dear god and father be with us
today may your word
go out for the purpose
for which you’ve sent it and may not
return to you
empty plow up our hearts
today lord especially mine
as we look into your word to understand
you
your son jesus and your holy spirit
i ask this in the name of our lord
and savior jesus amen amen
please be seated
today we have
a most auspicious day
today in your presence
another soul will be brought
into the body of christ
into the church into communion with the
rest of you
and indeed into the family of god
this is a great occasion and i commented
to my
lovely wife when i was given this
preaching assignment
that how perfect are
the lessons for today for the baptism
sunday
there is the parable
of the sower
we we’ve all heard the parable of the
sower it’s probably
one of the most popular
and well-known parables
and today my sister nikki
is going to be asked a few questions
she’s going to be examined according to
the rubrics
of the common prayer book and she’s
going to have to answer
so that she we don’t single nicky out
today
how about i ask you a few questions
in preparation for this most holy event
we looked at the gospel and we’ve read
the gospel and i hope we’ve heard the
gospel and inwardly digested it
so i ask you now couple of questions
this is the parable of the sower
who then is the sower
somebody said jesus jesus
is the sower so now what
then is the seed
his word whoa everybody got that one
his jesus is sowing the word
a little bit more difficult now what is
the ground upon
which he sows the seed
ah our souls our hearts right
yes exactly
now a little bit harder question that
isn’t addressed
that jesus does not tell us
in the end of this parable a little
harder question is
what then is this
field who said the world
it’s the world the field is the world
we skip over that one don’t we right
we see the sower we see the seed we see
the hearts
but we forget to see the world
well that’s very key to what’s going on
over here
because you know the field would not
have existed nor
would have have been planted unless
there was an expectation
by the sower and indeed a promise
by the sower that it would at least in
some places yield
fruit no one wastes their time
doing something that will not yield so
there’s this expectation and a promise
in god’s word that the world will
yield fruit
the very purpose of the field is that of
bearing
good fruit the kind
and the type that the seller desires
everything else every
thing else is waste
you see it’s not enough to accept
christ and do nothing
in his name
it’s not enough to grow in the knowledge
of
the gospel and keep it
to yourself
it’s not enough to confess the faith and
go
on and live in
unrepentant sin
not enough clearly
the point of the parable
is that god desires and yes he requires
and he indeed commands
that the hearts of the faithful produce
good works for the kingdom
that they produce good works for the
kingdom
now the bible god’s word is full of
promises of reward for good works did
you ever wonder why
it’s because the father expects good
works of those
who have faith
good works good works not just
any works good works what are they
they these good works are actions
that are taken for the sake of the
father’s glory
that are done in the son’s name
and that are initiated by the grace
of the holy spirit nothing else is a
good word
proof of this in real time
is found in paul’s epistles to the
romans
in verses 15 and 16.
all right you
you nikki you
have received the spirit of adoptions as
sons and daughters
by whom we cry
abba father
the spirit himself bears witness
with our spirit that we
are children we are children of god
and if we’re children then we’re heirs
heirs and fellow heirs with
christ provided
oops provided
provided we suffer
read good works
with him in order that we
may also be glorified
with him
so throughout paul’s epistle to the
romans
it speaks about adoption and clearly
adoption nikki into the family of god
with all the benefits that we don’t have
time for today
this adoption is a gracious gift
from the father it’s a gift and a gift
alone
it’s a gift from the father through
faith in his
son jesus
but the bearing of fruit
is a necessary
and expected outcome
of this true and lively faith
okay it’s expected of us
the field is expected to bring forth
fruit
but in order to fully understand this
bearing of good fruit
or this concept of good works
we need we need to look at the
father-son relationship or in your case
nikki
the father-daughter relationship
we need to look there because that’s
the key to understanding what your
works when your works are good
and when you’re pleasing the father
now i know that this can be
a difficult subject for some of us this
concept of the father
you know we live in a world that’s not
really much different than it was two
thousand years ago
and many of us though we look fondly
upon the memory of our fathers
and the way we might have looked up to
him and respected him for his love for
us and his family
still today my brothers and sisters many
of us
do not have such a fond memories
of our fathers indeed
we live in a world now not much
different than it ever was where
some may not even know who their fathers
are
so it could be hard to accept this
father-son father-daughter thing
but i ask you now brothers and sisters
to be patient with me
and to be open to the idea
