Sermons

V Lent

April 7, 2019

Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to begin to center yourself.  Now make those cleansing breaths a part of your normal way of breathing and sit quietly for just a few moments.

Imagine you are walking down a path deep into the forest.  Take a moment to get your bearings.  You can see the path go deeper into the forest.  The trees are thick.  There are leaves on them, which provide shade.

You have a good pair of walking shoes on your feet.  And there is a backpack on your back.  It is empty and feels very light.  You are hardly aware that you are wearing it. 

As you slowly walk down the path, your thoughts begin to focus on things which are bothering your conscience.  There are rocks along the path, and you begin to pick up a rock for each thing which comes to mind.  These rocks represent the sins which you are carrying with you day by day. 

As you pick the rocks up, put them into your backpack.  You can feel the backpack getting heavier as you walk down the path.  The weight of those sins on your conscience has become a physical weight on your shoulders and back.

As you proceed down the path, you see a clearing.  Take a moment and walk to the clearing.  (pause)

In the clearing there is a small campfire burning.  And next to the clearing is a small stream.  The stream reminds you of the waters of your baptism.  The fire reminds you of the Holy Spirit which was given to you to help you live your life in Christ every day. 

But the burdens of the rocks in your backpack – the sins on your conscience, have turned you away from the truth that you are baptized into Christ’s Body and you do have the Holy Spirit. 

As you look around the clearing, you notice a large wooden cross.  At first, it blended into the trees, but now it has caught your eye.  Take a moment and walk over to the cross.  Look at it for a moment.

You are reminded that the burdens that you have in your backpack were carried by Jesus on the cross.  You look at the bottom of the cross and discover that there is a pile of rocks at the foot of the cross. 

         

Take your backpack off.  Unzip the backpack, and dump the rocks you have been carrying at the foot of the cross.   All the sins, the weight which you have carried is at the foot of the cross, and your backpack is empty once again.

Take a few breaths once again, and as you breathe in deeply you can slowly open your eyes.  Now in the Prayer Book, turn to page 447.

When we get to the place where we you see the word, “especially”, followed by a line, we will insert “those things which I have thought of this morning” – “those things which I have thought of this morning”.