Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church faith//hope//love

  • No.26 in a random series of sermons

    Occasionally I get a sermon that I quite like. Usually it’s the shorter ones. I take no credit for it (but accept that I wrote it down). This was from a Sunday when we collected toys, blessed a fostered baby about to leave for his new permanent family, shared an advent gift, gave out Sunday School prizes and lit the first advent candle.

    Jesus is Lord. We say it, we sing it. What does it mean? Lords are a bit of a thing of the past, although they are still live and kicking (if you’re watching I’m a Celebrity you will be well aware). vive la revolution I say.

    But Jesus as Lord?

    It’s about Jesus being at the centre, the reason, the goal setter, the example, the one we follow and the reason we do it. With Jesus as Lord we aren’t trapped in our own world, we aren’t self-seeking, or self-obsessed. With Jesus as Lord we find the freedom to live for others, we find we are set free to love and also to be loved, because our sense of love or value is based outside of our parameters, it isn’t limited by our own experience. If Jesus is Lord, then the previous Lords, who may have told us we were useless, or rubbish, the previous lords who may have treated us like rubbish or demanded everything from us, or sought our destruction, these lords are no longer in charge. This is why if Jesus is Lord, I am set free.

    And it’s not as hard as we think, because Jesus has been Lord here today. Giving these toys away, shows that we can let go, that materialism, the stuff we accumulate, needn’t rule or control us. And better, we are giving it to others, possessing isn’t Lord either. The blessing has shown us that Jesus is Lord because there is another narrative, a narrative that says, this child is special and loved. We don’t know his story, why he ended up being adopted, but what we know now is that he will be welcomed into a loving family, that will nurture and protect him. What his foster family here have done, what we all do with our families, is show that selfishness is not lord, that what I want isn’t lord, but Jesus is, and his Lordship brings love and security, it brings home. We have celebrated our Sunday School, this has shown that Jesus is Lord, because it is through these children that we catch a glimpse of God’s kingdom. Not through the experts and the rulers of this world. Age or power isn’t lord, Jesus is, and these children show us, and we also show them a new narrative, where they can live and play safely, where they have an extended family that loves them and looks out for them. The insular, nuclear family isn’t Lord, God’s inclusive family is the one we are part of, because Jesus is Lord.

    And we have lit a candle to remember hope. In this season of advent we look to celebrate the birth of Jesus, Emmanuel, God is with us. Because Jesus is not a theoretical lord, he is real, he is here, he walks among us.

    Jesus isn’t just Lord in my head and heart, he is Lord in the world. We can choose to live that, or not, but we are a people of a story, where God came down to earth dwelt mong us, and brought a new story, a new narrative, where the oppressive and destructive forces around us (and indeed within us), need not have the final say. To say Jesus is Lord, puts them in their place, hatred, fear, selfishness, envy, bitterness, anger, self-loathing. They are there, they will try and win their throne back.

    But remember.

    Jesus is Lord.

    God is with us.

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Neil

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Neil (the minister) occasionally gets round to blogging so welcome to the trivia and ramblings of an erratic stream of consciousness.

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