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.
RESURRECTION 6th SUNDAY B 5/28/00
44While Peter was still speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who heard the
word. 45The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that
the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles, 46for they
heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter said, 47ďCan
anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy
Spirit just as we have?Ē 48So he ordered them to be baptized in the name of
Jesus Christ. Then they invited him to stay for several days.
This is the Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
1 O sing to the
LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy
arm have gotten him victory. 2 The LORD has made known his victory; he has
revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations. 3 He has remembered his
steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the
earth have seen the victory of our God. 4 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all
the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the
LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and
the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD. 7 Let the
sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who live in it. 8 Let the
floods clap their hands; let the hills sing together for joy 9 at the presence
of the LORD, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with
righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
6th SUNDAY B 5/28/00
1 John 5:1-6
believes that Jesus is the Christ£ has been born of God, and everyone who loves
the parent loves the child. 2By this we know that we love the children of God,
when we love God and obey his commandments. 3For the love of God is this, that
we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, 4for
whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that
conquers the world, our faith. 5Who is it that conquers the world but the one
who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? Testimony concerning the Son of God
6This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ, not with the water
only but with the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one that
testifies, for the Spirit is the truth.
This is the
Word Of The Lord; Thanks Be To God.
RESURRECTION 6th SUNDAY B 5/28/00
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you
keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my
Fatherís commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you
so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12ďThis is my
commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has
greater love than this, to lay down oneís life for oneís friends. 14You are my
friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants£ any longer,
because the servant£ does not know what the master is doing; but I have called
you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from
my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go
and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever
you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love
Reader: This is the Gospel of the Lord; Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Brother Benedict, Sermon 221
The Sixtn Week of our celebration of the Resurrection Of Our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ May 28, 2000
Acts 10:44-48 Psalm 98 1John 5:1-6 John 15:9-17
Today we begin the sixth week of the season of the Resurrection of Our Lord and
Saviour Jesus Christ.
I need to make a service announcement here while I have your undivided
attention. We were going to celebrate the Ascension during the Bible Studies
this coming week, however, since we took two weeks to hold discussions in
preparation for Bishopís visit, I have decided to have us celebrate the
Ascension next weekend.
However, for the record, this Thursday is in fact the end of the "Great
Forty Days" after the Sunday of the Resurrection. Can you believe that
forty days has passed since Resurrection Sunday?
Hopefully we are gaining a respect for how quickly our lives are going by and
how urgent it is that we pay attention to the Word Of God, and that we take the
time to respond to it with all our hearts, souls and minds, because putting the
Word off for some other time in our lives could mean we end up missing it
completely quite easily.
Today's first reading is one that is very important for us as Gay, Lesbian,
Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, and Enlightened Heterosexual persons. In
this reading, Peter is preaching and the Holy Spirit comes upon all the
listeners. You may be thinking that is no big deal... Well, it was a very big
deal because these listeners were Gentiles, non-Jews. The reading says:
"The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the
gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles." (Acts
10:45) The Jewish converts to Christianity were "astounded" that the
Holy Spirit was fall on the Gentiles. This was one of many in a series of
events where the Holy Spirit came upon Gentiles in spite of the objections of
the Jewish Christians. The Jewish Christians thought Christianity was only
possible for those who had been Jewish first. The Jewish-Christians wanted to first
convert the Gentiles to be Jews to prepare them for accepting their Jewish
Messiah, and only after the Gentiles were Jews convert them to Christianity.
This made for a very long road to Christ and His Church. Learning all that is
required for conversion to Judaism first and then to Christianity seemed like a
lot of work.
It was a lot of work, and it was not the plan of God. When people asked Jesus
what was the work of God, Jesus answered "The work of God is to believe in
the one God has sent." (John 6:29) Perhaps the Jewish-Christian Bishops
forgot that since they wanted to add steps to the path that Jesus had
established making full Judaism a prerequisite.
However our second reading sets the Doctrine of Salvation right out on the
table. It reads: "Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been
born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child." (1 John
5:1) These Gentiles believed in Jesus and therefore were filled with the Holy
Spirit on the very spot. This is very significant for us.
With this example for our confidence, let's ask ourselves the very difficult
question; How do we know the majority of the modern Church is wrong in their
dogmatic position on rejecting all sexual orientations that differ from a very
narrow view of heterosexuality, which they define only by genital activity?
We know they are wrong because like the Jewish Christian Bishops, modern
bishops have added conditions, being either a person must be heterosexual
(limiting that definition to only genital physical actions and not even
thoughts and feelings), or celibate and only then can they be Christian. Once
again the Methodists and now even some of the American Baptists, some
Presbyterians, and of course the Roman Church have all restated this position...
hetero or celibate first and then you can be Christian.
Well, just as the first century Bishops were mistaken and God proved it over
time by millions of Gentiles coming into the Church and even being great
Theologians and Clergy in the Church (St. Augustine, St. Francis, St. Thomas
A., St. Benedict, etc.) so too, the twenty-first century bishops are wrong on
their position on sexual orientation, and God is proving it over time by the
continuous incoming of millions of GLBTQ persons and our heterosexual friends
and family into the Church of Jesus Christ.
God has a marvelous sense of humor. It seems, the louder the anti-gay
Christians yell that God hates GLBTQ persons, the more GLBTQ persons come out
to Christ and those around them every day. The truth is we are living proof
that it is absolutely not true that God hates us, or that we do not want to be
Christians. Just like in our first reading tonight, God is breaking man-made
God is saying anyone, everyone, anyone who, those who, the one who, all who
will believe in Godís Only Begotten Son has eternal life and will not perish;
even if this goes against all the man-made rules of the so-called church.
