Easter 5

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Bishop Todd Murphy

 

good afternoon Church family pastor Todd

here coming to you on the sunny

Wednesday in the fifth week of Easter so

I’m so glad to be with you guys again

after our glitchy Sunday we are very

sorry that we had problems there we had

an issue with the new Facebook update

and which caused us have to update our

browser but we didn’t quite get that

figured out and so after about 50

minutes of fighting with it we had to

kind of throw in the towel but today

we’re going to spend a little bit of

time in prayer and I’m going to preach

to you bring you basically the content

of what I was going to preach on Sunday

so as far as the the contents concerned

you’ll you’ll get that still hello to

you guys out there Dianne Linda Byram

and any of anyone else who joins us here

I really welcome you guys so let’s take

a couple minutes

let’s silence our hearts before the Lord

hello there Linda I owe you a phone call

you’ll get one and let’s just praise our

father let’s just spend a few minutes in

silence and then we’ll we’ll get into

the word together

well God make speed to save us Lord make

haste to help us glory to the Father and

to the Son and to the Holy Spirit as it

was in the beginning is now and will be

forever amen Alleluia

we are on page 79 in the prayer book if

you want to follow along for those of

you who have it actually we’re turning

to page 80 and we’re gonna read Psalm

121 I lift up my eyes to the hills from

where is my help to come my help comes

from the Lord the maker of heaven and

earth you will not let your foot be

moved he who watches over you will not

fall asleep behold he who keeps watch

over Israel shall neither slumber nor

sleep the Lord Himself watches over you

the Lord is your shade at your right

hand so the Sun shall not strike you by

day nor the moon by night the Lord shall

preserve you from all evil it is he who

shall keep you safe the Lord shall watch

over your going out and your coming in

from this time forth forever more glory

be to the Father and to the Son and to

the Holy Spirit as it was in the

beginning is now and will be for ever

from the rising of the Sun to its

setting my name shall be great among the

nations in every place incense shall be

offered to my name and pure offering

for my name she’ll be great among the

nations says the Lord

hosts father we thank you for this time

together today we thank you that you

have called us by grace and you’ve

called us into hope that we may be a

people called by your name that we may

love you serve you and obey you in the

truth of the gospel we thank you that

Jesus was raised from the dead that he

has given himself for us and he

continues to give himself to us as his

church as his children as the people of

God are reading our Gospel reading is

Gospel of John chapter 14 verses 1

through 14 Jesus said let your hearts

let not your hearts be troubled believe

in God believe also in me

and my father’s house are many rooms

that we’re not so would I have told you

that I go to prepare a place for you and

if I go and prepare a place for you I

will come again and take you to myself

that where I am you may be also and you

know the way where I’m going Thomas said

to him Lord we do not know where you are

going how can we know the way jesus said

to him I am the way and the truth and

the life no one comes to the Father

except through me if you had known me

you would have known my father yet from

now on you do know him and have seen him

Philip said to him Lord show us the

father and it is enough for us jesus

said to him I have been have I been with

you so long that you still do not know

me Philip whoever has seen me has seen

the father

how can you say show us the father do

you not believe that I am in the father

and the father and me the words that I

say to you I do not speak on my own

authority but the father who dwells in

me does his works believe in me that I

am in the father and that the father is

in me or else believe on account of the

works themselves truly truly I say to

you whoever believes in Me will also do

the works that I do greater works than

these will he do because I am going to

the Father whatever you ask in my name

this I will do

the father may be glorified in the son

if you ask me anything and my name I

will do it the word of the Lord praise

to You Lord Christ well this little

sermon homily is called show us the

father therein lies a quest a request

with a quest Philip wants to go

somewhere he wants to know something and

he wants to arrive at a certain place a

certain destination this is not really a

spatial destination but more of a heart

and identity destination he’s asking to

know the Father more and in jesus’s

conversation with his disciples he’s

discussing his departure which is a

temporary depart you and in this passage

here Jesus makes actually just a few

verses apart two of his most famous

statements one of those most famous

statements is no man comes to the Father

but through me where he says I am the

way the truth and the life that is one

of the most famous statements Jesus

makes I am the way the truth and the

life no man comes to the Father but by

me

so Jesus is the way and then Philip says

show us the father to which Jesus says

if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the father

that’s Jesus’s other statement Philip

have I been with you so long that you do

not understand Philip

are you completely missing the point

that if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the

father and so here we have these two

