Trinity 12 Sept 8th Sermon Fr. Michael Cawthon
Last week we spoke of the Righteous
as they will become abased (made lowered)
and of the humble who will be exhalted (RAISED)…
We spoke of humbleness before God
being not sure in anything that we do,
but only in His Power and mercy.
In the Collect this morning we acknowledge that God
is “always more ready to hear than we to pray”
for often God seems far from us … and this is not so,
We see this in our Lords actions this morning
as He is surely busy and occupied by the people;
And yet this one person,
who is deaf and has a speech impediment,
is brought before the Lord for him to lay hands upon him and heal him
And Jesus, instead of continuing to “keep to His schedule”
He stops to help this poor man…
will soon be cured and begin to hear
and Speak clearly…
We are no longer under the Letter of the Law for we are told in the Epistle …that the letter killeth—
which brings home the knowledge of guilt and its punishment under the Law,
Under the letter of the law
there is death (2 Cr 3:7)
as it is called the “ministration of death.”
But now, even unto today:
It is the “spirit that giveth life”
Yes, the spirit of the Gospel must be brought home
unto the heart when given by the Holy Spirit,
gives new spiritual life to a man.
The “life-giving Spirit” is
as proclaim in I Cor (15:45) and each Sunday as we say in the Nicene Creed that yes, it is the spirit that is:
“The Lord and giver of Life.”
It is within our hearts, that it can truly be said, (as within the Epistle that)
“the spirit be rather glorious.”
When we read the Gospel today,
the gift of sound
is given as ears were “opened”
and even his tongue is “loosed.”
But like all scripture
the words are only the beginning (not the end) of our journey home…
for the true journey is within our heart
by which the Holy Ghost will guide us.
When the heart is dead, when it is hardened, its focus is not on God,
but on self.
Just as Jesus uses His fingers to touch this man’s ear,
And he touches us
with the presence and warmth of His Body and Blood
as He feeds,
as He He touches us,
His touch softens our hearts
And begins to heal us.
Just as Jesus used his “spit” to lubricate the man’s tongue,
he does the same for you and I…
as he gives us “LIFE” which
in His blood.
and hear Him from the cross
pleading with the Father for us…each of us…
and His actions upon the Cross is almost a plea for a word we hear this morning;
that is, Be opened –
His actions plead for our hearts to “be open”
and receive the Grace of God…
we must not just open our ears but our hearts –
we must let Christ touch our hearts…
Let Him Heal us…
The Bible uses the word “heart”
primarily to refer to the ruling center of the whole person,
Sort of like an opening within the spring – the space – of all desires…
The heart is the “home of our personal life,”
“Being opened” in thought, word, and deed
is to let Him fill you completely
with all goodness.
Opening of the heart is a start
from which humbleness and humility
can begin to grow within,
even replacing the pride and selfishness
which looms within so many of us
promoting our deafness to the truth of the gospel.
So how do we fill our hearts with Jesus?
Everyone hungers within their hearts,
a hunger for good or evil.
It is a space which God must fill.
The Psalmist (David) in Ps 42 begins with:
“As the hart panteth
after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
My soul thirsteth for God,
for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?
The problem often,
is that instead of turning to God,
we turn to other things —
drugs and/or alcohol.
Often, false philosophies and religions are formed,
and even true religion becomes corrupt
as we try desperately to fill a void within us,
often seeking the easiest way and
hoping to find truth and filling
that empty space within our lives.
At times we may feel that we have found
whatever it is that we are seeking,
but often we end up
just as we were before –
or as scripture warns us
often we become worse
and become frustrated and/or depressed.
Tragically, lives can become destroyed.
Only God can truly satisfy that inner hunger,
and He will,
but we must turn to Him through faith
as we begin to open our hearts to His Grace.
God doesn’t want us to wander through life
aimlessly within a world full of confusion and temptations.
The Christ !!!!
has came into this world to heal us.
Don’t be deceived by fancy words or churches
no matter how cool or famous they may seem to be.
simply and completely
make Christ the center of your life.
God’s Word is unchanging and it is true:
As He said: I am, that I am…
He did not say I will become what you want me to be…
But rather, we are to become what He created which was good.
Even Isaiah warns us nearly 1300 years ago
“Wherefore do ye spend money
for that which is not bread?
and your labour
for that which satisfieth not?
hearken diligently unto me,
and eat (ye)
that which is good,
and let your soul delight
itself in fatness.
So, this morning do: Come and eat the Bread from Heaven
And fill your “completeness,” your nephesh, your whole heart,
“Why spend money on what is not bread,
and labor on what
does not satisfy?…
Christ and His Church awaits each one of you,