?  We have heard these stories many times, and so we may have become desensitized to them.  The other day, I decided to Google the miracles of Jesus, and the list was well over thirty.  The list I just read off for you was after I had grouped the healings and raising of people from the dead  together.  Perhaps we think that these miracles belong to the time in which Jesus lived.  Perhaps we do not think that miracles could happen today. 

And then there are the teachings of Jesus.  We have heard them many times before as well.  They do not seem so radical to our ears.  But think about it.  Remember this just as an example:  “But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.  To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.   Give to everyone who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.   And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” This is radical stuff!

We live in a scientific and skeptical world.  We live in a world that does not allow for miracles and which pushes to the fringe some of the radical ideas that Jesus taught.  We may think that we are too far away from these words and miracles for them to be a part of who we are and how we live.  But that is not so.

In this morning’s Gospel lesson, Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”

Do we really believe this?  Do we act as if it is true?  I will confess my guilt to you.  I do not live as if I can do the things that Jesus did.  I would not even begin to think that I could do greater things than Jesus did.  How about you?

We need to be miracle people.  Not some sort of magic show.  Not anything for show at all.  But, we need to be people who believe that it is possible for great things to be done because we do them for Jesus.

The story was told of an Episcopal Nun – a Mother Superior, who wanted to build a school.  She wanted to do this because she was certain that this was something that Jesus was calling her to do.  When she approached the Bishop, he said that if she wanted to build a school that she would have to find the money herself, because the Diocese was not able to give her any.  She was not discouraged, but instead believed that it was possible.  And indeed it was.  The school was built and continues to this day.

Do we live as people of faith, or people of fear?  Do we live as people of vision, or people of division?  Do we live as people who believe that the impossible is possible, through Jesus, or do we look at our mere humanity and continue to think it is impossible?

I think that it takes baby steps for us to become the people the Jesus believes we can be.  It takes one day at a time to
become people who believe in miracles and live as if Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life for us.

Perhaps we can begin with prayer.  Let us make a conscious effort this week, each and every day, to add to our prayers that we would be people through whom Jesus can perform miracles – even ones greater than He performed when He lived His human life.

Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.  Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”  AMEN.