statements and I honestly as I put

together this sermon for last Sunday I

find myself struggling I found myself

struggling with these two statements

because these two statements are such

big gargantuan statements that Jesus

says in the Gospels that I was like I

could say a whole sermon on both

statements on each statement and it

forced me to say but I’m going to preach

them together so what makes these

statements how are these statements

connected how do they go together are

they connected well they’re right in the

same discourse so they should be and so

we have this challenge of how is it that

Jesus is the way the truth and the life

and no man comes to the Father except

through him and at the same time he says

if you’ve seen me you’ve seen him to the

Father

seeing the father how is it that Jesus

leads us to the father

and yet that we’ve already in some sense

arrived at the Father therein lies the

quest that is the quest of mankind is to

be in communion with the father the

entire arc of the biblical story is

about man made in fellowship with the

father man sins and breaks fellowship

with the father and man then is

alienated from the father and the whole

story of what we call salvation history

the story from the garden to the kingdom

of God is the story of God bringing us

back about God in search of us God

finding us and God we and folding us and

that in folding is very important and we

saw that in the previous week’s sermon

where Jesus was the door to the

sheepfold that Jesus was the true

Shepherd who led us in and out to find

pasture and solace and in that sermon I

asked this question last week what is it

that people want more than anything else

what is it that we really want and we

answer that question saying what people

really want more than anything else is

we want to be right with the world we

want to know that we have a future and

an end a positive future an end we want

safety security acceptance we want to

know that we will be okay now and in the

end that we have purpose and some where

we’re going and people naturally get

delusioned when they don’t when they’re

not going somewhere when there’s no plan

and then one of the biggest questions

that people have today is why am I here

what am I here for what is the

significance of me do I even matter

millions of people come and go are born

and die they feel cemeteries by the

thousands and we walk over their graves

reverently I hope and yet that can make

us seem so small and we are we are small

we are very small and yet we have

eternal significance you see that’s all

about the end times everything in our

life is oriented to the end we were

never made just for beginnings

beginnings have ends you can’t have a

beginning without an end and so we’re

all oriented to this we all seek a

future hope however fleeting it is we

may hope to have a nice meal with our

family this evening we may hope to have

a nice vacation in a few weeks we may

hope that we get a raise later this year

we may hope we get that job may hope we

get to see our loved ones on this and

that date and yet those things in this

world can be disrupted so easily

and Jesus is talking here in John 14

about how he’s about to leave them and

so they’re anxious and they’re scared

but he offers them comfort and he offers

them a vision of the future a vision of

hope and so he says these words let not

your hearts be troubled he says don’t be

anxious he sees their anxieties is don’t

be anxious believe in God believe also

in me and he begins to paint

this picture of the future warm one a

inviting one in my father’s house are

many rooms if it were not so I would

have told you that if it were not so

would I have told you that I go to Pitt

prepare a place for you and if I go to

prepare a place for you I will come

again and take you to myself that where

I am you may be also and you know the

way that I am going and so he tells them

not to let their hearts be troubled

because he knows who we are he knows our

frame he knows our weaknesses he knows

our struggle and he calls us to belief

he calls us to trust to trust in him

that his words to us are true his words

to us are reliable that’s what Trust is

Trust is believing that whatever

somebody or something promises to do it

can and will deliver that it can and

will deliver that’s what Trust is and

that’s the big issue of faith and

justification and salvation for us is do

we trust that God made us for a purpose

and that he can he has the power and

that he will that he loves enough to

deliver on that so he talks about in my

father’s house are many rooms she’s a

big comforting vision of the future me

and my family used to live in a 10

bedroom house this is a good analogy for

this in my father’s house are many rooms

and every time I told people that we had

a 10 bedroom house their jaws would kind

of drop because that’s a big house it’s

a big house what he’s saying is my

father has a big expansive massive house

and in house

in my father’s house are many rooms

which means I have room for you in my

house not only that but I’m making room

for you in my house now what does he

mean by this well what he means is a few

things here number one he is leaving the

world after he completes his ministry

that’s where the anxiety is number two

he will go to the Father and abide with

him to the end of the age till the time

of the kingdom that makes us a little

anxious too because we’d all like him

right here right now but there’s the

opportunity for faith and trust number

three he will prepare the kingdom of God

for his followers and his children the

my father’s house image is another image

