A Way from Death to Life

SERMON# FIVE MARCH 2018

Psalm 51 & John 12:20-33

A Way from Death to Life

“Have mercy on me, O God,

According to thy steadfast love;

According to thy abundant mercy

blot out my transgressions.

Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and cleanse me from my sin!” Psalm 51

John 12: 20 – 33

A way from death to life

It is not uncommon to, these days, here the word; downsizing’ being used. Perhaps we have heard it in a business context or as elderly people. Downsizing is done so that the business or people or wherever it is being used can move forward without holding on to what have become unnecessary. The cross or Jesus on the cross calls us to downsize.

We are to downsize on our sin, worry or turmoil and our disobedience.

Sin. We can say Jesus on the cross, although a picture of violence and ugliness, also calls us to itself so as to lift us up. We are attracted to it because we know that although the cross is a picture of ugliness it is also a picture of forgiveness or that which is beautiful. At the cross our sin meets God’s grace and grace wins the day. Sin is all the things keeping us from following the way of Jesus more closely and what keeps us from really knowing each other as people. The cross asks of us to downsize on the sin in our lives. To get rid of what has become unnecessary in following Jesus.

Worry or turmoil. The cross also reminds us that there are times when after we have done everything we could have done we must ‘let go and let God.’ The cross is a picture of surrendering. It is where we surrender to God’s providence knowing God will always honour all our efforts but there comes a time when God needs to do the rest of the work. We need to let go of our need to control everything even telling God what the outcome should be like; exactly as we have planned it. We can only have peace when we are able to surrender to God and not try to control everything. This need for control adds to the turmoil we may be experiencing. This means a deep trust on God in spite of things not going our way – this is peace. We are to downsize on our worrying.

Disobedience. The cross calls us to be obedient and thus to let go of our disobedience. This means that the cross calls us to stand up for the kingdom of God against all the kingdoms of this world. Disobedience may take us to places of suffering and rejection. It is not about being a good citizen of the country – that we also need to be but more about being a good citizen of God’s kingdom and this entails sometimes being disobedient to the kingdom sof this world. The cross is like a small little candle in a big room of darkness who when lit must say to the darkness; ‘I beg to differ.’ We must downsize on our disobedience to the kingdoms of this world.

To recap: We must downsize in life but also ‘spiritually;’ in the sin in our lives, the worrying in our lives and our disobedience. This means we must upsize in grace, peace and obedience.

Whoever keeps her or his life as it is now will lose it and whoever let go of this or her life as it is now will find it!

Amen.

‘Dear God, hep us to let go of all that which has become old and stale in our following of Jesus. Help us to let go of the sin in our lives, or all the worrying in our lives and of all the disobedience in our lives. Help us to have life in all its fullness by following Jesus more closely.

Amen.’   

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