Sermon for January 24th & 25th -
The Rev. Scott Duane Grossmann.
Vicar of Mt. Olive -
-14Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news." 16As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. 17And Jesus said to them, "Follow me and I will make you fish for people." 18And immediately they left their nets and followed him. 19As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. 20Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
Quick side bar
James and John - when they left their father Zebedee in the boat to follow Jesus, it is written the sons left the father with the hired man, I find this comforting and nice that they did’nt leave dad alone… Those are good people.
Here we are, Simon, later renamed Peter, along with Andrew, James and John - All set out to follow Jesus ... And, where they gona go ? Did they have a plan? did Jesus say walk with me a while and I’ll fill you in?. Did Jesus start out by telling them a parable and of course they didn’t get it ….
But it has started
Jesus, had nothing to give them, but unlimited possibility of freedom to be saved and to save others ……. And relationships were formed
20 sec 20 min 20 years, we never know how long
Very important here I want to say, in my option that I believe - those who learn with Christ Jesus share one interest and one goal and he or she who was the learner, becomes the teacher of God him or her-self. For he or she has made the one decision that had given and then brought the teacher to them. For she or he have or will see in another person the same interests of ones own.
Is this what we call God Just as the fisherman saw in Christ.
Two strangers meeting in an elevator
A child who is not looking where they are going and by chance runs into an adult
Two or more, students happening to walk home together becomes friends
Or just one Jesus walking by the sea of Galilee who meets two fisherman who meet two more, and on and on.
20 seconds 20 min 20 years
Are these chance encounters?
Yes, And, each superficial casual encounter them has the potential for the beginning of a teaching learning situation
At the level of most casual encounter it is possible for two people to lose sight of separate interests, if only for a moment, separation is no more
And that moment will then be enough….. for salvation has come
in Alcoholic anonymous they say
God is doing for us, what we could not do for ourselves
The situation where you just know, the right moment IS.
We call this a God Shot, are we open to it….. is the question?
However, it can be a different situation when we insist on forcing the square peg into a round hole.
We just can seem to wait, and we give in to our impatience.
An actor Friend of mine here Los Angeles desperately was need in need of transportation to get too and from auditions with out any wheels, her frustration grew.
Her prayer was, please help, I need a car now…. a week later she couldn’t take it any more.
She had an audition here in Santa Monica, then one back in Burbank, another in Venice, and finale one in Beverly hills, and she lived in Hollywood this was happening a lot she bellows SoCal this isn’t New
York as far as public transportation is concerned.
It happen to be One of her neighbors down the way had a old car for sale with over 100,000 miles on it, dented up, two different colors and you had to get in to the drivers seat, only through the passenger
side, and not very good tires, basically an old beater of a car.
However she was desperate, and gave into her impatience and bought the car for a little over $1,500.
All started to go along fine - She started to make her additions on time and was satisfied for the moment.
Then she had to keep putting oil in the car and then the car broke down, and finally she took it into the shop.
Oh, I forgot to tell you about two weeks before she bought the car, she had went out on an audition for a car commercial and was put on hold as a stand by 2nd in line to the person who booked the job.
So time went on and she didn’t think any thing more of that car commercial.
(Oh and this was before cell phones, can you even imagine?!)
Anyway, as she was waiting at the car shop getting her car fixed and her agent was trying to get ahold of her.
He wanted to tell her that the other Actor who was hired to act in the commercial three weeks ago was taken to the hospital for sickness! The production company needed the stand by lead actor, which was
her, to report to the set in four hours!
When she finally got home she checked her messages and her agent had told her over the message machine that the film crew needed her on the set ASAP to shoot this car commercial that she had
auditioned for, about three weeks ago!
And message went on to say: the production company will make it worth her while if she could get to the set by 4:30 by now it was 5:15.
The agent went on in the message saying: the job would be above scale pay, plus over time pay, and residual payment of a national commercial and the biggest perk is you can get a discount on one of
there brand new cars and only pay the tax of $1500!
(Oh did I say the car commercial was for Mercedes- Benz?)
Top of the line car, …….here she had gone ahead and bought an old beater of a car.
And waiting for her was a Mercedes Benz!
Today she is one of Americans beloved actresses
I know this is a material based story and this is not my point, we are not to go off waiting for a Mercedes Benz.
Don’t dis me for that selfless story but it was true. Being desperate and impatient isn’t too.
When we hurry up Gods plan, we may miss out on the possibilities that are waiting us. Sounds like a fortune cookie.
We know this is much more, much richer, much deeper, then martial pleasure.
But have we ever been so impatience that we did not wait for God to help and our impatiences grew much greater in our mind, then in the reality pushing past what ever other possibilities could ever be. We
call this playing God.
This is what the scripture is telling us if we stay in a form of identity being just fisher-people versus the possibility of Jesus-following.
We look only at what we feel, we think, we need, and here is our ego, or as Martin Luther calls it reason in the form of shutting God out.
There might be so much more out in the stratosphere working itself for us in human growth and all of God’s benefits for us, its in comfort, abundant love, warmth, trusting, honesty, compassion, kindness
humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and above all Love, Colossians 3:12 waiting on our inherent gift of eternal life.