of the kingdom of God and He will return

number four he will return to gather

them us into the kingdom of God

where we will abide with him his his

goal is to come again and take us to

himself and he’s using imagery of

betrothal here in the ancient world is

that you know the especially in Israel

as a young man would make a proposal and

to a young woman and after they’re

engaged he would go and the goal was to

go build a home and when the bridegroom

had completed it and had a home it was

in a way a place where he could

financially provide for her then he

would come and come get her and bring

her to himself and Jesus uses this

imagery of us and the church

and then he makes this baffling

statement to Thomas and you know the way

to where I am going

why doesn’t Jesus say and you know the

way to where I’m going because look at

how Thomas immediately replies Lord we

do not know where you’re going how can

you know the way Jesus said I am the way

the truth and the life no one comes to

the Father except through me so Jesus is

talking about where he’s going he says

he’s going to the Father and and and

Thomas is starting to panic a bit and

he’s like we don’t even know where

you’re going how do we know the way and

Jesus makes this blockbuster statement I

am the way the truth and the life no one

comes to the Father except by me and we

cannot underestimate the audacity of

this statement the way is us associate

the way is associated with the way of

God and what he says he is the way

number two he says he’s the truth he is

the definition he’s not saying I’m

truthful he’s not saying I tell the

truth what he says is I am the epitome

and the definition of what is true if

you want truth look at Jesus and you’ve

got it that’s truth because all all

truth is wrapped up him in him and his

person and then he says probably the

most profound I am the life I am the

life

all life is epitomized and wrapped up in

him and what he’s finding he’s talking

much more than about physical life all

through the Gospel of John

life is about eternal life and that

includes the resurrection of the body

but it’s so much more because as he said

and in our previous sermon was is I came

to give them life and that they might

have it more abundantly what he means is

much more abundantly than we have in

this world you could be the wealthiest

person in the world and you’re gonna

leave it all behind true abundance can’t

be taken from you true treasure can’t be

taken from you and so he says to Thomas

no one comes to the Father except

through me

if you had known me you would have known

my father also and yet he says this yet

from now on you have seen him here’s the

big profound truth underlying his

statement to Thomas is that the

disciples like us often don’t know what

they already know they often don’t

realize what they already to one degree

or another understand I listen to a lot

of life coaches and leadership podcasts

and one of the key things that a good

life coach does is help you discover

what you already know they don’t give

you the answers they help you think

through them and help you come to

conclusions on your own and then engage

your own brain and your own critical

thinking skills and your own self

reflection skills and that’s what a good

coach does and what Jesus tells them

here is you already know the way you go

already know the way and so many times

we already know the answer to our

questions sometimes it’s it’s right in

front of our face

and if someone else asked us we would

immediately see it somebody said I have

this problem I don’t know the answer and

you know what I’m talking about

and you immediately see clearly what

they don’t see because they’re in the

picture and you’re standing outside

they’re in the midst of the fray and

you’re standing outside and often you

can say well have you thought of this

and they go oh it’s right there I had

thought of that but then I kind of

dismissed it look the answer is right

there and so when we’re in the thick of

it we sometimes don’t see it but Jesus

says to Thomas that he is the way Thomas

says we don’t know the way and he says

look you already know it I am the way

the truth the life no man comes to the

Father except through me and this is

exactly why we need the church because

we need it for community support

mentorship that’s how we support one

another that’s how we help one another

that’s how we encourage and disciple one

another we’re on this journey of faith

hope and love together we’re not in this

on our own we’re not alone we’re not

robbing Crusoe’s we’re not you know out

here in the jungle by ourselves in fact

even the church as a collective whole is

not by ourselves because God has sent

the Spirit of Truth his spirit into the

world to lead us into spirit and truth

lead us into all truth that’s what the

Spirit does he leads us guides us and so

Jesus we learn here

has revealed the father so how is it

that Jesus shows us the way to where

he’s going well Jesus reveals where he

is going and where he is going as a

person God the Father that’s where Jesus

is going God the Father and that’s also

paradoxically where Jesus already is and

always will be and that’s a big one to

get the head get your head around that

right so you see the ancient Jews chose

the name father to refer to God to show

his compassionate heart and Jesus comes

to reveal the father that means he comes

to show the compassionate heart of God

and there’s no greater display of the

compassionate heart of God then the son

of God giving up his life on the tree

giving up his life on the tree and

