Pastoral Message for the Sixth Sunday of Easter - May 17, 2020
(for members and friends of)
Geeseytown & Newry Lutheran Churches
Christ our advocate
Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 17, 2020
We begin by remembering:
15 "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask
the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.
17 This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it
neither sees Him nor knows Him. You know Him, because He abides with
you, and He will be in you. (John 14:15-17)
Let us pray:
Almighty and ever-living God, you hold together all things in heaven
and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children,
and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus
Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Scripture: John 14:15-21
Thoughts from the Pastor:
Before I sat down to write my thoughts, I was watching the news.
Several doctors were discussing when they believed there would be a
vaccine for the coronavirus. Some of the doctors were hoping to have a
vaccine within 18 months. Obviously, this would result in several lives being
saved when this vaccine becomes available to all the world. Then I thought,
as believers in Jesus Christ and God, we already have a vaccine, and this
vaccine is for eternal life. The vaccine for eternal life is the love of God.
Jesus tells us in John14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and He will
give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” If we treasure God’s
Word and obey it, then your Heavenly Father and Jesus will share their
love with us, and the Advocate or Holy Spirit will be with you forever within
your heart. This action of love happened to us when we were baptized. It
does not matter how old you were when you baptized and where it
happened. What happened at your baptism is what really matters. In Holy
Baptism our gracious Heavenly Father liberates you from sin and death by
joining you to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This
action by God shows you God’s love for you.
Now God’s love for you is extremely powerful. Although some people
do not like to admit this, we were born children of a fallen humanity.
Reading a newspaper, you quickly see our fallen humanity; however, God’s
love for you changed things. In the waters of baptism, you are reborn
children of God and inheritors of eternal life. Furthermore, by the water and
the Holy Spirit, you were made a member of the Church which is the body
of Christ. Now you can live with Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and
with his people, which helps you grow in faith, love and obedience to the
will of God.
My friends, these are words of hope and love and they are eternal
from God. The Holy Spirit is always with you residing in your heart and the
Spirit will not depart from you; in other words, you are not going to lose the
Holy Spirit and no one or anything can take it from you because it is from
God’s love for you and it is eternal.
Sure some of us are struggling and life can be very challenging at this
time, but as believers in Jesus Christ we can pray to our Heavenly Father,
read and love the Word of God and obey it. In doing so we will find a
deeper relationship with your Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy
Spirit. And as we go into a deeper relationship with God, it will help us grow
in the Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit which will teach and guide us showing
us hope. In closing, we need to remember to love God and obey Him and
God will demonstrate His love to us in a deeper way each day showing us
eternal love and hope.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dick Henry