Are we so busy and impatient that trust goes out the window when we don’t get it right this instant?
Spend 5 min with God and the Holy Spirit in gratitude for Christ’s love every morning everyday, before turning the television on, before you go to the computer, before you read the news paper, before
playing video games.
Practice in meditation and prayer for just in that moment of silent time, said by the dedicated monk Tomas Keatting, that it is in your consent and intension, no mater how long, being One with God in
silence is enough to get you through your day without missing a beat, of that peace that surpasses all understanding.
It’s the love of God these benefits through the possibilities of being God's disciples - its God offering us salvation through Christ Jesus and the teaching message Jesus was sent to give to us. And for us to
give to the world
Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake for they were fishermen
Identity; identified as fishermen, uneducated, hard-working, dirt under their fingernails laborers,
Come follow me Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men
Come follow me
They got clear, in that moment of the Causal chance encounter, this running into Christ Jesus was an open portal to what ever is much bigger then could even be imagined with our mortal minds
The idea of opportunity, versus possibility, versus identity, was taken over by their atonement, at- one- with, in that moment, atonement, at- one- with in their hearts and souls
It was in the Christ presence, the oneness infused by the Holy Spirit during this happen chance meeting.
And the opportunity of unknown possibility was started.
Lets recap from the holidays. The birth of Christ Jesus, Anna and Simeon at the temple recognizing Christ in Jesus, then Jesus at the age of 12 stays longer than anticipated at the temple creating worry for
Mary and joseph
And then we hear nothing from that age of 12 to Jesus early 30s of his journey
My question is what happened between the age of 12 to late 20s
I can honestly say here’s the mystery, which I’m grateful for.
You see we were told that Jesus was a carpenter, that's about all,
However if I was told Jesus built this house and built this Temple and worked in this position and had this job,
We would already have preconceived ideas of what he was, but leaving out information about Jesus from 12 years old to his late 20’s I can only imagine what this person Jesus,
Word, made, flesh,
He, Jesus recognized his gift of Christ within, to use properly in a world that could not have survived without him.
Do you recognize your gifts? I sure hope so because by the way We need each of you.
There was no identity to Jesus at this time, only possibility.
What I’m talking about is, that when the pupil (you and I) and teacher Christ in Jesus, come together the Teaching learning situation begins, for in this situation the teacher is not really the one who does
20 seconds, 20 minutes, 20 years we meet for a reason, we meet for a season, we meet for a lifetime, the teachers of God have no set teaching level for teaching.
There is no one from whom the teacher of God cannot learn
So there is no one whom one cannot teach
Jesus even said For just the identification of who you think I am I ask you to keep this to yourself for I am much more then a teacher.
And God giving us Christ in Jesus assures us of end less possibilities
While God Tells us that my identity lies not in my gender, female or male, Israelite, roman, gentile, independent republican demacrate
Not the rich not just the poor, no race, or the color of your skin, no Gay or Straight, not in nationalities, not country’s controlling other countries not corporations, not skinny people not over weight people,
not blondes or red head people, just people.
People are free to be saved from whatever the controllers of this world is controlling that is construed in our minds.
Our Jesus, yours and Mine
Was there for God, not to rule over any one or any thing or go to war and kill or to be a controlling king, no, just to be. I am that I am. Be still and know I am
20 seconds, 20 mins, 20 years, what ever the length, it is us "living in the Now" that matters.
We are here for a short time and our assurance is God has not forgotten either you or me.
I am ready to follow where you lead, Simon, Andrew John and James were just the start of what we are today.
And we have not even touched on the possibility that is yet to come. We need and must live in Hope of Possibilities, like Martin Luther king Jr., and keep praying, for we live in this crazy mixed up world.
In Gods love, our only identity lies in the image of God, you don’t have to work so hard to be your identity,
for identity is fleeting.
Let God guide your discussions’ set back, and ride the ride, following is much easier and much more rewarding with endless possibility’s
Oh, it’s not that God says be lazy……
However reach past your reason-thinking ego, and open up your own portal to the direction of possibility.
Whatever form it comes in, Do your part and Pray Baby Pray, and mean it! For we are all safe in the teaching of each other, if given the opportunity to learn in our teaching of Christ Jesus who you gave to
us full connection to God, we are these disciples.
Be available to be used, yes we are just fishermen and Fisherwomen.
However, it is God who has so much more for us, and we have so much more to give. Lets share God with those in need and always with those who love us. Your good people you who don'tleave your dad
in the boat alone.
God says I am that I am, and we say use me, for I wait with endless possibilities.
Christ Jesus says “Come follow me” its going to be a rewarding, exciting, and bumpy, ride, so hold on and be free to explore all the God given possibility’s waiting you while seizing your moment now.
Be it for you and for me
The Rev. Scott Duane Grossmann
Vicar, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
Santa Monica, California
Identity Vs. Possibility
Sermon for January 24 & 25, 2015
Written by Rev. Scott Duane Grossmann
photography by Ludo Koos