everything that’s going on in our life

is about relationship our relationships

to God and each other that’s all that

matters

those are the two great Commandments

right you shall love the Lord your God

with all your heart soul mind and

strength Deuteronomy 6:4 and the second

great commandment which is uh Leviticus

19:17 I think 1980 you should love your

neighbor as yourself

so love your neighbor as yourself on

these two Commandments hang all the law

and the prophets everything that matters

is God and each other

and everything goes wrong when anything

else becomes more important than one of

those when our hobbies when our career

when our goals when our desires when

anything we love and do we begin to love

more than people money

material things all those things can

come in between people and they

constantly do and the reason they come

in between peoples because people put

them there they stick the wedge in there

and they drive the wedge and Jesus is

coming into the world to bring this new

gigantic vision of a new world and a new

end and that vision is all about

bringing humanity back together Jesus is

bringing us back to be a corporate whole

he’s redeeming he’s reconciling he’s

bringing us together so our

relationships are person-to-person

personhood to personhood both with each

other and with God and Paul and and

Philip here gets a little bit of this

and he wants a little more and it’s it’s

a good thing it’s a good thing and so he

says in verse 8 Lord show us the father

and it is enough for us and Jesus says

to him how long have I been have I been

with you so long that you still do not

know me Philip

whoever has seen me has seen the father

how can you say show us the father he’s

saying Philip buddy do you not get it

and this is relate to right back to what

Thomas said Thomas said we don’t know

where you’re going and what Jesus says

no you do you you do know where you’re

going because you’ve seen me and really

both these statements are saying the

same thing this thing this great big

statement I am the way the truth and the

life no man comes to the Father but by

me and Philip he who has seen me has

seen the father are saying the same

thing because Jesus is the way to the

Father Jesus is the way in that grand

arc back to God Jesus is that way Jesus

reveals the heart of God and the heart

of the father he says in verse 10 do you

not believe that I am in the father and

the father is in me Jesus is already

with the father

he already has perfect communion with

the father and that’s the key for us is

if we have communion with Jesus we have

communion with the father the words I

say to you I do not speak of my own

authority but the father who dwells in

me does his works believe me that I am

in the father and the father and me

or else believe on account of the works

themselves so Jesus’s words have these

special significance Jesus is in the

father and the father is in Jesus they

have perfect fellowship Father Son and

Holy Spirit have a perfect fellowship

the ancient doctors of the church in the

first few centuries had a term for this

called Perry choruses and I won’t get

into all that right now but it was that

term was used to talk about the perfect

fellowship of Father Son and Holy Spirit

in fact some even talked about the Perry

curette ik dance

and they used the image of dance as that

unity that a couple would have that’s

dancing that the Trinity has that God is

in a perfect harmony and the key thing

is if we have communion with Jesus we

are drawn into that perfect communion

whether we realize it or not you see in

the gospel we are in Christ to have

communion with Jesus is to have

communion with the father that’s what

he’s saying to Philip and that’s also

what he’s saying to Thomas because Jesus

in his resurrection has perfect as

perfect communion with the father yes

perfect communion with the father God

communed with mankind as man so man kind

could commune with God as God as

athenais shut it God became man that man

might become God no we do not become

another God like him what we become is

part of him Jesus as the head and we as

the body and so we are the Bride of

Christ we are the body of God we are the

body of God it’s not just a metaphor

it’s a spiritual reality and it’s a

spiritual reality that we carry in these

broken earthen vessels and yet it’s true

nonetheless and though we do not have

the sense perception aswer that to

understand the full full power and

ramification of being the body of God we

nevertheless are and that’s what we’ll

spend the rest of eternity in the

kingdom learning is how to be the body

of God in full spirit and full truth

without

bodies weighed down by sin which is a

hopeful hopeful message right to not be

worn down by both physical and spiritual

and emotional chains what’s our main

point is this this is how Jesus shows us

the Father he is the way he is the truth

and he is the life because he really

reveals the father because the one who

is in perfect communion with the father

reveals the father to us

and invites us into communion with him

and that’s comes back to Thomas’s

statement Lord we don’t know we don’t

even know where you’re going so how are

we gonna know where to go it’s similar

to that statement made and Alice’s

Adventures in Wonderland if you don’t

know where you’re going any road will

take you there and that’s the kind of

befuddle meant Thomas has here but Jesus

is pointing out to him and to Philip no

you just don’t realize what you already

know

you don’t realize what I’ve already

showed you I’ve showed you the way to

the Father and the way to the Father as