1 John 5:4b says; "And this is the victory that conquers the world, our
faith." Praise the Lord, Halleluia! By our faith experience we are
reminded that we know that we know that we know that we know the truth that we
are in Christ and Christ is in us, in spite of all the noise the so-called
church makes and contends that we are lost. Our faith testifies louder than
their screaming at us. We have our experience of Christ as our proof. We have
our experience of Scripture being alive as our proof.
The Gospel today is another "in you" Gospel. Here Jesus again sets
the criterion for successful relationship with Him as being to listen and obey
His commands, His teachings. That does make sense.
If we are Christian, we listen to Christ and follow the words and the teachings
of Jesus. Other people place their eternal destiny into the hands of the
Buddha, or the Krishna, we follow Christ and every word that we have from His
own mouth as He really lived, died, rose and ascended in the flesh.
Further, today's Gospel says Jesus wants us to be joyful, and to share in His
complete joy. (John 15:11) Joy, that is Christ's agenda for us. That doesn't
sound like a mean and vengeful God to me. God wants us to have Godís own Joy,
the Joy that spoke the universe into being. This is true Joy and is available
to us for believing in Jesus.
The society works tirelessly to provide us with entertainment as a supposed
source of joy. We have an "entertainment industry." The entertainment
industry does about as much commerce as the petroleum industry, as the
education industry, as the health industry, etc. Why do we need an entertainment
Human beings are basically a very unhappy lot! Now, this is really an
untouchable topic by ministers who want to keep people happy to make a lot of
money. Think about it, we promise unconditional, complete satisfaction for
everything from a the latest song, CD, movie, candy, frozen food, vacation
package, to the best looking caskets in the prettiest cemeteries, your full and
complete satisfaction guaranteed. Why this constant battle to satisfy? What are
we trying to overpower?
We are trying to come to terms with sin and evil and the fear that is deep in
the heart of every human being that if one stops long enough to be quiet one
might lose control and might allow these fears to be expressed and one might
panic, one might despair, worse, one might be overcome and want to die. So,
every industry around us promises us if we use their products, by their
insurance, use their lawyers, go to this hospital over that one we will be
fully and completely satisfied. What is our experience as we use these products
We find entertaining things do often provide a temporary relief from lifeís
stresses. We find products do often satisfy our temporary wants, appetites and
needs. However, we all know these things and even ideas and philosophies only
temporarily satisfy us and help to momentarily face our fears and sorrows.
Therefore faced with the fact they only temporarily satisfy us we become
consumers, consuming more and more of these remedies, products, and
entertainments, running ever faster and harder from fear, sin, from death.
Into this picture God came crashing in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ.
Why did Christ come to the world? Christ came to save us from this very thing
we are running from: the fear of sin and death. Christ came to show us we are
being lied to, that death is not the end of a long and miserable life. Christ
came to prove to us that meaningless existence, struggle to survive, and a
death after one is totally exhausted from trying to survive as the meaning of
life is a filthy lie propagated by the Father of Lies, the one who was a liar
from the beginning, Satan the father of sin and death.
We are meant to live forever. We are meant to be in joyous rapture in the
presence of God for all ages. We are meant to have bodies free from sickness,
free from aging, free from failure. We are meant to have the Mind of Christ,
the Mind of God. We are meant to have the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. We are
meant to know all things without having to struggle to learn and retain. We are
meant to be in full communication with all creation, full harmony with the
Our souls know this is God's design for us, and propel us onward to union with
God. Our minds misunderstand this constant desire for God and the mind thinks
it is a desire for satisfaction here in this world, and so our minds try to
create as much of this eternal satisfaction in the world we live in now with
its passing resources. Our hearts choose to honor men and women and our feeble
philosophies, remedies, theories, and accomplishments instead of the only One
who is worthy of all our praises, the God of all.
Jesus came to say, follow me and I will take you out of your narrow vision and
your endless attempts to make a passing world provide you with eternal reality.
Follow me, Jesus says, and I will raise you up, and you shall begin your
journey to my Fatherís House where there are endless mansions. Then we shall
really know joy and have it eternally.
We do not have to wait to begin life after death though. Jesus rose from the
dead and promised His abiding, real presence all the days of our lives, even to
the end of the age. (Matt. 28:19) So, this is the day the Lord has made, right
now!!!!! This day is made for us to listen, and follow Jesus, to fix our minds,
our hearts, our souls on Him and His ways. He alone can provide all we need.
Most importantly, He alone can make us joyful and deeply satisfied.
This is the reason I love the word Gay to represent my sexual orientation. I am
no more or less happy than anyone else in their sexual orientation, but I know
who I am because Jesus came into my confusion and sorrow and gave me joy, real
joy. Jesus Has provided the satisfaction I needed and He alone is my
verification, my certification, my confirmation that God gave me all the gifts
I have and one of the most beautiful is my sexual orientation, and I am called
to celebrate it even though the Bishops and elders are mistakenly saying I am
condemned or at least not able to be a Christian. This is the same exact
mistake the Bishops made in today's first reading during the first months of
the Christian Church.
Draw strength from today's readings, that God will do what God is going to do
regardless of human leaders, and God will give you total joy, and peace while
God fulfills His Will for you. And one more thing, this may be the only time it
really means what it says.... With God and Christ and the Holy Spirit in charge
of your eternity, you are truly guaranteed complete, total satisfaction or your
To God in Christ and the Holy Spirit be all honor and glory, world without end,
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.