Sermon for 4th Lent -
The Rev. Scott Duane Grossmann.
Vicar of Mt. Olive -
14And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.16For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 20For all who do evil hate thelight and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."
So must the son of man be lifted up for believers have eternal life.
Through the muck I am lifted up however
This Lift me up thing is not always a lift me up, feel good puppies and butterflies message
Picture this image if you will, close your eyes if you wish and try to see the comfort and beauty in it.
The image is the cross that Jesus carried to hills of Calvary, laying on the ground is a bloody, beaten Jesus, as he is nailed to the cross by his hands and feet, still alive Jesus is lifted up on the cross standing straight up with the bottom of the cross in the ground
Hanging in the middle of the intersection of where the horizontal post is interconnected to the latitude post of the wooden cross.
The cross like the star of David with all the crossing intersections, representing the intersect of unity of man kind where we all meet God, not the division or separation the Christian Church who refuses to hang a cross on their walls pastor Eric spoke of last week.
No a cross intersecting with our world, put in the ground the body this word made flesh, raised up over looking all human kind Christ lifted above all people, in pain the suffering the cross lifted to the heavenly sky
Christ Jesus looking down that we may be lifted up looking at christ our salvation.
What an image right.
In the Scripture the first reading where Israelites grumbling, whining, by being in the desert already forgotten the salvation experience out of Exodus were lifted up. AndThe gospel people are saved when they behold Christ lifted up on the cross,
When we are lifted up, this is not a time to play it small people
Claim your pain, and claim your suffering,
Seek the salvation
Be lifted up beyond your mind thinking limitations.
In john 3 :16 God so loved the world that he gave is only begotten son One son
The conflict with the message is when the interpretation of Jesus is confused with people like a Rick Warren who tell us only and I mean only through Jesus Christ are we saved and the rest condemned to hell, isn’t this is what isis is trying to stand for, separation, our way or we will behead and kill you.
And back to pastor Warren how did that message of seperation work out for his son who committed suicide, hearing only this message over and over again yet never really ever experiencing its promise to what the message of john 3: 16 is telling us.
If we are saying only through the Son of God are we saved can lead to confusion. It is in the son ship, the oneness of all. The son of man which is described in one person only to Remind us there is only one of us here.
And all roads lead to God,
In the image of God I hope, trust and believe this, because, for this is what brings me comfort in my traumatic, trauma, experienced times.
Jesus is one name on the door and we as Christians teach and speak of this one name only,
however our respect is to the many who find different doors to salvation in other forms of religions we do not have the monopoly on this thing called salvation. One of my favorite systematic theologians Monica Coleman put it this way, we put so much emphasis on crucifixion and resurrection and not enough on salvation.
Salvation for all.
Sounds like a political campaign
Salvation for all
We are lifted up as people of God
And all of us are served with some form of tragedy, trauma, disappointment.
There is A layperson who goes over to a friend of mine who is a practicing monk while there are both attending a funeral of the monks fathers and the layperson says ‘why are you crying?’ to the monk ‘you are enlighten, why then are you then crying? ‘
The monk says ‘because, I’m sad.’
We get sad, we all do, enlighten or not, and if its 100 tears you cry and you need to cry 101 then do so, and you still might need to cry some more do not stop crying until your cried out.
We hear so much during this time of lent as to be
Lifted up on eagle’s wings. Lifted out of the muck
Suffering brings on Sadness , this is our theology of the cross as our own Martin Luther calls it. We all will suffer and when we think it could not get any worse, we are taken down yet even further.
We are so in the muck all we do is wait to be lifted out
This quick sand can over take us under with out a warning
However as we wait we know it is God waiting for us to lift us up
and bring us back to that loving feeling, And this is seen in many different colors most the time we want to see this loving feeling in the color we think best suites us so we are looking for this specific color metaphorically speaking to lift me up and out.
We might turn away from the colors and say it’s just a good color for me right now
I only respond to kind of like blue with a little pink and God brings me blood ugly green with black on red with different shades of gray.
We don't see it,- do we.
In the scripture we here we are lifted up beyond limitations and our prayer is to be lifted above and beyond any thoughts of sorrow and despair.
When the job was lost, a love one has died, the money ran out, our child was born with a birth defect or a disability and we could not even imagine how it could get any worse our faith is tested and our anger with God sets in, why me, this is not the color scheme I had in mind.
Like Jesus even he said why oh why, dear God have you forsaken me why do you deserted me with these feelings.
Give us this day our daily experiences.
Jesus give us this day our daily bread our daily experiences as all the torture we think we go through we see in our way to never, never, never give up Winston Churchill for as soon as the tide has turn on us a new day is upon us and eventually a new day dawns, little by little, moment by moment, sometimes just a second at a time we begin as our faith kicks in, to open up, to be lifted up, there is no order in difficulty no order in miracles there is no one better then the other no order of difficulty in miracles. John 3 :21 21But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God."
Jesus was asked why are you in this pain, aren't you the Son of God, the king of the Jews, the enlighten one?
And like the monk because “I’m sad’, not only in suffering, pain but sad to see the people of this world act in this way I’m sad for the pain in mankind I lift myself to you during this time and say please forgive them father for they not know what they do.,
Jesus himself was lifted up and beyond any thoughts of limitations sorrow and despair and delivered to that peace and love that lie beyond and so can you MTOL
even through this drama driven, tragic, traumatic why me I will never be the same again plea, comes the most astounding thing we could ever experience our third dimensional minds could not comprehend
During the onset the light of your tragedy was forming and yes the world will mourn, and yet be saved, yes because I’m sad doesn't mean a life message the hasn't been given its just not in the color your determine mind was thinking it would be in.
My money running out push me into my own successful business my job is the best thing I had ever lost, and my child’s defect is a love I never thought possible
The resurrection of being lifted up above and beyond my highest and most wildest dreams is the gift of color God has given to me in a pallet of colors I would never ever have thought or even wished for, even when my seductive ego and stubbornness still thinks it would of been better the other way.
we will never regret what love we have and will experienced if not for the hurtful tragedy trauma experience theology of the cross suffering that is part of my journey.
With the question why me? Still lurking in my consciousness,
stop and thank God my faith is there to lift me up, lift me up God out of this muck and show me the color, show me the color, you want for me to see, because I alone can’t see it.
Yet the universe is self adjusting, self-regulating for if you don’t see it now it will come around again till the color is exactly the color that fits you and I will eventually see the beauty comfort in the color you have shown me. Just as Jesus hanging on the intersection cross
This is your true assurance is if you missed it will come around again this is God's promise of love to be with him in eternity
As we experience together, there is only one of us here.
Be it so for you and be it so for me
The Rev. Scott Duane Grossmann
Vicar, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
Santa Monica, California
Lift Me Up
Sermon for 4th Lent
Written by Rev. Scott Duane Grossmann