a person named Jesus Jesus is the way

and the truth and the life and so he

paints this vision of the future but he

does more than that he does more than

that I want to show you this here in

verses 14 I mean in chapter 14 verses 12

through 14 listen here truly truly I say

to you whoever believes in Me will also

do the works that I do and greater works

than these will he do because I am going

to the Father whatever you ask in my

name this I will do the father may be

glorified in the son you asked

anything in my name I will do it Jesus

does more than just point to the future

and says hey you have a hope what he

does is he empowers his church right

here he says if you step on to this

train

if you stand step on to this game plan

and you give your life to this game plan

you will be a part of that kingdom of

God and there’s one way to step on to

that conveyor belt and that’s by faith

if whoever believes in Me will also do

the works I do the opposite is that

whoever does not believe and me will not

do the works I do what he does is he’s

inviting us to be a part of it and I

think we need to be thinking about that

this spring as we start to come back a

society comes to open them what are we

gonna do how are we going to be a part

of the works of God what disbelief is

resident in our hearts that’s keeping us

from acting in doing the works of God in

the world doing the works of God in

Rhode Island and in our relationships I

think that’s a really good

self-assessment I think I need to spend

some time on that myself

what is the disbelief in my house heart

that’s holding me back because God is

empowering us Jesus is empowering us to

be a part of that vision to be a part of

the kingdom of God and so I ask you

brothers and sisters those who are with

me now and those who will tune into this

later

how is God gonna use you in the spring

the summer this next year to do the

works of God to grow Church of the

Apostles to make difference in people’s

lives for the gospel how are you gonna

show

the father to others because you are in

Christ and because we are in Christ we

are in the Father and we get to bring

him to the world amen well let’s

continue in our prayer and we are on

print on page 81 and we’re going to

continue here with some open

intercessory prayer so I’m just gonna

lead out here and if you guys have any

prayer requests you can post them there

and I will be praying for them father we

just thank you for this time in your

word we thank you for this time in the

scriptures we thank you for time with

you that your spirit is here with me and

with us and that we can fellowship with

you that we can have fellowship with you

and with the father through you and your

spirit we thank you that you welcomed us

in to that dance and father we pray for

all those who are hurting and suffering

right now father we pray that you will

give them a vision of the kingdom

whatever their calling is father

sometimes in our suffering you don’t

take away the suffering you give us a

vision of the kingdom of God you give us

a vision of where we’re going and that’s

an exciting thing that’s a beautiful

thing so father give us a vision of the

things to come give us the things to be

hopeful and excited about father I pray

for the dome on family we just pray for

gabbatha and her mother and her sisters

and all brothers and cousins say cor

they are hurting our hearts are with

them and we pray that you’ll just lift

them up to the Lord and just give them

right now a vision of the kingdom of God

cuz sake whores with you he’s not coming

back

and he probably doesn’t want to come

back at this point being with you and

what’s going to encourage them and

anyone who loses a lot I lost one right

now is a kingdom of God because the

kingdom of God because Jesus you are

better

father we pray for all those who are

suffering right now we’re healing up we

pray for the Linda and for Paulette and

just so many others pray for Dawn and we

just lift them up in anyone who’s had

any health difficulties pray for Diane’s

foot that she’s had some some pain in

and father I know there’s many more

suffering some of some of us are just

feeling lonely and isolated at home and

father just pass on that vision of the

kingdom of God and so father with that

we continue in prayer to you on page 81

lord have mercy Christ have mercy lord

have mercy our Father who art in heaven

hallowed be thy name thy kingdom come

thy will be done on earth as it is in

heaven give us this day our daily bread

and forgive us our trespasses as we

forgive those who trespass against us

lead us not into temptation but deliver

us from evil for yours is the kingdom

and the power and the glory forever and

ever amen

Lord hear our prayer let our cry come to

you

let us pray or Jesus you said to your

apostles peace I give you my own peace I

leave with you regard not our sins but

the faith of your church give to us the

peace and the unity of that heavenly

City or with the father and the Holy

Spirit you live in rain now and forever

man let us bless the Lord thanks be to

God I thank God for you all of you who

are joining with me now and those of you

who may watch this later

may the Lord encourage your heart and

just fill your mind and heart in the

coming weeks in the coming year with the

vision of the kingdom of God that he has

empowered you to be a part of that that

you have his spirit within you you have

that Holy Spirit power at your

fingertips you have a wonderful

afternoon thank you for joining me for

worship in prayer god bless

 

English (auto-generated)

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *