Crying Out Loud
Crying Out Loud
† IHS †
We are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father!”
A Lightening Strike….
a great quote!
A few weeks ago, at 3:40 in the morning, a loud thunderclap woke up people from here to Irvine, and all the way up to Santa Monica.
I know, for immediately afterward, my phone was going off with facebook messages about it from those two places, and everywhere in between. People were posting about the children and their dogs flying into my friend’s bedrooms, diving under their covers, trembling and scared.
I figured it would eventually make for a great Pastor Parker Parable, and with our readings today, it does.
How many of you remember that happening, either the invasion of your bedroom, or invading your parents’ bedroom, after a particularly loud thunderclap, or a frightening strike of lightning?
Well, Christmas is somewhat like that thunderclap.
For it sends us racing to the Father’s arms, the place we belong, not just when we are anxious or scared.
Because of Jesus, it is the place we belong….
For we’ve been given the right to cry out loud, to use the name of the Lord, to call out to Him in prayer… and in praise.
That’s the point of Christmas, of the name of Jesus which means Yahweh Saves, and His being Immanuel – God with us,
It is the point of Paul in our 2nd reading as well…
This What the Right Time is about!
When the time was right Paul says, when the moment was perfect, when the plan came together, and every aspect that God had promised, revealed in the Old Covenant and the words of the prophets,, when that time happened.
It was Christmas… Mary gave birth to God and Man, one being, yet… beyond our ability to comprehend.
He was born within the very covenant relationship, yet fully representing both sides, the Sovereign Lord, and the man God would bind himself to, for eternity. I love how one theologian-pastor put it:
Christianity is not a religion of fear but of trust and of love for the Father who loves us. Both these crucial affirmations speak to us of the sending forth and reception of the Holy Spirit, the gift of the Risen One which makes us sons in Christ, the Only-Begotten Son, and places us in a filial relationship with God, a relationship of deep trust, like that of children; a filial relationship like that of Jesus, even though its origin and quality are different. Jesus is the eternal Son of God who took flesh; we instead become sons in him, in time, through faith and through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation…. He destined us in love to be his [adopted] sons through Jesus Christ” (Eph 1:4).[i]
What amazing words, we who had chosen to rebel against God, who sold ourselves into slavery by choosing to sin rather than obey God, are welcomed as children, His children!
No matter that threat of the storm, we are invited to life in Christ, He’s opened the door, welcomes to live as His very own children.
Knowing we will be the children who struggle, who get frightened by storms and thunderclaps.
It will take us a while to learn to run to Him, but that is what children need to do.
The Blessing of being the Trinity’s family!
That is why I love to talk about baptism, that time when God makes it all right. He joins us to Christ’s death and resurrection, It is that point where the promise of God’s work is made clear, as the Holy Spirit is given to us, the Spirit sent into our hearts to convince us that we are the children of God. Another Christian leader put it this way:
“With Baptism we become children of God in his only—begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Rising from the waters of the Baptismal font, every Christian hears again the voice that was once heard on the banks of the Jordan River: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased” (Lk 3:22). From this comes the understanding that one has been brought into association with the beloved Son, becoming a child of adoption (cf. Gal 4:4–7) and a brother or sister of Christ. In this way the eternal plan of the Father for each person is realized in history: “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren” (Rom 8:29).
You are God’s son, you are God’s daughter,
We are the children of God, given the ability to cry out loud for our Abba, Father. Indeed we are expected to, whether the cry is the cry for comfort and protection; or whether it is the cry, when we realize we have come home on that holy day when Christ brings us home.
The pastor went on….
It is the Holy Spirit who constitutes the baptized as Children of God and members of Christ’s Body. St. Paul reminds the Christians of Corinth of this fact: “For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13), so that the apostle can say to the lay faithful: “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Cor 12:27); “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts” (Gal 4:6; cf. Rom 8:15–16).[ii]”
That is the Holy Spirit’s job, to bring us into the family, to bring make us one with Christ, To bring us to faith. He makes it happen, as we become aware of our part in the body of Christ.
That is what Paul is talking about – why Christmas and being a Christian is like a lightning storm’s ear shattering thunderclap – for we know where our comfort, our peace, our family belongs.. in the presence of our dear heavenly Father, for there, there is peace.
Even as we look forward to the day when we cry our loud – “Abba Father!” and we hear in reply, “welcome home, my dear children!”
[i] Benedict XVI. (2013). General Audiences of Benedict XVI (English). Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
[ii] John Paul II. (1988). Christifideles Laici. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana.
Posted on December 29, 2014, in Sermons and tagged Abba Father, baptism, Benedict XVI, Children of God, confirmation, GOd our Dad, John Paul II, redemption, relationship with god, sermon, work of the holy spirit. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.