Sermon Reflection for Sunday, April 28 Respectfully Submitted by Brenda Worley
What a glorious day! Bishop Paul Lambert was with us and served as preacher and presider. He is a dynamic figure with a great sense of humor. We all enjoyed his visit very much.
Bishop Lambert lovingly confirmed, received, and reaffirmed seven candidates during the service. Charlotte McClung was confirmed; Floyd Braid, Riley Borgia, and Laura (Sis) Eastland were received; and Alvin Blount, Donna Marie Newton, and Erle Newton, II were reaffirmed. We are thrilled be a part of this step in these candidates’ Christian journey.
The focus of Bishop Lambert’s sermon was the responsibility of all baptized Christians to be priests (the priesthood of all believers). Jesus freed us through his death and resurrection and made us a kingdom. A priest is ordained to go to God on behalf of man and go to man on behalf of God. When baptized we are accepted into the priesthood. At that point we are asked to die to ourselves and live through Christ. That baptism charges us with a moral responsibility to function as priests. That priesthood has a three-fold definition. We are called to say prayers, read scriptures, and share the story of the Resurrection of Christ.
Bishop Lambert warned us that that our prayers must not be an effort to get God to see things our way. God is not interested in our opinions. As stated by C.S. Lewis, “I pray because I can't help myself. ... I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God. It changes me.” We must be transformed and open our minds and hearts to allow God’s power to flow through us.
We were exhorted by the Bishop to sing, dance and shout hallelujah during the Easter season. Don’t be depressed at the death but elated at the Resurrection. The women who went to the tomb stepped into the darkness to find the empty tomb. They ran with excitement to tell the others. The men on the road to Emmaus did not recognize Jesus because they were living in fear, but upon realizing that they had eaten with the risen Lord, ran with glee to tell the other disciples.
As priests we must share the good news. Don’t keep your Christian experience a secret. Go out and proclaim it! Shout it out…The Lord has risen indeed. Alleluia! Alleluia!