VII Pentecost

July 8, 2018

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

I begin with a story.  I withhold the name of the person.  You will understand why in a moment. I worked with her on a committee in the Diocese.  She was dedicated to the work of the committee and was very good at organizing.  She had wonderful ideas.  I thought that I knew her well. 

But one day, in a conversation with several people on the committee, someone else mentioned that she had been an Olympian!  I thought that I knew her well, but this was something new and surprising.  It showed me that she was also humble, because she did not mention it herself.  This is why I do not mention her name.

Have you ever thought that you knew someone well, and then found out something surprising about them?  Something unexpected?

“(Jesus) went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him.  And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!   Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.   And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.’   And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them.  And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.”

Jesus was doing miraculous things.  He was healing people and teaching things that were new.  But He was in His home town and everyone said, “Isn’t that Joe and Mary’s boy?  Doesn’t he do carpentry work?”  They were not able to receive what Jesus had to do and say because they had known Him all their lives and to them He was just that carpenter, the son of Mary and Joseph.

I was thinking about Jesus.  A good thing for a priest to do!  I was wondering if there were pre-conceptions that we might have that do not allow Jesus to be fully who He is meant to be in our lives.  Do we limit Jesus’ Lordship in our life by the way that we think of Him?

I have to admit, that when I examine my life, I think that there is a constant battle over lordship.  Sometimes my decisions and actions reflect a choice that I am lord of my life.  Sometimes they reflect that Jesus is Lord of my life.  It is what we call sin!

That is what sin is, really, isn’t it?  When we boil it down to its source, sin is a battle over who is lord in our lives – are we or is Jesus?  It is what happened in the Garden of Eden.  God said, “Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”  And this was the entre for the serpent.  He talks Eve into eating from the tree by saying that if she did she would be just like God.  And she chose to eat.  She was deciding that she would be lord of her life.

How do we think of Jesus?  How do we see Him in our lives?  Do we think that we know all about Him?  Is He just “the son of Mary and Joe” to us?  Do our choices show a battle for lordship in our life?  Are we able to receive what Jesus has to do and say in our lives?

Is Jesus Lord of your life?  Do you let Him be Lord every day?  And if not, what are you going to do about it?  AMEN.