SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

CALL TO WORSHIP: Hello my name is Carl and I am being Coached by Grace, for it is the Grace of God that stands behind us, walks along side of us and goes before us. Let us experience the Grace of God!

First reading Acts 1:6-14
Psalm Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
Second reading 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11
Gospel John 17:1-11

Scripture of the day: Acts 1:6

Music: A short concert- Sissel Kyrkjebo

MEDITATION:  Are we there yet!

Listen to the sound of this young lady.  Jesus, Joy of Men’s Desire  What an awesome and inviting moment. It caught me totally by surprise. No words, but a hymn so familiar the message danced in my mind. It invited me to find out more of her music. Then in my search I came across one of my favorite pieces. I had to listen to it.  Ava Maria .  I sat silently with my eyes closed realizing I could not understand the words, but I knew the message, it was so clear. Inside of me I wanted to be there. I wanted to be with the Lord, to be overwhelmed by the presence of such beauty.  Then the next title jumped out at me. I had to hear it.  A language I could understand, words that were clear to me, images so profound that once again words could barely scratch the joy and hope of their message.  Going Home.

The followers of Jesus asked in their own way, are we there yet? Are you now going to restore the kingdom to Israel?

Hope, expectation, reaching out to grasp a better world, a better moment, a better life.  All that had gone on before was just the buildup for a deliverance unparalleled in each of their lives. Something was about to happen. They were going to be delivered.

Some years ago I had a practice of “dropping” into a city just to visit it and listen for the “Gospel!” Where and when would I hear the Word of God? Where would I see the “Word of God?”

A preacher stood on an upside down box. The church building was a battered storefront. The building had a handful of people. They sang familiar tunes spattered with words, yeesss Jesus, amen Jesus….come Lord Jesus…deliver us oh Lord. There was not an order nor was there a pattern to those who would augment the congregation singing. At times it was a groan, at times it was a whisper, at times a screeching sound but always a cry—are we there yet Jesus? The preacher opened his Bible. He read the text and began to comment on the message. His voice would rise, then drop. The chorus of those would join him, “preach it brother, give us the word, amen, yesss Lord, even so come Lord Jesus!” Then I noticed. The preacher was holding his Bible upside down. He could not read. He could only expound on a faith that had become real to him. The Lord will destroy the demons around us! The Lord will take the drink and pour it down the drain! The Lord will cleanse our daughters, the Lord will deliver our sons. Tears rolled from his eyes as he built a message of hope. The Word of God was real and delivered a living hope. Are we there yet Jesus?

As I write these words there is a counter that tells me how many words I have written. The time has gone to fast and my mind is running with stories of where and when I have heard The Word of God. Just like the followers of Jesus I want to know, are we there yet Jesus?

Is the pain over? Is the new life about to begin? Jesus invited his followers to experience the coming of the Holy Spirit. Jesus invited them and us to experience the coming of that life now through the Holy Spirit.

One more hymn in this concert by my new found music friend. It is an amazing story that tells us of the opportunity before us, to experience the presence of God in our life today.

Benediction Hymn:  Amazing Grace

 

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