that the relationship that jesus had
with his father
is truly ideal
something to be emulated and studied
and because we may not have had
an ideal experience with our fathers
it should not follow that the ideal
relationship doesn’t exist okay
it’s absolutely crucial
that we understand the truest father-son
relationship
in order to understand the concept of
adoption as
sons and daughters of god the father
so we have an example in scripture don’t
we
now the last mention of jesus’s
childhood is in luke’s gospel
remember that jesus is 12 years old
after that 20 years go by
20 or so years go by
what happened in those 20 years do we
really know
you really don’t know
we know that he worked right he worked
as what
he was just a carpenter you know technon
right in the greek
that was a mechanical person right
that by the way is why i love
the fact that he was a carpenter
and what do you think
that jesus’s relationship was like with
his father
who taught him to be a carpenter joseph
did
that’s his stepfather right joseph is
his stepfather
what do you think that relationship was
like
close you said diane yeah right
we don’t see that much in our culture
anymore do we father and son working
together
well back in in that day that was the
norm
it was a very good thing nowadays we
have
take your child to work with you today
how does that work out
ah yeah once a year works out great
right well it’s a lot
different when your son or your daughter
is working by your side
every day and that’s the picture and you
have to remember also that jesus
though he was fully divine yet he was a
fully human 12 year old
a 16 year old an 18 20 28 year old
okay he was a fully human young man
and he worked daily with his stepfather
joseph
during those 20 years i think he grew it
and matured at his stepfather’s side
okay he learned how to work with his
hands
he learned how to conduct business
he learned how to treat his mother
and most of all he learned
the scriptures from joseph
you know the bible offers no account of
these years
often i think of them and i like to
fill in the blanks myself so to speak i
like to imagine
what those years might have been like
jesus and his stepfather joseph
20 years as a young man that’s like
eternity
so i think about it and i look out there
2000 years ago and i
i see joseph there okay
and i see joseph looking upon jesus
young man out there going about his
business
and joseph’s sees
how his stepson is fair
in business how his handiwork
is the highest quality
he sees joseph sees
how jesus treats women
in his life and how he charitably deals
with the poor
and the sick and the elderly in the
course of business
he watches jesus as he meets the
challenges of his own life
these things that affect jesus
personally and he sees that he does so
with honesty and a humble heart
and he sees jesus do everything
both great and small with the greatest
of integrity
sees the fruits
of jesus labor are much
to his own liking because
why jesus has faithfully done
what his stepfather has taught him
and when i think about this narrative i
think about one day
not often maybe once in a while
joseph goes to jesus and he says
jesus good work
well done well done
and then i see jesus lift his head to
his stepfather and
say father
i have done these works because i
respect
you and also because i love
my father in heaven
and i want my works to honor him
i want my works to honor him
beloved that is what’s
meant by good works
that’s what’s meant by bearing fruit
the seed that falls upon fertile ground
matures
and it does what it bears fruit
the word that falls upon the willing
heart takes hold
and it matures into good works
for the kingdom of god
good works are done of an earnest desire
to please god
works that are truly good come from
obedience to the word
who is christ by the grace given through
the holy spirit
and all for the glory of the father
all for the glory of the father
so today nikki my sister
you desire to be baptized
to be welcomed into the family of god
by the witness of the holy spirit
so in a few moments you will
receive the spirit
of adoption as a daughter
so that you may call god
father
you will become a fellow heir to the
kingdom of jesus
provided you aspire to good works like
those of your brother jesus
who did many good works to please the
father
so that in the end nikki you
will be glorified with jesus
so today nikki it’s my prayer for you
that your heart will be good soil
deep and thirsty for the world
i pray that you would be surrounded by
countless others that is who
that’s you guys surrounded by
others with fertile hearts with the same
zeal in love for the word so that the
weeds those things in the world
that try to take hold in your life
they’ll be snuffed out
and i pray that the wheat of the field
reaching
reaching skyward for the sun
for growth that you will fix your eyes
on the son of righteousness
forsaking all else
and finally i pray that in the time of
the harvest
nikki on the last day you’re gathered
into the kingdom
with all the saints that you
will have yielded fruit thirty
sixty or a hundred fold
and that all that would be for the glory
of your father
the god and father of all
and at that time nicky may he say to you
good work well done
in the name of the father and the son
the holy spirit amen

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