Ray Of Hope Church Of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Inc.
The Church in Central New York founded and consistently fostered by the GLBTQIS community. October 31, 2018 was the 35th Anniversary in our 36th year in Ministry.
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Sermon for RESURRECTION Week 3, Year B SUNDAY 5/7/00


The following are the Scripture readings as scheduled in the "Revised Common Lectionary," an ecumenical schedule of readings of Holy Scripture. Our sermons are based on these readings.

Acts 3:12-19
RESURRECTION Week 3, Year B SUNDAY 5/7/00



12When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites,£ why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant£ Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus£ has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. 17“And now, friends,£ I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah£ would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out,

This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.

Psalm 4

1 Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. 2 How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah 3 But know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. 4 When you are disturbed,£ do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah 5 Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. 6 There are many who say, “O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O LORD!” 7 You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound. 8 I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O LORD, make me lie down in safety.

RESURRECTION Week 3, Year B SUNDAY 5/7/00
1 John 3:1-7

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he£ is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. 4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.

John 20:19-31
RESURRECTION Week 3, Year B SUNDAY 5/7/00



36While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”£ 37They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.£ 41While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate in their presence. 44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah£ is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses£ of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”


Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.




Brother Benedict, Sermon 219

The Third Week of our celebration of the Resurrection Of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ May 7, 2000



Acts 3:12-19
Psalm 4
1 John 3:1-7
Luke 24:36b-48


We joyfully continue in the season of the glorious resurrection of Jesus our Lord, Saviour and Christ. Our theme this weekend is found in the last sentence of the Gospel reading: Jesus opened the minds of the apostles and said to them; "...repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in my (His) name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:45-48)

Jesus said this after His resurrection during the great forty days of appearances in His resurrection body. This was a great time of instruction where Jesus proved that everything He foretold, everything the prophets foretold, everything the Law of Moses foretold, and the psalms foretold about His pre-existence, miraculous birth, life, death and resurrection was in fact true and had been fulfilled. Therefore, we see that in many of these resurrection appearances Jesus says touch me, feel the wounds, see I am not a ghost. In this Gospel reading of Luke 24:36-48 Jesus asks if they have anything to eat, and proceeds to eat broiled fish. I really like this part because I love tasty food and I am real happy to learn from this there will be food to enjoy in the resurrected life. Oh, don't get too excited... I am only joking... sort of...

This, of course, is not the main message of this Gospel. After Jesus shows them the resurrected body, and reviews all the Word of God had to say about Him, He moves on to their commission. Jesus again states very clearly what is the ministry He has passed on to them, and therefore to us when He said: "...repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in my (His) name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things." (Luke 24:45-48) This is the second time we have heard Jesus tell the Church our main ministry is the forgiveness of sins through Christ working in us.

Last week, we heard Christ tell the Apostles; "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.... receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained." (John 20: 19-31) Please notice Jesus is not sending us out to get in everyone's face and say to them "...Are you saved?" Jesus is not telling us to go out there and build huge church organizations and institutions and after they are built to look at them and tell ourselves we are successful. Jesus is telling us to proclaim the wonderful Good News that our sins no longer have to be strapped around our necks condemning us forever, that the love of God made known to us through Jesus Christ is this; that we can have forgiveness for our sin and we can begin to live better lives through the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

Helping people identify sin and helping them realize it must be confessed to God is not a sad thing, a bad thing, or guilt tripping, it is freeing them to the full potential of forgiveness and full reconciliation to God.

Paul summarizes this by saying Jesus has given us the "ministry of reconciliation." Paul writes: "Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we, implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

Now, an ambassador is one who has the full authority of another and speaks in their name. This is the subject of the first two readings today. Jesus gave us authority to forgive sins in His Name, and in fact to do all that he did and even "greater things" than He did, according to His own words. Jesus said: "Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to God. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that God may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it." (John 14:12-14)

This is the doctrine of the power of the Name of Jesus. In today's first reading Peter said: "why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made this man walk?" (Acts 3:12) Peter then goes on to answer this when he says; "And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you." (Acts 3:16) Here is Peter explaining the power of the Name of Jesus, the authority of the Ambassadors of Christ when they use the power of the Name of Jesus, when Jesus acts through them through the calling and glorifying of His Name. Notice Peter doesn't stop there. He could have left everyone amazed and made a show of it.... no true Apostle would do that. Instead, Peter is faithful to the only ministry we have been sent to do, He has told the Good News now, Peter announces the opportunity for the forgiveness of sin through the power of the Name of Jesus. Peter said: "Repent therefore, and turn to God so that you sins may be wiped out." (Acts 3:19) Here we have clearly seen the power of the Name of Jesus when invoked by the Ambassador of Christ, and, we see the mission of the Ambassador of Christ is the ministry of reconciliation, the power to forgive sins in the Name of Jesus.

There is a wonderfully special relationship God has restored that makes all this possible. John described it in the chapter one, verse 12; "those who have received Jesus, the them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name..." See here the power of the Name of Jesus again, through it we are restored as children of God, which we were until we were separated by original sin and the continuing pattern of chosen sin, until we were reconciled through the blood of Jesus applied to us through faith in Christ. This is the subject of the second reading today. It opens; "See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called the children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Jesus. Beloved, we are Gods children now....." (1 John 3:1-2)

This is the great relationship of our restoration to God is the heart of the message of the Season of the Resurrection. Jesus has restored every believer to the heart of God through the power of the Holy Name of Jesus. How did the Name of Jesus acquire that kind of power? Paul tells us in Phillipians 2; Jesus "became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every other name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of this in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phillipians 2:9-11)

Who made the Name of Jesus so powerful? God did. Why? Because Jesus was totally obedient to the Will Of God even to the point of sacrificing His own life. Jesus passes on that power of His Name to the Church, and through it we are restored to the heart of God and commanded to continue to restore everyone we know to the heart of God through the name of Jesus. This is how and when Ray Of Hope Church will grow, when every one of us decide we love our friends and family enough to lead them to full restoration to the heart of God. That is our purpose on Earth, to lead everyone we know to the full restoration to the love and heart of God so they too may have all the gifts of the fullness of life as God planned it.

Come to the Holy Name of Jesus and find His road directly to the heart of God. You too can be a child of God and a former child of wrath by obedience to Love... Love is seeking your obedience and devotion, come to the Holy Name of Jesus, come to the Heart of God, this is the message of reconciliation, this is the message of the season we are celebration, the great fifty days from Resurrection to Pentecost. Welcome to the family of God, in and through the Holy and Blessed Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May Almighty God bless all of us, in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.

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