Visions of Peace: An Advent Chidlren’s Sermon and regular sermon based on Romans 15:4-13
† In Jesus Name †
So every Sunday, part of what I do is play my guitar in the service. Not all pastors do this, but I do. And before I do, I have to tune my guitar.
I have 6 strings here, and each is supposed to be a different note. Each has its own place, and its own sound.
But if they aren’t in tune, there is a problem.
For instance – this string is supposed to be an “A” string. But what if it decides to be something else? And this string, the “B” string, wants to be higher than it is supposed to be? It may sound nice on its own…. But what happens when I play all the strings together?
Does that sound good????
That’s why each string has its own specific note. And the gut who plays guitar has the responsibility for making sure they sound like they are supposed to.
So I use my tuner – and I tune my guitar…..
So we are like the strings on my guitar. Each one of us has a special place in life, and a special role. But sometimes we want to be something different, we want to do things our own way. But what does that do to the entire group we are part of?
It messes everything up!
So who is responsible for getting us back in tune?
Except we don’t have pegs we are tied to, we are just always connected to Jesus, who fixes things and makes it right.
And then when we play, or sing, or just live with other people – it works out so much better.
Concordia Lutheran Church
Visions of Peace II
† Jesus, Son and Savior †
May the grace f God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ convince you that you dwell securely in the peace of God, which is beyond anything we can understand!
A Vision of Concordia
I’ve been thinking about the changes I’ve seen in my lifetime recently. I mean, growing up, we had one phone in the house, and to call us you only dialed 4 numbers. We had a black and white television that was 13 inches in diagonal, later to be replaced by a massive 20 inch, color television which weighed about 80 pounds!
I wouldn’t say life was simpler or better back then, but it was certainly different.
But one thing is certain, parents then, and parents now want life to be better, more peaceful for their children, and for their grandchildren.
Let’s be honest, we haven’t been a peaceful world, a peaceful country, or even peaceful communities in the last 57 years. Heck, even the internet and social media isn’t all that peaceful!
It’s not a surprise to me then, that the readings for December, as we prepare for Christmas, all deal with peace, giving us a vision for peace, that like the harmony I talked to the children about—all comes down to Jesus.
What Peace Looks like
Paul explains what peace looks like in the church,
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now we are back to the lesson on the children’s message – the idea that we should function in complete harmony with each other. We see what happens in the world when it doesn’t happen, when everyone determines what they are in tune with, and what note they want to play.
Paul gives the idea of being in harmony, each in tune, and played together.
When we aren’t tuned to and by God, we really can’t be in harmony with each other. We can “de-tune” our lives from God, rejecting His role in our life. That is the basis of what we call sin, when we think we know better than God
But when we de-tune ourselves, that also breaks the harmony we had with other people.
We need help… and Jesus is there to help us.
The Help to establish Peace
Paul gives one example of how Christ brings together people divided, addressing one of the most critical divides, still today. Hear again what Paul wrote,
Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. 9 He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them.
This divide – racial, cultural, ethnic, was huge in the day. It was violent, it still is, as it is the center of most of the middle east conflicts.
And Jesus, broke down the wall, by dying for all of them,
Paul wrote to another church, this one in Ephesus,
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. Ephesians 2:14 (NLT2)
The cross is the answer to all sin, to all the times where we are out of tune with God, and therefore not capable to be in harmony with each other.
This works with any disharmony, with any dysfunction, where people are able to allow God to come and minister to them, to forgive their sin, to reconcile to God, tuning them, and then creating the harmony that exists, as we live with God together.
This is why we are here, why we have a school, to help people living broken lives to know God is working in those lives, brining healing and bringing peace.
A peace that unites us all, as we are united to Christ in our baptism, and at the communion rail. A peace that goes beyond understanding, and in which God keeps us, for this He has promised.